What Is the Accuracy of Urine Test for Chlamydia?

Chlamydia is a type of sexually transmitted disease, which is caused by a bacteria Chlamydia trachomatis. Being very common, it is transmitted via vaginal, oral or anal sex. It may also be transmitted by sharing sex toys that are not cleaned properly. Any symptoms or signs of infection are not seen in people suffering from Chlamydia quite often leading to its spread more easily. In case symptoms appear, they occur typically within 3-21 days after being exposed to the bacteria. This makes testing for Chlamydia very important. However, what is the accuracy of urine test?

Chlamydia Urine Test Accuracy

How Is Chlamydia Test Done?

Direct sample: In direct sample, a body fluid sample is collected from the area affected. In adults, such areas are the urethra, cervix, rectum, eye or vagina.

  • For males. To collect a body fluid sample from your rectum or urethra, your physician will insert a cotton swab in the opening of the rectum or urethra. Chlamydia is more likely to be found in a sample collected from urethra in a male if he has not passed urine for at least two hours before collection of the sample.
  • For females. To collect a body fluid sample from your cervix, you will be asked to remove the clothes below your waist and wrap a cloth around it. You have to lie on a table on the back, your feet raised and stirrups supporting them. In this way, your physician can examine your genital area and vagina. They will insert a speculum (lubricated) in your vagina to spread the walls of the vagina gently so that they can look at the inside of the cervix and vagina. A small brush or swab is used to collect samples from your cervix. A self-test is also there for females to collect a body fluid sample from the vagina and take it to the testing lab.
  • To collect body fluid sample from the eye, your physician will brush gently the insides of the upper and lower eyelids using a cotton swab.
  • A throat culture can be done in some rare cases.

Urine sample: If your urine sample is to be collected for testing nucleic acid amplification including PCR testing, you should not urinate for at least two hours before your test. Never wipe your genital area to clean it before passing urine. You should try and collect the initial part of the urine stream just immediately after you start urinating. What is chlamydia urine test accuracy?

Accuracy Comparison

How Do Urine Test And Cervical Swab Compare For Accuracy?





Urethral Swab NAAT



Urine NAAT




Cervical Swab NAAT



Urine NAAT



NAAT: Nucleic acid amplification test

*Sensitivity: Ability of the test to identify correctly cases with Chlamydia (true-positives)

†Specificity: Ability of the test to identify correctly cases without Chlamydia (true-negatives)

Tips to Collect Most Accurate Samples of Urine

After determining the chlamydia urine test accuracy, let’s discuss some tips to collect most accurate urine samples:

  • You should avoid passing urine for at least 1 hour before collecting the sample.
  • You should collect the initial 15-20 ml of passed urine and not midstream urine and the maximum amount collected should not exceed 60 ml.
  • Make sure that you have secured the lid of the bottle properly as the testing lab will reject specimens that are leaking.
  • Store and transport the sample to the lab at two to eight degrees C within four to six days of collection of sample. Never freeze it.
  • Submit sample as only chlamydia, only gonorrhea or duplex test for gonorrhea and chlamydia.
  • For duplex test, you need one sample and only one data sheet.

Chlamydia Infection Symptoms

After discussing what Chlamydia urine test accuracy is, let’s discuss symptoms of chlamydia. It is difficult to tell whether you have chlamydia infection as symptoms are usually not so apparent. Some of the symptoms are:

In females:

  • Abnormal discharge from vagina that may have an odor
  • Pain during menses
  • Bleeding between menses
  • Pain during sexual intercourse
  • Pain in abdomen with fever
  • Burning or itching around or in vagina
  • Pain while urinating

In males:

  • Pain while urinating
  • Small quantity of cloudy or clear penile discharge
  • Itching and burning around the penile opening
  • Swelling and pain around testicles

Chlamydia Infection Treatment and Prevention

What Is the Treatment of Chlamydia?

Your physician will give prescription antibiotics to take orally, usually doxycycline or azithromycin. Your physician will also advise that your partner(s) should also get treatment so as to prevent re-infection and spread the infection further.

The infection will get better in around one or two weeks with treatment. You should finish your medicine, even if you start feeling better.Females who have severe infection with chlamydia may need hospitalization, pain-killers and intravenous antibiotics.

You should get a test done for chlamydia 3 months after finishing your antibiotics to make sure the infection is treated. This is especially important if you are not sure about whether your partner has taken treatment or not. Avoid having sex until both of you are treated of the infection.

What Will Happen If You Don't Get Treatment for Chlamydia?

If you don’t get treatment for chlamydia, your risks of developing several medical problems are increased.

For females: If not treated, chlamydia can result in pelvic inflammatory disease or PID, which can damage the fallopian tubes or cause infertility. It also increases the risk of developing ectopic pregnancy. It may also lead to premature births and the infection may pass from the mother to the baby during delivery, resulting in infection of the eye, blindness or pneumonia in the infant.

For males: Untreated chlamydia may result in nongonococcal urethritis, epididymitis or proctitis.

How Can Chlamydia Infection Be Prevented?

You can reduce your risk of chlamydia infection by:

  • Using condoms while having sex
  • Limiting the number of sexual partners
  • Practicing abstinence from sex or limiting sexual contact to only one partner who is uninfected
  • Avoiding sex in case you think you have chlamydia and visiting a physician