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Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) are more common than you may realize. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 1 in 5 people in the United States had an STI in 2018.

Chlamydia is one of the most common STIs that can infect all sexes. Over 1.5 million cases of chlamydia were reported to the CDC in 2020. While the number of reported infections has decreased since 2018, this is likely because the COVID-19 pandemic caused a reduction in the amount of regular testing being done.

People with chlamydia might not have symptoms, making it a silent infection that can threaten their reproductive organs and cause extreme damage if undetected.

However, the disease is curable with medical attention, and testing is the first step.

Chlamydia is an STI that’s contracted through sexual contact with the penis, vagina, mouth, or anus.

The bacteria, chlamydia trachomatis, can be transferred without ejaculation or even penetration during sexual contact. For example, the bacteria can be transferred by sharing sex toys that have not been properly cleaned or covered with a new condom with each use. Or, getting semen or vaginal fluid in one’s eye can also spread infection.

Babies can contract chlamydia during pregnancy if the birth parent lives with it, which could result in issues like pneumonia and conjunctivitis.

Teens and young adults have the highest rates of chlamydia. And in 2020 these age groups accounted for 61 percent of reported cases, according to data from the CDC.

The CDC also suggests young women are more prone to the infection, with 1 in 20 women between 14 and 24 years old estimated to have chlamydia.

However, men can also contract, carry, and spread the disease to others.


One of the most significant dangers of chlamydia is its ability to go undetected. It might not cause visible side effects, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t dangerous. Its hidden threat can have lasting impacts, mostly for women.

The disease can wreak havoc on people with vaginas by causing pelvic inflammatory disease, increasing the risk of ectopic pregnancies, and potentially causing infertility. For those with penises, it can cause epididymitis and infertility.


When symptoms are present, they can often take several weeks to appear.

Those with female reproductive systems who are experiencing chlamydia may notice:

  • abnormal vaginal discharge
  • pain during sex
  • a low-grade fever
  • spotting between periods
  • a burning sensation when urinating
  • abnormal discharge that’s yellowish and has an unusual odor

Those with male reproductive systems who are experiencing chlamydia may notice:

  • discharge from their penis
  • painful urination
  • swollen testicles
  • rectal bleeding

Chlamydia’s symptoms overlap with gonorrhea, another bacterial STI. This makes it hard to decipher which infection you might be experiencing.

It’s possible to have chlamydia and gonorrhea simultaneously, but one doesn’t cause the other.

Getting tested is the only way to be sure you’re STI-free. Just because you feel healthy, it doesn’t mean you’re infection-free.

The CDC recommends sexually active women under the age of 25 get screened for chlamydia and gonorrhea each year, regardless of whether symptoms are present.

According to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, some factors that increase the risk of infection include:

  • having a new sexual partner
  • having more than one sexual partner
  • having a sexual partner who is seeing other partners
  • previously having an STI
  • not using condoms consistently outside of a mutually monogamous partnership

To keep it simple: If you’re having sex, you should regularly get tested for STIs. Getting tested can put your mind at ease while also making you a more informed sexual partner.

You should also ask your partners for their status before engaging in sexual contact. While it may feel intimidating, building up the courage to ask can help you in the long run and relay a sign of respect for one another.

Getting tested is a crucial step in getting the care you need. Testing is always important, especially when it comes to STIs.

When researching at-home chlamydia tests, we read studies and online reviews on effectiveness to determine the best tests on the market.

Best budget-friendly option


  • Price: $49–$149
  • Type: self-collection
  • Results: within days

EverlyWell claims to have greater than 99 percent accuracy when it comes to this chlamydia and gonorrhea test.

If you test positive, a board-certified physician in your state will contact you at no additional cost to discuss your results and prescribe medication.

Every lab used by EverlyWell is Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments (CLIA) certified. This means the labs meet the standards to obtain both state and federal certifications. Learn more about Everlywell here.

Available tests include:

Best for medical attention


  • Price: $99–$249
  • Type: self-collection
  • Results: 2 to 5 days

LetsGetChecked has more than 30 testing options covering a range of issues, like diabetes, thyroid levels, and sexual health.

After placing your order, your test will arrive in discreet packaging. The Simple 2 test only requires a small urine sample taken first thing in the morning. Return your sample on the day of collection, and your results will be available 2 to 5 days after it reaches the lab.

