Chlamydia in the throat: symptoms, causes and treatments

everything that you need to know about oral chlamydia
Medically reviewed by Dr. Shurooq Fatima

Key takeaways 

  1. Chlamydia is a bacterial infection caused by the bacteria Chlamydia trachomatis. If the chlamydia infection occurs in the throat, it is called pharyngeal chlamydia. 
  2. Causes of pharyngeal chlamydia include direct contact with the infected person, especially during oral sex. 
  3. Getting immediate treatment after experiencing symptoms is crucial to avoid late-stage or chronic pharyngeal, which can prolong up to 12 months if left untreated.

 Overview

Chlamydia is a bacterial infection caused by the bacteria Chlamydia trachomatis. If the chlamydia infection occurs in the throat, it is called pharyngeal chlamydia. It is caused by sexual contact with the infected person; in the case of throat chlamydia, it is caused by oral sex, to be specific, where the mouth and throat get exposed to the infected penis or vagina. Its symptoms include pain when swallowing, low-grade fever, swollen lymph nodes in the neck, and painless sores in the mouth. It can only be treated with antibiotics that a healthcare provider will prescribe.  

What is chlamydia in the throat?

Chlamydia is a bacterial infection caused by the bacteria Chlamydia trachomatis. This bacteria lives in the mucous membranes of the body. While that usually means the cervix in women or the urethra or anus in men and women, it can also mean the throat or the eyes. Chlamydia in the throat is called a pharyngeal chlamydia infection.

There are not a diverse number of reasons for its causation other than oral sex with the infected person. Contact with the genitals of the infected person through the mouth is the only mode of transmission for pharyngeal chlamydia.

How do I know if I have chlamydia in my throat?

Chlamydia in your throat can be felt with distinguishing symptoms of pain and discomfort throughout. 

Early chlamydia symptoms that signal possible infection include:

  • The most commonly experienced symptom is a persistent sore throat that can last for days. The discomfort may be consistent or intermittent. 
  • Pain when swallowing.
  • Low-grade fever.
  • Swollen lymph nodes in the neck.
  • Painless sores in the mouth.
  • Lesions around the mouth can appear similar to cold sores. 
  • Tonsillitis.
  • Redness with white spots on tonsils resembling strep throat.
  • Scratchy, dry throat.
Are you experiencing painless sores in your mouth with a slight swelling of the lower neck? Get an online consultation now for the diagnosis.

Signs of Chlamydia usually manifest within 1 to 3 weeks of infection, but in some cases, it may take longer. 

With 50% of men and 75% of women experiencing no symptoms while infected with Chlamydia, regular screenings are essential to prevent the spread of this STD. 

Related: A common treatable disease Chlamydia

Causes of Chlamydia in throat

Direct contact with the infected person or carrier of chlamydia marks the main reason for getting this bacteria. Either from the penetrative sex with the infected person or the oral sex, chlamydia can get transferred from the infected person. While pharyngeal chlamydia is less common than genital or anal Chlamydia.

According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the risks of getting oral chlamydia increase if:

  • You perform oral sex on a male that has an infected penis.
  • You perform oral sex on a female with an infected vagina or urinary tract.
  • You perform oral sex on a male or female who has an infected rectum.
Are you having oral sex lately and feeling the infection in your throat? It’s a good time you get yourself checked with the healthcare provider now.

Furthermore, you are also at risk when receiving oral sex from an infected partner. Risk increases if you: 

  • Receive oral sex on the penis from a partner with Chlamydia in the throat.
  • Receive oral sex on the vagina from a partner with Chlamydia in the throat. This can result in Chlamydia of the vagina or urinary tract.
  • Receive oral sex on the anus from a partner with Chlamydia in the throat.

On both ends, performing or receiving any sexual activity with the infected or carrier person of chlamydia will be the cause of the pharyngeal chlamydia.

How can you diagnose chlamydia in the throat?

Diagnosis will be performed by the healthcare provider after the examination and diagnostic test. 

Swab test

Your healthcare provider will perform a diagnosis of pharyngeal or throat chlamydia via a diagnostic sample test, which includes 

  • A throat sputum or fluid sample Using a throat swab/cotton bud will be tested in the lab for bacterial infection. It is also possible to have Chlamydia in the throat as well as the genitals at the same time. 
  • Tests for genital chlamydia only differ in the way in which the sample of urine or sputum is taken and tested for infection. 
Get the lab requisition for your swab test from the healthcare providers now.

