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Can you get chlamydia from oral sex?

Man and woman in bed kissing

Can you get chlamydia from giving head? We receive a lot of questions like this from our customers. When it comes to chlamydia, many people are straight-up confused. That makes sense, as sexually transmitted infections (STIs) can be complicated. Today, let’s tackle some big questions about chlamydia and oral sex.

Oral sex: Can you get chlamydia from giving head?

First things first: What is chlamydia?

Before we get into the nitty-gritty of oral sex, let’s talk about the STI called chlamydia. this infection is caused by the bacteria known as chlamydia trachomatis. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there were 1.7 million chlamydia infections reported in the United States in 2017 alone. If you think that sounds like a lot, you’d be right! Chlamydia is one of the most common sexually transmitted infections in the country.

There are many reasons that this STI has been spreading like wildfire. First, the symptoms of chlamydia are often not visible to the naked eye. In many situations, infected people are completely unaware of their status. Truth be told, a home STI testing kit is the only way to be absolutely sure of your status.

How does chlamydia spread?

Another big reason chlamydia has become so widespread is due to the fact that many folks just don’t understand how the infection can be passed between partners. That brings us to the question of the day: Can you get chlamydia from giving head?

The answer? Absolutely. In fact, you can be infected by giving and by receiving oral sex.

You see, certain STIs can attack different areas of your body. This means that chlamydia can infect your genital area… but also your throat and rectum. When a person is infected in these areas, it is often referred to as an “extragenital infection.”

Common misconceptions: Is oral sex safe?

Now, the idea of extragenital infections usually comes as a surprise to many people. To their further shock, a lot of folks seem to think that oral sex is completely safe. Sorry to burst your bubble, but oral sex is still sex. When you perform and receive oral sex, you are absolutely still at risk for certain sexually transmitted infections and diseases, including chlamydia.

To be crystal clear, oral sex in this case refers to the stimulating of the genitals of your partner with your mouth or tongue. A person does not need to achieve orgasm for there to be a danger of infection. Again, you are at risk for infection whether you are giving or receiving. As a rule, safe sex is always the best sex. If you’re receiving or giving head, be sure to use condoms or a dental dam.

Just like the genital version of chlamydia, many cases will not show visible symptoms when it is present in the mouth. Common symptoms include a sore throat, swollen lymph nodes, or a low-grade fever. As you can imagine, it is often difficult for people to realize that they are suffering from a case of oral chlamydia.

The biggest problem with being unaware of your infection is that it can become far more serious if left undiagnosed or untreated. If any variety of chlamydia is left unchecked, it can eventually lead to infertility-related problems.

Testing for oral chlamydia

On a positive note, a case of chlamydia is relatively easy to cure. Treatment usually only requires antibiotics. The only issue is that you first need to know you’re infected. As you’ve learned, chlamydia can be difficult to track with the naked eye. Therefore a test is necessary in order for it to be properly diagnosed. When testing for chlamydia, it is important to screen for oral and anal infections as well as a genital infection. This is particularly important for people who engage in oral or anal sex.

That’s where myLAB Box’s extragenital testing kits come in. This at-home kit tests for both chlamydia and gonorrhea in the genital, oral and anal areas. Both chlamydia and gonorrhea are bacterial infections and often occur at the same time. According to the CDC, almost two-thirds of all reported cases of chlamydia and gonorrhea in the United States were among people aged 15–24. Additionally, having one of these STIs can increase your chances of contracting HIV. Therefore, testing for both of these infections at once makes the most sense and saves you time.

So, can you get chlamydia from giving oral sex?? Now you know. You can! But being armed with this information is only half the battle. Now you’ll need testing and treatment!


  1. Klingler, Amy Mercantini, MS, PA-C. (2010). CHLAMYDIA. American Academy of Physician Assistants.
  2. Catherine M. O’Connell and Morgan E. Ferone. (2016). Chlamydia trachomatis Genital Infections. Microb Cell.
  3. Omolara Fyle-Thorpe, PhD, FNP-BC. (2019). Chlamydia and Gonorrhea: An Update. The Journal for Nurse Practitioners.
  4. Rui-Lin Yan, Yun-Feng Ye, Qin-Ying Fan, Yan-Hui Huang, Gui-Chun Wen, Li-Mei Li, Yu-Mao Cai, Tie-Jian Feng, Zhi-Ming Huang. (2019). Chlamydia trachomatis infection among patients attending sexual and reproductive health clinics: A cross-sectional study in Bao’an District, Shenzhen, China. PLOS ONE.
  5. Endale Tadesse, Million Teshome, Anteneh Amsalu, Techalew Shimelis. (2016). Genital Chlamydia trachomatis Infection among Women of Reproductive Age Attending the Gynecology Clinic of Hawassa University Referral Hospital, Southern Ethiopia. PLOS ONE.
  6. Philip A. Chan, Ashley Robinette, Madeline Montgomery, Alexi Almonte, Susan Cu-Uvin, John R. Lonks, Kimberle C. Chapin, Erna M. Kojic, and Erica J. Hardy. (2016). Extragenital Infections Caused by Chlamydia trachomatis and Neisseria gonorrhoeae: A Review of the Literature. Infectious Diseases in Obstetrics and Gynecology.
  7. Steven S. Witkin, Evelyn Minis, Aikaterini Athanasiou, Julie Leizer, Iara M. Linhares. (2017). Chlamydia trachomatis: the Persistent Pathogen. Clinical & Vaccine Immunology.

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