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  • Also Known As:
  • At Home Chlamydia Nucleic Acid Amplification Test
  • At Home Chlamydia NAAT Test
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Chlamydia is a common sexually transmitted disease (STD) caused by the bacteria Chlamydia trachomatis. This infection is typically spread through sexual contact, including oral, anal, and vaginal sex. While initial symptoms of chlamydia may go unnoticed, chlamydia can cause serious health problems if left untreated.

At-home chlamydia testing looks for evidence of this bacterial infection in a sample of body fluid you collect yourself. Samples used for chlamydia testing at home depend upon the site of potential infection and can include urine and fluid swabbed from the vagina, throat, or rectum. Using an at-home kit to test for chlamydia does not replace testing provided by a health care professional.

About the Test

Purpose of the test

The purpose of testing for chlamydia is to find a bacterial infection caused by Chlamydia trachomatis. Most often this test is conducted by a medical professional in a doctor’s office, clinic, or laboratory. Individuals who are interested in at-home chlamydia testing should talk to their doctor about the purpose of testing and whether using an at-home testing kit is appropriate.

Purpose of an at-home chlamydia test

The purpose of taking an at-home chlamydia test is to find evidence of a chlamydia infection. While there are few guidelines regarding the use of at-home chlamydia testing, experts suggest that at-home testing is an important method of increasing the number of people screened for STDs. The frequency of at-home testing, especially among young people, has been shown to be up to three times that of conventional testing. This may be particularly useful when in-person testing is not available or convenient and for those who are uncertain if they have been exposed.

Purpose of a physician-ordered chlamydia test

When conducted by a medical professional, the purpose of chlamydia testing is to screen for, diagnose, or monitor a chlamydia infection:

  • Screening: When used for screening, testing is conducted in patients without symptoms of an infection. Most people with chlamydia do not have symptoms, so screening tests are needed to detect the majority of cases. Screening for STDs often involves testing for chlamydia and other STDs at the same time.
  • Diagnosis: Chlamydia testing is recommended for anyone with signs or symptoms of this infection. Symptoms may not appear for one to three weeks after exposure to chlamydia. Doctors often test for gonorrhea and chlamydia simultaneously because these infections are associated with similar symptoms.
  • Monitoring: Patients diagnosed with chlamydia may be retested for the infection after treatment is complete. Monitoring patients through the use of follow-up chlamydia tests allows doctors to confirm that treatment was successful and make sure that the patient isn’t reinfected with chlamydia.

Additional information about physician-ordered chlamydia testing is available in our guide to Chlamydia Testing.

What does the test measure?

Most at-home chlamydia testing detects evidence of the genetic material, known as DNA or RNA, of the bacteria Chlamydia trachomatis. These test kits allow individuals to collect their own samples of body fluid and return them to a laboratory for a type of analysis called nucleic acid amplification testing (NAAT).

The NAAT detects genetic material of the bacteria and can be conducted on a variety of samples, including urine, a throat swab, or a swab of fluid taken from the urethra, vagina, or rectum.

When should I get an at-home chlamydia test?

You may consider using an at-home chlamydia test if STD testing conducted by a doctor is unavailable or inconvenient. While testing for chlamydia at home may be appropriate for screening certain people, at-home test kits should not be used if you have active symptoms of chlamydia or if you have a sexual partner that has been diagnosed with this condition.

To diagnose or rule out chlamydia, you should talk to your doctor about the benefits and drawbacks of at-home chlamydia testing.

Benefits and Downsides of At-Home Chlamydia Testing

There are pros and cons of testing for chlamydia at home. Individuals deciding whether or not to use an at-home test to detect this common infection may find it helpful to consider both sides of this approach.

Benefits of at-home chlamydia testing include:

  • Accessibility: Using an at-home test kit to screen for chlamydia is convenient, providing consumers with all of the supplies needed to self-collect samples from home. This approach is especially useful in settings in which physician-ordered STD testing is unavailable.
  • Private sample collection: At-home chlamydia tests allow people to collect samples of urine or other body fluids privately and in the comfort of their home. For some, this at-home sample collection may feel less invasive.
  • Straightforward pricing: While doctor visits, sample collection fees, and other costs associated with physician-ordered testing can add up quickly, at-home testing offers clear and simple pricing.
  • Comprehensive testing options: When purchasing an at-home chlamydia test, consumers are often given the choice of combining chlamydia testing with other STD tests. Testing for other STDs can often be performed on the same sample used for chlamydia testing.