Treatment options for Chlamydia in the throat

1. Early diagnosis 

Early diagnosis of the chlamydia infection will help you stay away from the severe and persistent pharyngeal infection. The longer time passes, the more difficult it is to treat the infection., especially in the case of antibiotics, where longer treatment regimens will be prescribed.

2. Antibiotics for Pharyngeal chlamydia (in throat) 

A full round of oral antibiotics is necessary for chlamydia treatment. Doctors recommend testing the person you have had intercourse within the last 60 days. This is an essential step in preventing infection spread. 

Oral Chlamydia cannot resolve itself without treatment. Commonly prescribed antibiotics include: 

In addition, chlamydia infection may reoccur. It is also essential that your partner goes for testing and screening. This will avoid potentially passing the infection back and forth between you.

3. Avoiding Sexual activity or Sexual Contact 

It is possible to spread Chlamydia while on antibiotics. Therefore, doctors advise avoiding sexual contact for seven days after you complete a full round of antibiotics.

 Even if you are no longer experiencing any symptoms. Doctors recommend a checkup after three months of treatment course completion. 

Chat With A Doctor To Get A Prescription For Chlamydia

Is there a home remedy for chlamydia in the throat?

No, there isn’t any specific home remedy for the Chlymaida treatment other than just avoiding sexual contact for some time to not further infect or transmit the chlamydia. 

Home remedies mostly can not work with infections like chlamydia that get worse and stay persistent for longer periods of time. It’s good to get a consultation as soon as you experience symptoms. 

Consult your doctor

Starting the treatment at the right time can help prevent any serious risks or complications. Do you have other questions? Chat with one of our board-certified online doctors at Your Doctors Online for an oral chlamydia test, or start your oral chlamydia treatment immediately!

FAQs About Oral Chlamydia Answered By Your Doctors Online Team

Can you pass on Chlamydia while on treatment?

It is still possible to spread Chlamydia while on antibiotics. Therefore, doctors advise avoiding sexual contact for seven days.

Can I kiss if I have oral Chlamydia?

You cannot transmit oral Chlamydia through kissing, hugging, or sharing drinking glasses.

How long does Chlamydia last?

Symptoms of Chlamydia last one to two weeks with treatment. It is best to avoid sex for at least a week during the treatment.

Can Chlamydia come back?

Taking the proper treatment at the right time and completing the treatment can prevent re-emission. However, having intercourse with an infected person can reinfect you.

Is Chlamydia in the throat serious?

Untreated Chlamydia can lead to severe complications, including infertility caused by pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) and inflammation in other body parts.

What is late-stage Chlamydia?

Late-stage Chlamydia is when the infection spreads to other parts of the body. It includes disease spread to the cervix, testicular tubes, eyes, or throat, which causes pain and inflammation.

Does doxycycline treat Chlamydia in the throat?

Yes, doxycycline is an effective antibiotic for treating Chlamydia with a week of dosage.

At Your Doctors Online, we are committed to providing high-quality and trustworthy healthcare information to our users. To ensure the accuracy and reliability of our content, we follow strict sourcing guidelines and rely on peer-reviewed studies, academic research institutions, and medical associations. We avoid using tertiary references and prioritize primary sources of information. We understand the importance of providing up-to-date and evidence-based healthcare information to our users, and our editorial policy reflects this commitment.

  1. Papp, John R., et al. “The use and performance of oral–throat rinses to detect pharyngeal Neisseria gonorrhoeae and Chlamydia trachomatis infections.” Diagnostic microbiology and infectious disease 59.3 (2007): 259-264.
  2. Chow, Eric PF, et al. “Changing from clinician-collected to self-collected throat swabs for oropharyngeal gonorrhea and chlamydia screening among men who have sex with men.” Journal of Clinical Microbiology 58.9 (2020): 10-1128.
  3. Huss, H. D. P. I., et al. “Frequency of Chlamydia trachomatis as the cause of pharyngitis.” Journal of clinical microbiology 22.5 (1985): 858-860.

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