Chlamydia In Women (cont.)

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How is chlamydia diagnosed?

Chlamydia can be detected on material collected by swabbing the cervix during a traditional examination using a speculum, but noninvasive screening tests done on urine or on self-collected vaginal swabs are less expensive and sometimes more acceptable to patients. While culturing of the organism can confirm the diagnosis, this method is limited to research laboratories and forensic investigations. For routine diagnostic use, newer and inexpensive diagnostic tests that depend upon identification and amplification of the genetic material of the organism have replaced the older, time-consuming culture methods.

What is the treatment for chlamydia?

Treatment of chlamydia involves antibiotics. A convenient single-dose therapy for chlamydia is 1 gm of azithromycin (Zithromax, Zmax) by mouth. Alternative treatments can also be used, however, because of the high cost of this medication. The most common alternative treatment is a 100 mg oral dose of doxycycline (Vibramycin, Oracea, Adoxa, Atridox and others) twice per day for seven days. Unlike gonorrhea, there has been little, if any, resistance of chlamydia to currently used antibiotics. There are many other antibiotics that also have been effective against chlamydia. As with gonorrhea, acondom or other protective barrier prevents the spread of the infection. Sexual partners also require treatment. Follow-up testing to confirm success of the treatment is important.

Medically reviewed by Steven Nelson, MD; Board Certified Obstetrics and Gynecology

Previous contributing author: Carolyn Janet Crandall, MD, FACP


Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 4/11/2014

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