Female sitting

It’s universal—young women ages 15-24 are most at risk

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that people ages 15-24 account for half of the 20 million new sexually transmitted infections (STIs) that occur in the US each year.1

The risk is highest among women in this age group, as they are disproportionately affected by chlamydia and gonorrhea. Infection in women is often asymptomatic, meaning these patients may have an infection and not know it.2

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Webinar 1 Asymptomatic in Women

It’s recommended—by leading health organizations

The CDC and American Academy of Pediatrics, as well as other leading health organizations, recommend chlamydia and gonorrhea screening of all sexually active females under
age 25.5-9

It’s for her protection—help ensure your patient’s reproductive health

Left untreated, chlamydia and gonorrhea may affect the upper reproductive tract, resulting in pelvic inflammatory disease (PID).3 PID can have devastating consequences for women, including

  • Infertility3
  • Life-threatening ectopic pregnancy,3 the leading obstetrical cause of maternal mortality in the first trimester10,11
  • Chronic pelvic pain3

It’s Best to Test with Quest Diagnostics

Despite the high numbers of STIs in this age group, 86% of women don’t think they’re at risk.12 Some patients may be reluctant to get tested, or even talk about chlamydia and gonorrhea with their doctors. Implementing a universal screening program with It’s Best to Test from Quest Diagnostics can help.

It’s Best to Test offers materials and resources for you and your patients, and a variety of testing options to help you easily integrate screening into your practice.

  • Patient materials—includes an exam room patient tear pad and brochure that can help you explain to both patients and their parents why screening routinely for chlamydia and gonorrhea is your office’s protocol, and that testing will be performed unless they opt out
  • The testing you need—includes a variety of testing options: patient- or clinician-collected vaginal swabs, cervical swab (by itself or as part of a Pap test), and urine specimen testing to help make routine screening as easy as possible for you and your patients

Increasing the amount and frequency of appropriate testing based on guidelines offers your patients better protection, for better health outcomes.

What about women over age 25?

It’s expected—patients rely on you to keep them protected

Below are some tips for reinforcing the importance of routine screening for chlamydia and gonorrhea.

  • Make it known that your practice universally tests young women under age 25 for chlamydia and gonorrhea
    • A study from Quest Diagnostics revealed that 72% of women under age 25 want their doctors to automatically test them for chlamydia and gonorrhea once a year12; knowing that you universally screen may help them feel less singled out or judged
Doctor examining woman
  • Communicate that these infections are common, might not have symptoms, and could have serious consequences if left undiagnosed and untreated
    • 86% of women in this age group don’t think they’re at risk12
  • Explain the guidelines from leading health organizations for routine chlamydia and gonorrhea screening
    • 80% of women ages 15-24 think they should be tested for chlamydia and gonorrhea once per year because that’s what national guidelines recommend12

Make STI screening part of your routine.

Download It's Best to Test patient tear pad
Read "Can we talk? Four tips to discussing STIs with patients"
Review ICD-10-CM codes for gynecology and obstetrics
Read our Medicare National Coverage Determination Policy for STI screening
Learn about high-risk STI screening

Contact a Quest sales representative


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  1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Sexually transmitted disease: adolescents and young adults. Last reviewed December 7, 2017. Accessed May 2, 2019. www.cdc.gov/std/life-stages-populations/adolescents-youngadults.htm/
  2. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. New CDC analysis shows steep and sustained increases in STDs in recent years [press release]. August 28, 2018. Accessed May 2, 2019. www.cdc.gov/nchhstp/newsroom/2018/press-release-2018-std-prevention-conference.html.
  3. Farley TA, Cohen DA, Elkins W. Asymptomatic sexually transmitted diseases: the case for screening. Prev Med. 2003;36:502-509.
  4. Korenromp EL, Sudaryo MK, de Vlas SJ, et al. What proportion of episodes of gonorrhea and chlamydia becomes symptomatic? Int J STD AIDS. 2002;13:91-101.
  5. American Academy of Pediatrics. Bright futures: guidelines for health supervision of infants, children, and adolescents, 4th Edition. 2017.
  6. American Academy of Family Physicians. Summary of recommendations for clinical preventive services. July 2017. Accessed May 2, 2019. www.aafp.org/dam/AAFP/documents/patient_care/clinical_recommendations/cps-recommendations.pdf.
  7. US Preventive Services Task Force. Final recommendation statement: chlamydia and gonorrhea: screening. Last reviewed September 2014. Accessed May 2, 2019. www.uspreventiveservicestaskforce.org/Page/Document/RecommendationStatementFinal/chlamydia-and-gonorrhea-screening.
  8. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Which STD tests should I get? Last reviewed June 30, 2014. Accessed May 2, 2019. www.cdc.gov/std/prevention/screeningreccs.htm.
  9. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. Chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis. December 2016. Accessed May 2, 2019. www.acog.org/Patients/FAQs/Chlamydia-Gonorrhea-and-Syphilis#prevent.
  10. Creanga AA, Shapiro-Mendoza CK, Bish CL, et al. Trends in ectopic pregnancy mortality in the United States 1980–2007. Obstet Gynecol. 2011;117(4):837-843.
  11. Tenore JL. Ectopic pregnancy. Am Fam Physician. 2000;61(4):1080-1088.
  12. Quest Diagnostics. Universal STI testing research among young women and moms: topline report. December 2017.