If your test is positive, LetsGetChecked’s medical team is available 24/7 to answer your questions. The team will call you to explain your results and provide treatment options. Learn more about LetsGetChecked here.

The company can test for 10 STIs with convenient at-home testing.

Testing options include:

  • Simple 2 ($99): tests for chlamydia and gonorrhea
  • Standard 5 ($149): tests for chlamydia, gonorrhea, trichomoniasis, HIV, and syphilis
  • Complete 8 ($249): tests for chlamydia, gonorrhea, trichomoniasis, HIV, syphilis, gardnerella, mycoplasma, and ureaplasma

Use code “HEALTHLINE25” for 25% off

Best in-lab testing

Lemonaid Health

  • Price: $53.16 ($25 visit fee and a $28.16 lab fee)
  • Type: lab collection
  • Results: 3 to 5 business days

Lemonaid Health prides itself on its ability to save time and provide convenience. Rather than visit a doctor’s office, you can visit the Lemonaid Health website to request a consultation with a medical professional.

Unlike other at-home tests, Lemonaid Health requires customers to visit Quest Diagnostics for chlamydia and gonorrhea testing.

The lab tests are processed within 3 to 5 business days, and results are shared through a confidential message on your Lemonaid Health account.

The low price point makes Lemonaid Health a cost-effective and convenient option for testing. Learn more about Lemonaid Health here.

Best test for self-collection


  • Price: $75 with insurance, $150-$220 out of pocket
  • Type: self-collection
  • Results: within 7 days

Nurx provides three user-friendly kits that cover commonly contracted infections. The test kits include unlimited messaging with Nurx’s medical professionals, shipping, and results.

The Basics Covered Kit tests for gonorrhea, syphilis, chlamydia, and HIV. For those concerned about rectal or throat infections, we recommend taking the Healthy Woman Kit or Full Control Kit. They provide testing options for various parts of the body.

Since Nurx offers throat and anal swabs, the testing company may catch STIs you would otherwise miss.

Tests offered include:

Most tests are typically covered by insurance. But if you’re uninsured, you can always pay the out-of-pocket cost. The test kit costs $75 with insurance, along with a $15 medical consultation fee. Learn more about Nurx.

Best for quick results

myLAB Box

  • Price: $179–$399
  • Type: self-collection
  • Results: 2 to 5 days

If you’re eager for your results, myLAB Box delivers answers within 2 to 5 days.

The at-home testing covers three testing areas and allows you to detect chlamydia of the genitals, mouth, and rectum. The urine and swab collection takes just 5 minutes and shipping to the lab is included.

MyLAB Box is certified by the CLIA and College of American Pathologists (CAP), making it a reliable testing company that meets nationwide standards.

If your result is positive, myLAB Box provides a free consultation with a physician who can help to answer your concerns and provide a treatment plan.

The tests offered are:

Best for complete STI panel


  • Price: $59–$259
  • Type: lab collection
  • Results: 1 to 2 days

This lab-based at-home option has over 4,500 testing centers and an easy online test ordering interface. That means you don’t need to sit in a waiting room to get a quick chlamydia test.

Results come back within 2 days and are completely confidential. You can order individual tests or choose to get a complete STI panel.

If you do come back with a positive result, STDCheck has physicians who you can discuss your results with. For a fee, they can also prescribe medications.

The tests offered are:

Best discreet option

Priority STD

  • Price: $89–$259
  • Type: lab collection
  • Results: 1 to 3 days

This quick, private STI testing option offers same-day testing. In some cases, the service can provide you with results in as little as 24 hours.

Tests are available to order discreetly online or over the phone. Testing is done in one of 4,000 Priority STD labs across the United States. The company also offers follow-up care counseling to those who want it.

Tests offered:

Best for people who want to get pregnant


  • Price: $139–$379
  • Type: self-collection
  • Results: 3 to 5 days

In addition to various STD tests, QuesetDirect also offers a pregnancy STD panel, making it a good choice for people wanting to become pregnant.

When you order a testing kit from QuesetDirect, they provide you with detailed collection instructions and everything you need to collect samples in the comfort of your own home.

For each test offered, there’s also a 46 physician fee.

