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If you’re concerned about chlamydia, an at-home test provides fast, discreet results. Learn how STI testing can protect you and others, and see our recommended options.

If you’re concerned about a sexually transmitted infection (STI) like chlamydia, an at-home test is a smart and convenient first step. It can quickly give you the information you need to take action.

Chlamydia is treatable, but complications may not be. Read on to learn about how an at-home chlamydia test can give you the information you need.

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When researching at-home chlamydia tests, we considered the following:

  • Methods used for collection: Test collection methods may involve saliva, urine, or blood through a finger-prick.
  • Speed of results: You may need to wait longer than a week for some options. We prioritized tests that return results in a few days.
  • Lab certification: Opting for labs with Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments (CLIA) certification helps assure reliable results.
  • Ease of purchasing: It’s important that navigating the website is easy and buying tests is straightforward.
  • Cost: Testing kits shouldn’t break the bank. We included tests at a range of price points.
  • Reviews: We looked at what users had to say about the tests and included options where most people were happy with their experience.

Chlamydia is the most frequently reported bacterial STI in the United States. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported over 1.6 million cases in 2021.

Because many people don’t experience symptoms and don’t seek testing as a result, the actual number of cases is likely much larger.

People who are sexually active can transmit the STI vaginally, orally, or anally. The bacteria, Chlamydia trachomatis, can be transferred without ejaculation or even penetration during sexual contact. For example, the STI can be transferred by sharing sex toys that have not been properly cleaned or covered with a new condom with each use. Or, getting semen or vaginal fluid in one’s eye can also transfer the bacteria.

Teens and young adults have the highest rates of chlamydia. These age groups account for two-thirds of new cases, according to CDC data.

The CDC also suggests young women are more prone to the STI, with 1 in 20 women between 14 and 24 years old estimated to have chlamydia. However, men can also contract, carry, and transmit the STI to others.

Testing for chlamydia is done through a urine sample or a specimen swab from the vagina. You can get tested at a doctor’s office or at a health clinic, which may offer free or low cost testing, without insurance. You can also test yourself with an at-home chlamydia test, like the Nurx At-Home STI Test.

If you test positive, chlamydia is easily treatable with oral antibiotics.

Learn about online treatment options for STIs including chlamydia.

Risks

One of the most significant dangers of chlamydia is its ability to go undetected. It might not cause visible side effects, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t dangerous. Its hidden threat can have lasting impacts.

The disease can affect people with vaginas by causing pelvic inflammatory disease, increasing the risk of ectopic pregnancies, and potentially causing infertility. For those with penises, it can cause epididymitis and infertility.

Pregnant people with chlamydia can transmit the infection to their baby during vaginal delivery. Chlamydia in babies can result in conditions like pneumonia and conjunctivitis.

Symptoms

When symptoms are present, they can often take several weeks to appear.

Those with female reproductive systems who are experiencing chlamydia may notice:

  • abnormal vaginal discharge
  • pain during sex
  • a low grade fever
  • spotting between periods
  • a burning sensation when urinating
  • abnormal discharge that’s yellowish and has an unusual odor

Those with male reproductive systems who are experiencing chlamydia may notice:

  • discharge from their penis
  • painful urination
  • swollen testicles
  • rectal bleeding

Chlamydia of the throat is often asymptotic, but it may present the following symptoms:

  • pain in the mouth, throat, or both
  • redness in the mouth or throat
  • swollen lymph nodes
  • possible fever

Even if a person does not have any symptoms, the infection can still pass from them to others.

Chlamydia’s symptoms overlap with gonorrhea, so you may not know which condition you have. It’s also possible to have both conditions at once.

Prevention

To reduce your risk of chlamydia, it is important to use barrier methods, such as condoms, when you have sex. If you’re sexually active, undergoing regular STI testing can also identify an infection early and prevent it from being transmitted to sexual partners.

Getting tested is the only way to be sure you don’t have an STI. Just because you feel healthy doesn’t mean you’re infection-free.

The CDC recommends sexually active women under the age of 25 get screened for chlamydia and gonorrhea each year, regardless of symptoms.

According to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, some factors that increase the risk of infection include:

  • having a new sexual partner
  • having more than one sexual partner
  • having a sexual partner who is seeing other partners
  • previously having an STI
  • not using condoms consistently outside of a mutually monogamous partnership

To keep it simple: If you’re having sex, you should regularly get tested for STIs. Using an at-home test, like the Everlywell At-Home Chlamydia & Gonorrhea Test or these full-panel STD tests, may be a good way to get peace of mind. Getting tested can not only put your mind at ease, but it can also make you a more informed sexual partner.

Be sure to ask your partners for their status before engaging in sexual contact. While it may feel intimidating, asking can help you in the long run and relay a sign of respect for one another.

Learn about your options for free and low cost STI testing.

Yes. At-home tests for chlamydia, like the MyLabBox Chlamydia + Gonorrhea Test, require a vaginal, throat, or anal swab, or a urine sample, just like you would give in a doctor’s office. Testing at home may even be quicker, in some instances, than waiting for in-person testing. At-home urine tests may be the easiest to use.

Independent data collected from a 2013 study indicates that vulvovaginal swab tests you administer yourself are close to 100% accurate. Other analyses, such as those from a 2023 study, found that at home swab tests were 94.1% accurate, and urine tests were 86.1% accurate.

Every test is different. To be on the safe side, check the manufacturer’s accuracy claims and data before you buy.

The incubation period for chlamydia is 7 to 21 days. This is how long it can take for your body to produce antibodies after it recognizes the infection.

If you test before this period is over, it’s possible to get a negative result, even if you do have the infection.

Chlamydia is a serious condition that can have long-term health effects for you and your sexual partners. STIs should be treated with seriousness and transparency.

It’s wise to get tested regularly when you’re sexually active to keep you and your partner(s) safe. An in-office test is a reliable way to learn if you have chlamydia or other STIs. But at-home testing is an accessible and fairly accurate way to get the answers you need.