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What Is Throat Chlamydia?

By Donn Saylor
Updated Mar 03, 2024
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Throat chlamydia is a rare sexually transmitted disease wherein the bacteria Chlamydia trachomatis infects the throat. It is contracted through oral sex with an infected individual. Though chlamydia is one of the more common sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), it typically affects the genital region; in atypical cases, however, it may attack the throat. Common symptoms include sore throat and throat redness, but in many instances it produces no symptoms at all. Another type of throat chlamydia is caused by Chlamydia pneumoniae and is not transmitted sexually.

Chlamydia of the throat is transmitted through unprotected oral sex with someone who is already infected with the chlamydia bacteria. If symptoms present themselves, which in the majority of cases they do not, they will typically appear one to three weeks after transmission. A sore throat or irritation to the throat will usually be the first symptoms of chlamydia in the throat. If a sore throat lasts longer than average, it could be an indication of the condition — it is advised that a sore throat lasting a week or more be checked out by a doctor.

While the presence of a sore throat may not be a telltale sign of the condition, there are other symptoms to watch out for. Pain when swallowing can be an indicator of throat chlamydia, as can pain in the throat when talking for a significant period of time. When experiencing throat pain, solid foods will be uncomfortable to swallow.

Fever can also accompany chlamydia in the throat. It may or may not include pain in the throat, depending on the individual case. The Chlamydia trachomatis bacteria can impel the body to bolster its natural defense mechanisms, prompting a fever to try and stave off the invading bacteria.

Since it may produce no symptoms at all, throat chlamydia is exceptionally difficult to diagnose. Most clinics do not have a proven way of detecting the illness. It is often diagnosed by a process of elimination in which other conditions are dismissed before arriving at identification.

Once properly diagnosed, throat chlamydia is treated with antibiotics. These antibiotics fight the bacteria and help eliminate it from the system. Azithromycin, erythromycin, and tetracycline are among the most commonly prescribed antibiotics to battle the illness.

Throat chlamydia caused by the Chlamydia pneumoniae bacteria is not considered a sexually transmitted disease. It usually develops as a result of pneumonia or bronchitis. Symptoms of the infection, if any are present, are identical to the Chlamydia trachomatis strain.

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Discussion Comments
By anon932877 — On Feb 13, 2014

Well it can't be that rare as I have just been diagnosed with it! I've never had any other STD. I don't engage in any unusual sexual acts! The docs said I could've had it for years undetected, which is worrying as I may have infected others. I don't understand why they don't routinely swab throats.

By anon331245 — On Apr 22, 2013

I don't have a sore throat, however, my voice has changed. I now have difficulty with anything other than speaking quietly. My voice just seems to cut out or be croaky. What do you think?

By literally45 — On Jan 16, 2013

A sore throat can be experienced by anyone. But the sore throat that is a symptom of chlamydia in the throat is a persistent one that doesn't respond to conventional treatments.

By ysmina — On Jan 15, 2013

@ddljohn-- Yea, throat chlamydia is rare. It's rare for both men and women but a little more rare in men as far as I know.

But it still exists, and the important part is that it's transmitted through oral sex. Many people don't even know that disease can be transmitted this way. So people should know about the health of the person they're having sex with and they should always use protection.

By ddljohn — On Jan 14, 2013

It's true that there is not lab tests to diagnose chlamydia in the throat. So doctors don't even bother diagnosing throat chlamydia.

If there is a chlamydia infection (genital), then they just prescribe the antibiotics used to treat it. The assumption is that if there is also throat chlamydia, it will be treated by the antibiotics anyway.

I've been working at a hospital for seven years and I have never come across a throat chlamydia diagnosis as of yet.

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