Causes and Diagnoses

Causes and Diagnoses of Chlamydia

Chlamydia is caused by the bacterium chlamydia trachomatis and is spread through unprotected sexual contact.

Diagnosing chlamydia

A diagnosis of chlamydia involves two simple tests:

  • Urine test: A sample of your urine is examined under a microscope for the presence of bacteria.
  • Swab test (for women): During a routine pelvic exam, your physician will take a swab of discharge from your cervix to look for abnormalities under a microscope.
  • Swab test (for men): Your physician will get a sample of discharge from your urethra by inserting a small swab into the opening in your penis.

Because symptoms are often unnoticeable, you may consider a routine screening for chlamydia if:

  • You are under age 25 and sexually active.
  • You are pregnant.
  • You are at high risk:
    • You have multiple partners.
    • You have unprotected sex with partners who haven’t been tested.
    • You are a man who has sex with other men.

Diagnostic Tests

  • Urine Test