Tests offered:

Price Collection type Results
EverlyWell $49–$149 self-collection within days
LetsGetChecked $99–$249 self-collection 2-5 days
Lemonaid Health $53.16 lab collection 3-5 business days
Nurx $150–$220 out-of-pocket, $75 with insurance self-collection within 7 days
myLABbox $179–$399 self-collection 2-5 days
STDcheck $59–$259 lab collection 1-2 days
Priority STD $89–$259 lab collection 1-3 days
QuestDirect $139–$379 self-collection 3-5 days

With so many options out there, you might be wondering how to choose the best at-home test for your needs. Here’s what to consider:


More expensive tests may include testing for more than just one STI. Or the company may offer additional services, like post-testing counseling and free medication delivery, and they may even offer pregnancy tests.

Lab or self-collection

Do you prefer to do everything from home? Or do you like the idea of going in-person to a lab. Not everyone is comfortable taking samples, after all.

Sometimes, in-person testing can be faster since you don’t have to wait for a test to arrive in the mail.

Your symptoms

If you’re not sure your symptoms are STI-related and you want to talk with a doctor in addition to getting testing, an in-person doctor’s visit may be the best choice for you.

It’s important to talk with a doctor if:

  • You test positive for chlamydia.
  • Your sexual partner(s) test positive for chlamydia.
  • You have persistent symptoms but test negative for chlamydia.
  • You have multiple partners and would like to perform an STI screen

Some STI testing services also provide medical treatment for STIs, so you can get tested and receive treatment without setting foot in a doctor’s office.

Still, if you have questions about STIs or want to talk about anything else related to sexual health, it’s a good idea to talk with a doctor.

How often should I get tested?

The CDC recommends that sexually active women younger than 25 years old get tested for gonorrhea and chlamydia every year. Women 25 years and older with a new partner, multiple partners, or a partner who has an STI should also get tested annually.

Sexually active gay and bisexual men should be tested for syphilis, chlamydia, and gonorrhea annually. In cases of frequent sexual encounters with multiple partners, the CDC recommends testing every 3 to 6 months.

If you’re experiencing any symptoms of an STI, you should get tested immediately.

Are STI tests accurate?

Data suggests that most STI tests are very accurate with a small margin of error. If used correctly, at-home tests can be as accurate and effective as in-office tests.

How long should I wait before getting an STI test?

The incubation period for chlamydia is 7 to 21 days. If you’ve had sex with someone who’s positive, or if you’ve had a sexual encounter with a new partner, your results can be detected within the incubation period.

It’s recommended to get tested 3 months after treatment to make sure you’re in the clear.

Are at-home STI tests better or worse than in-person tests?

While at-home tests are effective, in-office tests can remove factors, like poor sample collection, which can impact your results. In-office testing has the added benefit of evaluating and testing for other STIs as needed.

For people who are anxious to visit an office in person or those with transportation issues, an at-home test can be a convenient step in getting treatment.

Are STI tests covered by insurance?

Many insurance plans cover STI testing through the Affordable Care Act (ACA). There’s a high chance you can get STI testing for free or at a reduced price with your health insurance.

Testing for STIs, like HIV, syphilis, chlamydia, and gonorrhea, are considered preventive health benefits that many plans cover under the ACA.

STI testing can also be free or low-cost with Medicaid, Medicare, and other government programs. Check your state as well; they may have free or low-cost STI testing available.

The coverage of at-home STI tests varies, so it’s best to speak with your doctor or insurance company about your options. Some clinics, like Planned Parenthood health centers, provide free or low-cost STI tests, depending on your income.

Chlamydia is a serious condition that can have long-term effects on the health of you and your sexual partners. STIs should be treated with seriousness and transparency.

It’s wise to get tested regularly when you’re sexually active to keep you and your partner(s) safe.

Getting tested is both healthy and responsible. An in-office test is a reliable way to learn if you have chlamydia or other STIs. But at-home testing is an accessible and fairly accurate way to get the answers you need.

Protect your health and peace of mind by making a plan to get tested in-person or with a private at-home test.

Jillian Goltzman is a freelance journalist covering culture, social impact, wellness, and lifestyle. She’s been published in various outlets, including Cosmopolitan, Glamour, and Fodor’s Travel Guide. Outside of writing, Jillian is a public speaker who loves discussing the power of social media — something she spends too much time on. She enjoys reading, her houseplants, and cuddling with her corgi. Find her work on her website, blog, Twitter, and Instagram.