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Oral Chlamydia: How Can an STD Infect a Person’s Mouth?

Medically reviewed by Mary Rani Cadiz, MD · Obstetrics and Gynecology

Written by Jan Alwyn Batara · Updated Jul 02, 2022

Oral Chlamydia: How Can an STD Infect a Person’s Mouth?

Whenever people think about STDs, they usually think of diseases that affect the genitals. That’s why they’re called sexually transmitted diseases after all. But there are certain cases, such as oral chlamydia, where the mouth and throat can be infected.

Read on to learn more about this type of STD, how people get infected, how it is treated, and how it can be prevented.

What is oral chlamydia?

Before we talk about oral chlamydia, we first need to talk about what chlamydia is in the first place. Chlamydia is an STD or sexually transmitted disease that’s caused by a bacteria known as Chlamydia trachomatis.

This bacteria typically affects the genitals, where it can cause painful urination, copious yellow to yellow-green discharge from the penis or vagina, or even painful sexual intercourse. A person can also have chlamydia and not manifest any symptoms. This can also be the case for oral chlamydia1.

However, if a person has been infected orally, one of the possible symptoms can include a sore throat.

How do people get infected?

Unprotected sex with a person who has chlamydia is the main way that people can get infected. Whenever a person’s penis, vagina, or mouth comes in contact with infected fluids, then they themselves can be infected with the bacteria.

In the case of oral chlamydia, unprotected oral sex is the main cause of infection.

Another question that people might have is what if you have the infection in your throat? If you engage in oral sex, can you pass on the bacteria in your throat to another person?

The answer to this is yes, but it is highly unlikely. The reason is that the bacteria that causes chlamydia prefers to infect the genitals rather than the throat. So the chances of infecting another person if you have the infection in your throat is very low2. But this doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t use protection.

Kissing, sharing drinks, or even sharing utensils can’t pass on oral chlamydia.

How can you treat it?

If you’ve recently had oral sex, and you experience a sore or dry throat, fever, or coughing soon after it might be a good idea to get tested. The usual form of testing for oral chlamydia is through a swab test. This way you can find out whether or not you have oral chlamydia; if you do, you need to treat it as soon as possible. While you’re at it, it’s also a good idea to get tested for STDs if you’ve also engaged in unprotected penetrative sex.

Treatment for oral chlamydia is the same as other forms of chlamydia3. Doctors prescribe antibiotics in order to fight off bacterial infection. These antibiotics are prescription only, and you should never try to self-medicate especially with antibiotics.

Be sure to follow your doctor’s prescription strictly, and do not change the doses or frequency of the medication. This way, you are giving yourself the best chance to treat this disease. It would also be wise to refrain from having sexual intercourse while you’re undergoing medication.

What can you do to prevent it?

The best way to prevent oral chlamydia, and chlamydia in general, is to practice safe sex. This means using a condom during vaginal or anal sex, and using a dental dam during oral sex4.

Some people might not be comfortable with using these products, but it’s much better than putting yourself at risk for STDs, especially if you have multiple sex partners.

These products not only protect you from chlamydia, but also other STDs such as HIV, herpes, syphilis, or even gonorrhea. So be sure to always wear protection.

Learn more about Chlamydia here


Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Medically reviewed by

Mary Rani Cadiz, MD

Obstetrics and Gynecology

Written by Jan Alwyn Batara · Updated Jul 02, 2022

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