Can Chlamydia be Misdiagnosed?

Chlamydia is incredibly common. In 2018 alone, the CDC reported over 1.5 million chlamydial infections in the U.S. One of the big problems with chlamydia is that it can be difficult to identify. So can chlamydia be misdiagnosed? Absolutely. Here, we’ll explain everything you need to know about chlamydia, and what you should do if you’re concerned you may have the infection. 

Diagnosing Chlamydia 

Chlamydia is a particularly difficult infection to diagnose. There are a few reasons for this. First, many people who have chlamydia don’t experience any symptoms. Or, if they do, the symptoms are very mild and go away with time. Second, chlamydia symptoms often appear similar to other medical conditions. (The word “chlamydia” comes from the Greek word for “cloak.”) The most common symptoms of chlamydia are genital discharge and pain during urination and/or sex. Unfortunately, dozens of other conditions can cause similar symptoms –– BV, UTIs, and yeast infections, to name a few.

Because of this, it’s not possible to diagnose chlamydia solely through a visual exam. You can’t tell if someone has chlamydia just by looking at them. Nor is it possible –– or smart –– to try and self-diagnose chlamydia. For example, could easily mistake chlamydia symptoms for those of a yeast infection –– or vice versa.  

Lastly, symptoms of chlamydia can even mimic other STDs, particularly gonorrhea. Yet, different STDs require different kinds of treatment. (There is no universal antibiotic for STD treatment.) Left untreated, chlamydia can cause pelvic inflammatory disease, urethral scarring, and even infertility. 

False Positives

While STD testing has become increasingly precise over time, mistakes do sometimes occur in the process. There are a number of reasons why an STD test may not register an accurate result. Such a thing doesn’t happen often, but it is possible. It’s also worth noting that experts who design STD tests tend to err on the side of caution. After all, a false negative test for an STD like chlamydia is much more detrimental than a false positive.  

What Should You do if You Think You’ve Been Misdiagnosed?

Have you had inconsistent STD test results –– i.e. one negative and one positive test? Or do you doubt the accuracy of a recent STD test? If so, then know that you can always visit a private STD testing clinic for a second opinion. Sometimes general practitioners may not have access to the most advanced testing equipment on the market. As such, it doesn’t hurt to get tested again for a condition like chlamydia at a dedicated STD testing facility.

Chlamydia Treatment

One final word of warning: never skip treatment for an STD like chlamydia. Even if you believe your diagnosis is incorrect, it’s important to always take prescribed medications for STDs for as long as medically recommended. Otherwise, the infection could persist in your system and cause a myriad of other problems. The good news is that chlamydia treatment is simple and painless. Most people can be cured within a few days of treatment beginning. Remember, it’s always better to be safe than sorry!

A Word from Same Day STD Testing

At Same Day, our mission is to provide quality, confidential STD testing services for all who need them. If you’re concerned about your health or have questions about the testing process, then contact one of our team members at 844-394-8520. We’ll give you the answers you’re looking for. You can also find a facility near you here.

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