This test detects infection with either of these common sexually transmitted organisms.
PLEASE NOTE: ALL RESULTS AND INFORMATION PROVIDED BY HEALTH eLABS ARE INTENDED FOR GENERAL HEALTH INFORMATION PURPOSES ONLY. AS SUCH THEY ARE NOT A SUBSTITUTE FOR PROFESSIONAL MEDICAL ADVICE OR A MEDICAL EXAMINATION, AND SHOULD NOT BE USED TO DIAGNOSE, TREAT, PREVENT OR CURE ANY DISEASE, SYNDROME, OR CONDITION WITHOUT THE SUPERVISION OF A LICENSED PHYSICIAN.
This test can also be purchased as part of our Sexually Transmitted Infections panel.
NOTE: This test uses a urine sample to look for evidence of chlamydia or gonorrhea infection involving the urethra, the duct through which urine flows out of the body from the bladder. For men, this is the only testing needed to evaluate these infections if they involve the genitals. For women however, these organisms can also infect the cervix and the vagina, and this test does not rule out infections involving those areas.
PREPARATION: You should not urinate for at least one hour prior to specimen collection. Females should not cleanse the labial area prior to providing the urine specimen.
What does this test do?
This test determines the presence of DNA from the organisms that cause chlamydia and gonorrhea in the urine.
Why is this important?
Chlamydia is an infection caused by a bacterium called chlamydia trachomatis (C. trachomatis), and is the leading cause of sexually transmitted disease in the United States. Likewise, gonorrhea is caused by infection with the bacterium Neisseria gonorrhoeae (N. gonorrhoeae), another extremely common sexually transmitted infection.
These organisms are readily contagious through unprotected vaginal, anal, or oral sex, although the risk of transmission may be lowered through the use of condoms. Unlike many other infectious diseases, no lasting immunity is established after being infected by either of these bacteria, so it is possible to become infected again in the future. Fortunately both types of infection can be treated with antibiotics.
It is not uncommon for both chlamydia and gonorrhea infections to not cause any symptoms at all however, in both men and women. This is dangerous, because if not treated properly these infections can lead to long term complications in men such as epididymitis, a urethral stricture that causes difficulty urinating, and possible infertility. Women who do not receive appropriate treatment may experience severe consequences as well, including cervicitis, pelvic inflammatory disease, an increased risk of tubal pregnancy, and infertility.
In addition, if untreated N. gonorrhoeae can spread from the genitals to the rest of the body, especially the joints. This condition is called disseminated gonorrhea infection, and is potentially deadly.
When either of these these organisms infect the urethra, the typical symptoms (when present) are itching or burning with urination, along with an abnormal discharge from the penis in men, or from the vagina in women.
It is very important to understand the difference between the different locations of potential infection in women. Infections that involve the uterus, the cervix, or the vagina cannot be detected with this test. If infection occurs in these areas it is typically accompanied by lower abdominal pain, pain during sexual intercourse, and/or an abnormal vaginal discharge. So any woman with these symptoms, or who suspects that they might have an infection not involving the urethra, must be evaluated by a physician to undergo a pelvic examination to collect the proper type of specimen needed for testing.
What do the results mean?
This test uses advanced technology called polymerase chain reaction to identify genetic sequences that are unique to C. trachomatis and N. gonorrhoeae. This means that even a small number of chlamydia or gonorrhea organisms in a urine sample can be detected, by looking for their DNA.
A negative result means that no DNA from the organism was detected, and that the likelihood of infection is low. That being said, should any symptoms consistent with chlamydia or gonorrhea develop after a negative result, further testing and follow up with a physician is recommended.
A positive result means that one (or both) organisms are present in the urine, and these cases should be followed up by a physician and treated appropriately as quickly as possible.