Potential drawbacks of at-home chlamydia testing include:

  • Difficulties in sample collection: While collecting samples for at-home chlamydia testing improves privacy, there are potential challenges that may arise while a consumer is obtaining their samples. Each type of test sample that may be used requires carefully following several steps. Failure to properly obtain a sample can increase the likelihood of inaccurate test results.
  • Out-of-pocket cost: An individual’s health insurance usually doesn’t cover the costs associated with at-home STD testing. Some people may choose physician-ordered testing if their health plan pays for in-office testing.
  • Limited interaction with a doctor: Although some at-home testing companies allow consumers to talk with a doctor if test results are abnormal, these visits may be limited to strictly discussing chlamydia test results and not other sexual health concerns.
  • Delayed treatment: For certain individuals with symptoms, doctors may recommend treatment for chlamydia before test results are returned. In these cases, ordering an at-home test kit and waiting for test results may delay treatment.

Types of At-Home Chlamydia Tests

At-home chlamydia tests vary based on the cost, the type of sample required, as well as the process in which the sample is collected, handled, and tested. The following sections outline our picks for the best at-home chlamydia tests.

Best Overall

myLAB Box – 3-Site Chlamydia and Gonorrhea At Home Kit

Price: $179

Type: Self-collection

Sample: Oral swab, Anal swab, Urine

Tests for: Chlamydia, Gonorrhea

Results timeline: Within 2 to 5 days

Our pick for best overall at-home chlamydia test is the 3-Site Chlamydia and Gonorrhea At Home Kit from myLAB Box. This test detects both chlamydia and gonorrhea in three sites: the genitals, the anus, and the throat. Since these infections can be spread through vaginal, anal, and oral sex, testing all three sites can help you know the overall status of your sexual health and to receive treatment if needed.

Test kits from myLAB Box use the same high-quality components that laboratories do.

Once your test kit arrives, carefully review instructions for collecting each of the three samples. The collection process should only take a few minutes. Urine samples are used to test for genital chlamydia and gonorrhea infections, while oral and anal swabs detect infections of the throat and anus.

After collecting your samples, use myLAB Box’s prepaid shipping materials to return your sample to their CLIA-certified laboratory. Lab results are available in 2-5 days.

If you test positive for chlamydia or gonorrhea and want to consult a doctor, you can find resources through myLAB Box on how to schedule a free telemedicine consultation with a doctor in your state. The doctor you work with will be able to prescribe medications that you can pick up at your local pharmacy.

 

Best Membership Option

Everlywell – Chlamydia and Gonorrhea Test

Price: $24.99 ($49 without membership)

Type: Self-collection

Sample: Urine

Tests for: Chlamydia, Gonorrhea

Results timeline: Within 5 to 7 business days

If you are sexually active, getting tested regularly for STDs is an important part of protecting your health. Everlywell’s membership program, Control, gives you access to regular, proactive at-home testing for a discounted price.

Among other STD test options, Everlywell offers a kit to test for both chlamydia and gonorrhea using a single urine sample.

Start by creating an account and buying your kit on the Everlywell website. A board-certified physician will then review your order. After your test kit is approved, Everlywell’s fulfillment warehouse will ship it within one business day.

Once your test kit arrives, read the provided instructions to learn how to collect, package, and return your urine sample. Be sure to register your kit online using the unique ID included in the test kit to ensure confidentiality.

After collecting a urine sample, mail it to one of Everlywell’s labs in the prepaid shipping package. All of Everlywell’s labs are CLIA-certified, meaning they’ve demonstrated their adherence to federal quality standards. Test results are typically available within 5-7 business days after the lab receives your sample.

When your results are available, you’ll be notified via email. Log in to Everlywell’s secure online platform and review your test report, which will show whether or not you have been infected with chlamydia or gonorrhea. If your results are positive for one of these infections, a doctor in your state will reach out to you for free in order to discuss your case and prescribe any necessary treatment.

 

Best Without Insurance

Health Testing Centers – Chlamydia & Gonorrhea Test Kit

Price: $79

Type: Self-collection

Sample: Urine

Tests for: Chlamydia, Gonorrhea

Results timeline: Within 3 to 4 business days

The Chlamydia & Gonorrhea Test Kit from Health Testing Centers is our pick for the best at-home chlamydia test for people without insurance. The kit allows you to test for two common sexually transmitted diseases for a flat rate in the privacy of your own home.

Using the Chlamydia & Gonorrhea Test Kit, you can collect a urine sample at home and send it to the laboratory, where it will be tested for the bacterias that cause chlamydia and gonorrhea.

Once you place your order on Health Testing Center’s website, the company will mail your test kit directly to your home. The test kit includes a collection cup, pipette, collection tube, and a biohazard bag, all of the supplies needed to obtain a urine specimen that will be mailed to a lab.

