Originally published: 27.JAN.2020
Last updated: 16.OCT.2023
Did you know that you can get chlamydia in the mouth and throat? That’s right, chlamydia doesn't only show in and around the genitals, it’s also possible to experience chlamydia in the mouth, throat, and even the inner lining of your eyelid.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), chlamydia in the throat is not as common as chlamydia in the genital area. However, it is possible which is why it’s important to know more.
Read on for everything you should know about oral chlamydia including the symptoms, causes, and treatment options for chlamydia in the throat.
- What to Know About Chlamydia
- How do you get Chlamydia in the Mouth and Throat?
- What are the Symptoms of Oral Chlamydia?
- How do you Treat Oral Chlamydia?
- What Happens if Oral Chlamydia Goes Untreated?
What to Know About Chlamydia
Chlamydia is a sexually transmitted infection that is caused by the bacteria chlamydia trachomatis. Chlamydia is the most widely reported STD in the world and is the second most common STD second to HPV.
Oral chlamydia is not as common as genital chlamydia. You are most likely to be diagnosed with chlamydia of the mouth and/or throat if you have oral sex with someone who is carrying the disease. Conversely, if you receive oral sex from someone who is carrying chlamydia in the mouth or throat, you are at high risk for developing genital chlamydia.
Related Article: What is Chlamydia?
How do you get Chlamydia in the Mouth and Throat?
Chlamydia is passed through intimate sexual contact. While the disease is most commonly transmitted through penetrative anal or vaginal sex, it may also be passed through oral sex. Generally speaking, the bacteria chlamydia trachomatis is passed through bodily fluids and can infect the cervix, rectum, eyes, throat, mouth, and male urethra.
It is often misunderstood that you cannot contract chlamydia unless infected bodily fluids make contact with a partner's genitals. However, it is possible to contract chlamydia during sex that results in a "dry orgasm", or sex that does not involve ejaculation.
There are some myths out there about how you can contract sexually transmitted diseases, so to put your mind at ease we have detailed some instances in which you will not contract chlamydia.
It is not possible to contact chlamydia through:
- Sharing eating utensils
- Sharing lipstick
- Sharing food
- Sharing toiletries
As mentioned before, chlamydia is most commonly passed on through vaginal or anal sex, however, it may occur in other instances.
Chlamydia may be passed on by:
- Receiving oral sex from someone who has an infection in their mouth or throat.
- Giving oral sex to someone who has an infection of the genitals
- The giving or receiving of oral-anal sex
- Sharing sex toys with an infected partner
The most common way to get chlamydia in the mouth or throat is through giving someone oral sex who has genital chlamydia. These instances include:
- Performing oral sex on a male who has an infected penis or urethra
- Performing oral sex on a female who has an infected vagina or urinary tract
- Performing oral anal
Taking a test is a sure way of identifying whether a person has contracted a sexually transmitted disease. We have a selection of tests that will help identify potential infections, you can buy each one online and take our test in the convenience and privacy of your own home.
What are the Symptoms of Oral Chlamydia?
Chlamydia is commonly referred to as the ‘silent infection’, the reason for this being pretty self-explanatory - most people infected with the disease are asymptomatic and experience little to no symptoms.
In saying that, when chlamydia in the mouth and throat do show symptoms, they may include:
- A sore throat that is not being treated effectively with throat medicine
- A cough that is not being treated effectively with cough medicine
- Feeling feverish
- Blisters that are similar to cold sores around and in the mouth
- Symptoms that are similar to strep throat including white spots and redness in the mouth and throat
- A scratchy throat
- Dryness and itchiness in the mouth and throat
How do you Treat Oral Chlamydia?
95% of those who suffer from chlamydia will be treated effectively if they take antibiotics correctly following their diagnosis.
Following your diagnosis, you shouldn’t have sex even if you are using a condom until both you and your partner have the all-clear. If you have chlamydia in the mouth and or throat, you should be particularly careful. Do not engage in vaginal, anal, or oral sex until you have completed the treatment.
Whilst our tests can detect the presence of regular chlamydia through a urine sample, we do not currently offer to test for oral chlamydia. A swab based sample test is required for oral chlamydia detection, commonly procured through a medical professional or sexual health clinic.
What Happens if Oral Chlamydia Goes Untreated?
Although the initial damage that the chlamydia infection causes can go unnoticed, the infection can lead to both long and short-term complications, according to the CDC.
As well as increasing a person’s risk of contracting other STDs, including HIV, untreated chlamydia can result in a number of other complications, these include:
- Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) in women
- Epididymitis in men
- Prostate gland infection
- Ectopic pregnancy
- Newborn infections
Related article: Does Chlamydia Cause Long-Term Damage?
Regular STD testing is crucial for ensuring you and your partner remain happy and healthy.
If you’re unable to make a trip to the doctor, LetsGetChecked’s range of STI Tests allows you to test for chlamydia, as well as a range of other common STIs, from the comfort of your own home. Online results will be available within 2-5 days and our dedicated medical team will be available to answer any questions you may have.
If your results are positive and you’re suitable for treatment, we can also offer treatment for your partner(s) at an additional cost. All they will need to do is start a virtual consultation with us, if they are also suitable, we can then send medication directly to their home or prescribe it to their local pharmacy.
You should consider taking a test if:
- You become sexually active
- You have had unprotected sex
- You’re experiencing symptoms of a sexually transmitted infection
- You’re entering into a new sexual relationship
- You have received a notification from a previous partner that they are infected (STIs can remain dormant for years and/ or take up to three weeks to become detectable.)