Throat chlamydia – the facts

 

Chlamydia is the name of a sexually transmitted bacterial infection that can be passed on via a range of sexual practices. It is one of the world’s most common sexually transmitted infections, with transmission taking place when sexual contact is made with the mouth, anus or genitals of someone who is already infected, or in some cases from mother to child during birth. The area infected can be the throat, penis, vagina, rectum or cervix, depending on the nature of the sexual activity during which the infection was transmitted.

Symptoms

The cells that line the throat are affected by a chlamydia infection. People suffering from a chlamydia infection in their throat generally have no symptoms or signs of the infection. In some cases people can have a sore throat, but since there are innumerable causes for a sore throat, this is certainly not a reliable indicator of a chlamydia infection. On rare occasions swollen lymph nodes and low grade fever can also be suffered by the person whose sore throat is the result of a chlamydia infection. 

Anyone who feels they may have been at risk of being infected with chlamydia should go to their GP or visit The STI Clinic to determine whether or not they have actually been exposed to the virus. Chlamydia in the throat is often the result of someone having performed fellatio on another person. Thousands of people all over the world develop throat chlamydia as a consequence of performing oral sex every year, with around 65 percent of infections occurring in people aged 25 or younger.

Don’t Panic

Viral infections are the most likely cause of most sore throats, and they tend to clear within five to seven days without the need for medical intervention. If your sore throat lasts for a number of days and is accompanied by swollen glands, fever and other symptoms, including having trouble swallowing, then you should see your doctor. However, there is still no immediate cause to believe that you have a chlamydia infection, or any other sexually transmitted infection, as there are many other illnesses and infections that can result in a sore throat. 

Chlamydia cannot be spread by kissing or hugging a person who is infected, as is often possible with a variety of other infectious diseases. There is also no danger in sharing toilet seats or bath towels, as an exchange of fluids needs to take place in order for the infection to be transmitted. It is possible to contract the infection by sharing sex toys however, as such items often retain infected fluids from the other person.

Diagnosis

A simple procedure is performed to test for the presence of chlamydia in the human body. A throat swab will need to be taken in order to successfully diagnose a chlamydia infection in the throat. The same is true of a chlamydia rectal infection, as a urine test or vaginal swab will only test an infection in those areas and not elsewhere in the body. However, many healthcare providers fail to ask the questions about sexual activity that are often necessary in order to be able to identify which areas of the body swabs should be taken from. 

If you suspect you may have been infected as a result of sexual activity, even if you are not suffering from any symptoms, you can still undergo a test. If you are embarrassed talking to your doctor about the subject, and do not wish to attend a sexual health clinic, it is possible to perform a chlamydia home test yourself. You can have the results diagnosed without the need for personal interaction by getting in touch with The STI Clinic online. The test needs to be taken within a fortnight of the relevant sexual activity having taken place. Early testing and treatment both help to cut down the risks of infection.

Treatment

After a diagnosis of a chlamydia infection has been successfully made by a healthcare professional, antibiotics provide an effective treatment. However, should the infection remain untreated it can result in serious health problems. Infected people should also refrain from sexual activity of any kind until they have finished treatment, to avoid infecting or re-infecting your sexual partner.