It’s best to collect urine first thing in the morning. Simply urinate into the collection cup and use the pipette to transfer urine from the collection cup to the collection tube. Close the collection tube tightly and write your information on the tube according to the package instructions.

Once you place your completed sample in the biohazard bag, it can be repackaged and mailed to one of Health Testing Center’s CLIA-certified labs. The typical turnaround time for test results is 3-4 days after the sample arrives. You can access your test results through the patient portal on the Health Testing Center website.

Interpreting At-Home Chlamydia Test Results

Results of at-home chlamydia testing are given as positive or negative.

Positive test results mean that the test detected evidence of a chlamydia infection. Positive test results indicate the need for treatment as well as testing and/or treatment of an individual’s sexual partners. People should always contact a health care professional if they receive a positive result on an at-home chlamydia test.

Negative test results mean that no evidence of an infection with Chlamydia trachomatis was detected in the sample used for testing. Even if an at-home test result is negative, individuals should talk with a doctor if they have symptoms of chlamydia.

Are test results accurate?

Nucleic acid amplification testing (NAAT) is considered by experts to be the “gold standard” for chlamydia testing. Research suggests that self-collected samples generally provide accurate results that are comparable to results from samples collected by medical professionals.

The accuracy of chlamydia testing varies based on the type of sample used and the care taken in collecting the sample. For example, urine samples used to test women and other people with vaginas may miss up to 10% more infections than swab samples taken from the vagina or cervix.

Although not specific to at-home tests, results of chlamydia testing can be affected by:

  • Taking certain antibiotics within a few days prior to testing
  • Urinating within one hour of collecting a urine sample
  • Vaginal douching within 24 hours of sample collection
  • Mistakes in sample collection

Doctors are an important resource for patients with questions or concerns about the accuracy of at-home chlamydia testing. Consumers may also find it helpful to contact the companies providing at-home testing to ask if their test kits and laboratory methods have been studied for accuracy. If a sample is required to be sent to a laboratory, check to see if the lab is CLIA-certified and/or CAP-accredited, as these measures indicate a laboratory has met standards for quality assurance.

Do I need follow-up tests?

The need for follow-up testing depends on the chlamydia test results as well as your specific circumstances.

After a negative test result, you often do not need additional follow-up testing. A doctor can assist with creating a schedule for future chlamydia and other STD screening tests. If you are symptomatic and have a negative at-home test result, your doctor may advise repeat chlamydia testing or testing for another STD that might be the cause of symptoms.

People who receive positive test results require follow-up testing for chlamydia. To confirm the results of a positive at-home test, a doctor may recommend repeat testing with a sample collected by a health care professional.

In addition, people who have been diagnosed with chlamydia frequently have physician-ordered testing conducted from a few weeks to a few months after the initial test. This follow-up testing is done to check the effectiveness of treatment and make sure that a they have not been reinfected with chlamydia from an untreated partner during unprotected sex.

In some individuals, including pregnant people and those with persistent symptoms, additional follow-up testing may be recommended after treatment for chlamydia to ensure that treatment was successful in eliminating the bacteria that caused the infection. This type of chlamydia testing should be performed by a doctor who can support the patient in developing a follow-up care plan.

Questions for your doctor after at-home chlamydia testing

After at-home chlamydia testing, you may find it helpful to ask your doctor questions about your test result and need for future STD testing. Questions for a doctor may include:

  • What is the significance of my test result?
  • Are additional tests recommended to confirm my test result?
  • When should I be tested again for chlamydia?
  • What other STD tests are recommended for me?
  • If I tested positive, should I share this information with sexual partners?

Related Tests

At-home chlamydia testing vs. physician-ordered chlamydia testing

While both at-home and physician-ordered chlamydia tests detect evidence of chlamydia in samples of urine and other body fluids, there are important differences between these testing strategies.

The primary difference between at-home and physician-ordered chlamydia tests is where the test sample is collected. At-home testing allows patients to collect samples from the privacy of their home, while physician-ordered tests require that patients go to a medical facility for sample collection.

Although research suggests that the accuracy of these tests may be similar, there is much less known about the role of at-home chlamydia test kits compared to traditional physician-ordered chlamydia tests.

Another important difference between at-home and physician-ordered tests is the cost of testing and who pays for it. The cost of at-home testing may be more transparent, allowing patients to pay prior to testing, but health insurance companies often require that testing is conducted by a medical professional in order for the cost to be covered. This means that purchasing an at-home chlamydia test is typically paid for out-of-pocket.

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