Could this Sore Throat be an STD?

Is there such a thing as a sore throat STD? Should you just grab some cough drops and hope the ache subsides? Symptoms of STDs can be mild or even non-existent, so many STDs often go undiagnosed.[1][2] Is that a chance you’re willing to take?

Keep a sexual diary

There’s nothing wrong with being sexually active and having multiple partners. However, whether you have one lover or many, it’s not a bad idea to keep track of your sexual activity. Think of it like a sexual diary. Keep track of your sexual activity and pair that information with incubation and testing timeframes. This, as well as testing yourself accordingly, is the best way to know if your symptoms are related to an STD.

Pharyngeal chlamydia[2]–or chlamydia in the throat–can be contracted by performing oral sex on an infected partner. The same goes for an oral gonorrhea infection.[3] So, if you know you went down on someone whose sexual history is unknown to you, getting tested within 1-6 days of that sexual interaction is your best bet, whether or not you have a sore throat or any other symptoms.


Test frequently

Testing for STDs is easier than ever. At home testing kits make the process surprisingly comfortable. In fact, if you’re very sexually active, the easiest and most convenient way to be a responsible sexual partner is to have a few of these kits on-hand at home.

The sooner you know your status, the sooner you can treat it and stop the spread of the infection.

Wondering if that sore throat could be an STD? Pick up a myLAB Box home testing kit that covers a variety of common STDs.

Reviewed by Luis Ferdinand M. Papa, MD, MHA


  1. [1] Study found that pharyngeal gonorrhea is asymptomatic in 79% of cases with only 15% of patients reporting sore throats and 5% reporting acute febrile tonsilitis.

    Anne Bro-Jorgensen, Tage Jensen. Gonococcal pharyngeal infections. British Journal of Venereal Disease 1973.

  2. [2] Study found no correlation between pharyngeal chlamydia infection and sore throat. Pharyngeal chlamydia was significantly associated with oral sex.

    Templeton DJ, Jin F, Imrie J, et al. Prevalence, incidence and risk factors for pharyngeal chlamydia in the community based Health in Men (HIM) cohort of homosexual men in Sydney, Australia. Sexually Transmitted Infections 2008.

  3. [3] Study significantly correlated pharyngeal gonorrhea (gonorrheal infection in the cavity behind the nose and mouth) with the practice of fellatio (oral sex).

    Paul J. Wiesner, M.D., Evelyn Tronca, M.S., Paul Bonin, M.S., et al. Clinical Spectrum of Pharyngeal Gonococcal Infection. New England Journal of Medicine 1973.

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