Free Chlamydia Tests

Can You Get a Chlamydia Test for Free, and is it the Best Option?

If you think you could have caught chlamydia then testing is a very important next step. If you’re not willing to pay for testing there are options available to you. However, there are also advantages to paying for testing which are appealing to some people.

Either way, testing is really not optional if you’ve been exposed to chlamydia and should be done before trying to get treatment.

Can You Get Tested for Chlamydia for Free?

Yes, you can – two types of services can offer free chlamydia testing, your GP and a sexual health clinic (also known as a genitourinary medicine or GUM clinic). Getting tested is a simple process.

  • Make an appointment with your GP practice or a sexual health clinic
  • At your appointment, the healthcare professional may ask you some questions, for example about your sexual partners and methods of contraception
  • To test for chlamydia, men are asked to give a urine sample
  • To test for chlamydia, women are asked to give a swab (a long cotton bud which is rubbed inside the vagina)
  • The sample is sent to the lab to see whether a chlamydia infection can be found
  • Once the results come back, you are either told that the test came back negative or invited to go back to the clinic to receive treatment

Who is eligible? – any UK resident can get tested for chlamydia on the NHS for free.

For people under the age of 16 – there might be other issues that you are worried about. If you want a chlamydia test and you can show that you understand what this treatment involves, a doctor is not obliged to share this information with your parents. If you are worried about this, we recommend that you make an appointment with your GP to talk through this matter.

Are Free Chlamydia Tests as Reliable as Paid Ones?

Yes, if they're done correctly – free tests are a safe and reliable method of testing as long as they are carried out properly. In fact, the free test kits in clinics and the paid home test kits are exactly the same. If you get tested for chlamydia in a GP or sexual health clinic, they will either do the test for you or give you clear instructions on how to do it yourself.

The tests are quite accurate – but, it’s not 100% guaranteed. False test results are usually caused by a mistake when taking the sample or even in the lab. This risk can be lowered if you follow either instructions given by your doctor or on the home test kits.

What's makes them less accurate? – factors such as drugs or alcohol should not make the result of your chlamydia test less accurate. Being on your period also should not make the result of the test less accurate.

If you are worried about a false result – you can do the chlamydia test twice. If you get two results that are the same, then the result is almost guaranteed to be accurate. If you get tested for chlamydia at a GP or sexual health clinic, however, you are normally only offered one test.

Why Do People Choose to Pay for Testing?

Some people prefer to pay for a home chlamydia test kit. This has a few advantages:

  • No appointment – you don’t need to book an appointment in a GP or sexual health clinic. This means that some people find it easier to fit around their schedule
  • No face-to-face – you don’t need to have a face-to-face consultation if you prefer not to. This means that getting a home kit can be more discreet than going to a sexual health clinic
  • Discreet – if you have a home test kit sent to your door it will be in discreet packaging and you won't need to go into a clinic

Our service – at Superdrug Online Doctor, you can buy a range of chlamydia test kits which comes in a discreet packaging and includes a prepaid envelope for you to send to our partner laboratory. These include:

The chlamydia test itself is exactly the same whether you buy a home test kit or get tested in a clinic.

How Important is it to Get Tested?

Yes, don't avoid it – you shouldn’t avoid testing just because it’s a hassle or you don’t want to pay for a home test kit. A lot of people who have a chlamydia infection don’t get any symptoms at all. However, if this is left untreated, you can develop long-term complications. These complications include:

  • Spread of chlamydia to other parts of the body (for example, the fallopian tubes or tesicles)
  • Infertility because of damage to the reproductive system
  • Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), a condition that causes pain and inflammation around the pelvis
  • Reactive arthritis, which is painful and swollen joints as a direct result of chlamydia

Going to a clinic is still a good option – staff at GP practices and sexual health clinics are discreet and professional. Some sexual health clinics even say that you can use a false name if you are very worried about confidentiality – they would rather you give a false name than not go at all! Also, sexual health clinics cannot share your medical records with your GP without your permission.

If you are worried about testing – you can make an appointment to speak to a GP about it. They can advise you on the best course of action, answer any questions you might have, or provide some reassurance.

Can I Just Buy Treatment Without Testing?

We don’t advise you to do this.

Risk of unnecessary side effects – chlamydia is treated by using antibiotics. Taking antibiotics can have its own drawbacks such as feeling or being sick or diarrhoea. This means that if you do not have chlamydia you are taking medicines which can cause side effects for no benefit at all.

Problem of over-using antibiotics – also, taking antibiotics unnecessarily can cause bacteria to become resistant to the medicines. This means that future infections can become more difficult to treat. This doesn’t just apply to you, it applies to everyone because bacteria become resistant across the whole of the human species. It’s a very serious global health problem.

You could have a different STI – it could be that you do have an STI but it isn't chlamydia. Testing negative for chlamydia could mean you need to consider other STIs, or you can tested for more than 1 STI at once, using a extended STI test kit for example.

You might have a non-STI-related health problem – the symptoms of chlamydia can be very similar to other conditions (for example, cystitis or a problem with hormonal contraception). If you have a test come back negative, you might need further investigations which can only be done by a doctor.


British National Formulary. Doxycyline. NICE. [online [accessed 11th May 2018].

British National Formulary. Azithromycin. NICE. [online] [accessed 11th May 2018]

Chlamydia Diagnosis NHS [accessed 11th May 2018]

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