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Doctor insights on: What Would Cause A False Positive For Chlamydia

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Dr. Robert Greer Dr. Greer
Family Medicine
40 years in practice
Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine
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What would cause a false positive for chlamydia?

What would cause a false positive for chlamydia?

Low chance: The test uses a process called PCR which amplifies (expands by huge factors) the bug. I would expect the test is correct. Ngu is the most common std in usa.Hpv is also very common. Please use a condom!

Chlamydia (Definition)

Chlamydia is a curable sexually transmitted infection that is caused by the bacteria chlamydia trachomatis. This bacteria infects mucous membranes of the urethra, vagina, cervix, anus, rectum, eyelid, and throat. Chlamydia may be asymptomatic but some patients experience pain or burning during urination, nausea, fever, vaginal discharge, ...Read more


Dr. James Lin Dr. Lin
Urology
47 years in practice
Kaohsiung Medical University
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Can having BV cause a false positive for chlamydia?

Can having BV cause a false positive for chlamydia?

Here are some...: No test carries 100% accuracy. If tested result is marginal or weak (+) and not correlated well with clinical picture, repeat test for confirmation. For chlamydia, most of the infected are asymptomatic. So, either trust the report or repeat it as clinically justified. More? Talk with doc.

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Dr. Cynthia Palabrica Dr. Palabrica
Obstetrics & Gynecology
29 years in practice
Creighton University School of Medicine
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Dr. Diane Minich Dr. Minich
Family Medicine
33 years in practice
University of Toledo College of Medicine
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Dr. Jeff Livingston Dr. Livingston
Obstetrics & Gynecology
18 years in practice
University of Texas Southwestern Medical School at Dallas
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Is there such a thing as a false positive chlamydia test?

Is there such a thing as a false positive chlamydia test?

Yes: All tests have both false positives (meaning you don't really have it) and false negatives (meaning you really do have it). Chlamydia testing is very accurate but yes a false test is possible. You can always requests a retest and the test can be done through a different lab for confirmation.

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Dr. Dennis Higginbotham Dr. Higginbotham
Obstetrics & Gynecology
26 years in practice
University of Kansas School of Medicine
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How frequent are false positive test results for chlamydia?

Uncommon: The current tests for chlamydia have an accuracy of over98%.

Dr. George Klauber Dr. Klauber
Pediatrics - Urology
years in practice
University of London, Royal Free Hospital School of Medicine
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Is a chlamydia test 100% accurate? How would you know if you have a false positive?

Is a chlamydia test 100% accurate? How would you know if you have a false positive?

90 - 95% accurate: However false positives do occur so that you can be retested & 2nd positive test would be definitive. You are free & clear if repeat is negative & 2 weeks have passed since encounter where you might have acquired it.

Dr. H. Hunter Handsfield Dr. Handsfield
Internal Medicine - Infectious Disease
49 years in practice
Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons
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I tested positive for chlamydia, but my boyfriend tested negative in two different tests. Did I have a false positive?

I tested positive for chlamydia, but my boyfriend tested negative in two different tests. Did I have a false positive?

Not necessarily: It's common to find chlamydia in only one person in a couple. False pos tests are rare; probably your test is accurate but bf's tests maybe false neg. Or you had it first and he was not yet infected. Or he had chlamydia that cleared before he was tested. Or he could have been treated but not told you; or maybe an antibiotic for something else that cured his chlamydia. You both must be treated.

Dr. H. Hunter Handsfield Dr. Handsfield
Internal Medicine - Infectious Disease
49 years in practice
Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons
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Hello, I am a virgin, I tested positive for Chlamydia. My boyfriend has tested negative, could this be a false positive?

Hello, I am a virgin, I tested positive for Chlamydia. My boyfriend has tested negative, could this be a false positive?

More info needed: Something doesn't compute. Nearly impossible for a virgin (no penile-vaginal sex) to have chlamydia, and also unlikely your boyfriend gave it to you. His negative test makes sense, but your positive one doesn't. OTOH the standard nucleic acid amplification tests (NAAT) are very accurate. Please add comment or a new question with more info: confirm you're female, exact tests done, sexual exposures.

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Dr. Yash Khanna Dr. Khanna
Family Medicine
53 years in practice
University of Lucknow, K. G. Medical College
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If you think you had a false positive chlamydia test, have already taken the medication to treat it, can you re-test or is it too late?

If you think you had a false positive chlamydia test, have already taken the medication to treat it, can you re-test or is it too late?

You can retest: If you have been treated with proper dose of antibiotics, chances are the test will be negative most of the time if treatment is successful.

Dr. Ronald Sherman Dr. Sherman
Internal Medicine - Infectious Disease
34 years in practice
UCLA School of Medicine
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My fiance's test results came back neg. For chlamydia. I've only been with him for 3 years, How possible is it that my test is a false-positive?

My fiance's test results came back neg. For chlamydia. I've only been with him for 3 years, How possible is it that my test is a false-positive?

Unlikely: The actual frequency of false positives and false negatives varies with the type of test, but in general, false negative Chlamydia test results are more common than false positives. I would believe your "positive" and treat it. If you two are sexually active, I would treat him, too, since his test may be false negative.

Dr. Gurmukh Singh Dr. Singh
Pathology
45 years in practice
University of Pune, Armed Forces Medical College
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My partner tested positive for chlamydia and me negative. 4 years together is it possible they can go back and check if this was a false positive?

