Can Kissing Spread Chlamydia?

One of the most common STDs (sexually transmitted diseases), Chlamydia can be a painful infection that can lead to serious complications if not treated promptly. It is caused by a bacterium called Chlamydia trachomatis, which is found in semen and vaginal fluid. Chlamydia affects both men and women.

Though most people with Chlamydia get it during sexual activity, a pregnant woman can pass it on to her baby during childbirth. If a woman is not treated for the STD, it can also lead to serious consequences for her fertility, such as an increased risk of ectopic pregnancy or permanent damage to her reproductive system, making it impossible to get pregnant.

With all the dangers surrounding Chlamydia, many people might wonder: Can you get Chlamydia in your mouth? Can you get Chlamydia from kissing?

Can You Get Chlamydia from Kissing?

Fortunately, there are no documented cases of anyone getting Chlamydia through kissing alone. That doesn’t mean that it is impossible, but it’s extremely unlikely. Chlamydia needs very specific conditions in order to grow and reproduce, that those conditions are found in the reproductive system.

How Can You Get Chlamydia?

You can only get Chlamydia if you have some sort of sexual contact with an infected person. Doctors know that it is passed through unprotected sex, whether it’s vaginal, oral or anal. If you use toys and don’t cover them with a condom each time, they can carry Chlamydia and infect you when you use them again. The jury is still out on whether Chlamydia can be passed through simply touching the genitals of someone who is infected, or rubbing the genitals together.

A common misconception is that a man infected with Chlamydia must ejaculate in order to infect his partner. That’s not true – sex without ejaculation can lead to a new infection.

Remember that you can’t catch Chlamydia simply by using the same towel or toilet as someone who has the infection. Contact with sexual fluid is the only way you can contract the disease.

Warning: Once you have contracted Chlamydia, there is treatment. But you can get it again later, so don’t be lulled into a feeling of security after one treatment. Be vigilant to ensure that you don’t get Chlamydia again.

How to Prevent Chlamydia Infection

The only way to avoid getting any sexually transmitted disease is to avoid having sex. However, if you are going to have sex, it helps to know the risks involved with STDs. Younger people who are sexually active have a higher chance of contracting Chlamydia. Chlamydia can be spread through heterosexual sex, but it can also be spread through anal or oral sex, which puts gay and bisexual couples at risk as well.

Remember, if the question of “Can you get Chlamydia from kissing” comes up, the answer is no. However, kissing in addition to sexual activity might lead to sexual fluids in the mouth, and that could lead to Chlamydia.

There are two specific ways that you can lower your risks of contracting Chlamydia:

  • If you are in a long-term relationship and having sex only with your partner, make sure that both of you are tested and found negative for Chlamydia.
  • If you are not in a monogamous relationship or having sex with more than one person, make sure to use a condom each and every time you have sex. No exceptions!

What to Do If I Think I Have Chlamydia?

Sometimes Chlamydia causes no pain or symptoms at all; other times, it is clear that you have a problem.

  • For women, the biggest symptoms of an infection are burning when you urinate and an abnormal vaginal discharge.
  • For men, the symptoms include burning upon urination, a discharge from the penis, and more rarely, swelling or pain in the testicles. If Chlamydia is present in the rectum, it can cause bleeding, pain and discharge from the anus.

If you think you might have Chlamydia, visit your healthcare clinic, gynecologist, or physician. Explain your symptoms, and expect that they will do a few simple tests, including a urine sample and a swab sample – this is simply using a cotton swab to collect discharge from the vagina or penis, and then test it for Chlamydia or other diseases.

Remember that Chlamydia sometimes does not cause symptoms but can lead to serious problems, so if you are having sex but you are not in a monogamous relationship, it pays to have testing done every year or so, just to be sure.

If you do have Chlamydia, your doctor can treat it with antibiotics. You will have to avoid having sex at all until your treatment is completed. Even having sex with a condom is a big no-no! The infection must be completely cleared from your body and your partner’s body before you engage in sex again.

To sum up, can you get Chlamydia from kissing? No, you probably can’t. But if you are unsure about whether you might have contracted a STD from a sexual partner, get tested to be absolutely sure. It’s better to be safe than sorry. 

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