My partner tested positive for chlamydia and me negative. 4 years together is it possible they can go back and check if this was a false positive?

What type of test?: Did he get treated? It is likely that he had infection and was treated effectively and is no longer carrying the organism. He may still have antibody to chlamydia but not the organism. It would not do any harm to get retested by the Chlamydia nucleic acid. See this site for info. Http://www. Medicalhealthtests. Com/pathology-test/chlamydia-tests-serum. Html

Dr. H. Hunter Handsfield Dr. Handsfield
Internal Medicine - Infectious Disease
49 years in practice
Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons
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1 positive chlamydia test, then 2nd and 3rd were negative w/ swabs and urine to be sure as it didn't seem right. Advice on how false positives happen?

1 positive chlamydia test, then 2nd and 3rd were negative w/ swabs and urine to be sure as it didn't seem right. Advice on how false positives happen?

Type of test done: The most accurate and most common chlamydia tests use nucleic acid amplification and almost never are falsely positive. There is also a "DNA probe" test, less costly and still done by some labs, which sometimes give false pos results. However, even here the large majority of positves are true. If two partners have neg and pos results, usually the negative is false. Both partners need treatment.

Dr. H. Hunter Handsfield Dr. Handsfield
Internal Medicine - Infectious Disease
49 years in practice
Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons
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What causes a chlamydia test to be a false negative?

What causes a chlamydia test to be a false negative?

It's just random: Tests miss 5-10% of infections, more by urine, less by urethral or vaginal swab. Maybe other possibilities as well. Chlamydia clears on its own in a few weeks to months, so current testing is negative. Or s/he received an antibiotic for chlamydia (and didn't admit it) or for another infection, curing chlamydia or interfering with the test. Partner (s) of infected person need Rx, even w/ neg tests.

Dr. H. Hunter Handsfield Dr. Handsfield
Internal Medicine - Infectious Disease
49 years in practice
Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons
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I read false positives for chlamydia are rare, but still can in fact happen- can you give scenario of how it could happen?

I read false positives for chlamydia are rare, but still can in fact happen- can you give scenario of how it could happen?

Type of test done: The most accurate and most common chlamydia tests use nucleic acid amplification and almost never are falsely positive. There is also a "DNA probe" test, less costly and still done by some labs, which sometimes give false pos results. However, even here the large majority of positves are true. If two partners have neg and pos results, usually the negative is false. Both partners need treatment.

Dr. Nikolaos Zacharias Dr. Zacharias
Obstetrics & Gynecology - Maternal Fetal Medicine
22 years in practice
National University of Athens Faculty of Medicine
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Can a chlamydia test come back false positive?

Can a chlamydia test come back false positive?

I guess.: Laboratory errors are not unheard of; a repat test can clear up the confusion.

Dr. Robert Uyeda Dr. Uyeda
Surgery
41 years in practice
Boston University School of Medicine
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What are percentages of false positive chlamydia test? Can swabs/samples get contaminated? I want to get retested because I don't believe it

False positives are: Much rarer than false negative tests. No harm in re-testing, as long as you don't wait too long without treatment if you really need it. Chlamydia infection is women is usually asymptomatic, so you can have it without any symptoms. It is usually best to be on safe side and treat it. You can also infect your partner, so no sex until you get treated or get negative test.

Dr. H. Hunter Handsfield Dr. Handsfield
Internal Medicine - Infectious Disease
49 years in practice
Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons
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If I test positive for a UTI but they did not test specifically for chlamydia does that mean the UTI was caused by something other than chlamydia?

Very unlikely: Chlamydia is rare at age 64, even with partners at risk. Second, although chlamydia sometimes can mimic UTI, typical UTI symptoms (painful or urgent urination without discharge) rarely are due to chlamydia. A standard UTI is far more likely; chlamydia testing usually isn't done in men like you. You need to be checked for underlying problems that trigger UTI in older men, like prostate enlargement.

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Dr. Vitaly Raykhman Dr. Raykhman
Urology
21 years in practice
University at Buffalo, The State University of New York School of Medicine & Biomedical Sciences
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Tested positive for chlamydia. How long does it have to stay in the body before it causes infertility? Didn't have any symptoms. Had only 1 partner.

Tested positive for chlamydia. How long does it have to stay in the body before it causes infertility? Didn't have any symptoms. Had only 1 partner.

Unlikely: It usually only causes infertlity as a result of pelvic inflammatory disease or salpingitis. Both situations where you would have symptoms. If you didn't you should be fine. Please use condoms and insist on it.

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Dr. Ed Friedlander Dr. Friedlander
Pathology
40 years in practice
Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine
20

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Ispossible to false negative test chlamydia after treatment? Tested positive, received treatment but retest 2 wks after b/c I felt I still had symptom

Ispossible to false negative test chlamydia after treatment? Tested positive, received treatment but retest 2 wks after b/c I felt I still had symptom

May be healing: The burning and some drip can persist for a few weeks after the microbes are gone. The testing also probably isn't altogether reliable. Yet another possibility is eating spicy stuff, especially those little peppers -- these can mimic chlamydial urethritis

Dr. H. Hunter Handsfield
1,168 Doctors shared insights

Chlamydia Infection (Definition)

A sexually transmitted infection caused by a bacteria. Genital symptoms include burning on urination, vaginal or penile discharge, pain with sexual intercourse or ...Read more