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Chlamydia is a common but preventable sexually transmitted infection (STI). It is rare for a person to get chlamydia in the throat, and while some tests can screen for this with a throat swab, many tests do not. A person can test for chlamydia at home or at a health clinic.

A person can contract chlamydia in the throat through giving or receiving oral sex with someone who has chlamydia.

This article looks at the symptoms of chlamydia, discussing chlamydia of the throat and when to test. It also looks at four home testing kits for chlamydia and what they involve.

Chlamydia is the most frequently reported bacterial STI in the United States. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimate there were 4 million chlamydia infections in the country in 2018. However, experts believe the actual figure is higher because not everyone will show symptoms and therefore may not get tested.

The CDC also states that chlamydia is more common in young people, with two-thirds of new infections occurring among those aged 15–24 years. Like most STIs, the infection passes from person to person through sexual contact with the penis, vagina, anus, or mouth.

Although chlamydia of the throat is uncommon, it is possible to contract it from a sexual partner by giving oral sex to a partner who has chlamydia through their penis, vagina, or rectum. A person can also acquire it by receiving oral sex on the penis, vagina, or rectum from a partner who has chlamydia in the throat.

Most chlamydia infections are asymptomatic and show no symptoms. If a person does experience symptoms, they may include:

It is also possible to have chlamydia in the throat and the genitals at the same time.

Chlamydia of the throat can also be asymptomatic, but symptoms may include a sore throat or mouth and swollen lymph nodes.

Experts recommend waiting 2 weeks after exposure to the virus because the infection is not always detectable in the early stages.

People with the below symptoms may wish to consider seeing a healthcare professional and refrain from having sex until they receive an STI screening:

  • genital discharge
  • burning during urination
  • unusual sores or rashes

The CDC also recommends regular chlamydia screening for the following groups:

  • sexually active females younger than 25 years old
  • all pregnant people
  • people at a higher risk of contracting infection, for example:
    • those with multiple sexual partners
    • sexually active gay and bisexual individuals
    • those who have had sexual contact with a partner recently diagnosed with an STI

There are several safe and reliable at-home tests people can use to check if they have chlamydia. However, not all of them will include throat swabs to check for this type of infection.

People with concerns about visiting a healthcare professional or are unable to travel to a clinic may find an at-home test convenient.

These home test kits may also increase the number of people receiving testing for chlamydia. A 2017 study found that the availability of these kits doubled the uptake of STI testing among those aged 16–30 years.

Please note that the writer of this article has not tried these products. All information presented is purely research-based.

LetsGetChecked

LetsGetChecked uses a urine sample test to check for chlamydia and gonorrhea.

According to LetsGetChecked, a person’s privacy is protected, as the company sends every test using discreet packaging. It also states that people can receive confidential results on their smartphones within 2–5 days.

The kit includes a collecting cup, pipette, and test tube for the urine sample.

EverlyWell

This test uses a urine sample to test for chlamydia and gonorrhea. It includes all the materials a person needs to take a sample, including a urine cup, pipette, and sample tube.

According to the company, a person can access their results on the secure EverlyWell platform within a few days of the company receiving their sample.

Nurx

The Nurx Healthy Woman Kit tests for HIV, chlamydia, gonorrhea, syphilis, and trichomoniasis. It is the only test on this list that includes throat testing for infections acquired from oral sex.

To take the test, a person takes a sample from the back of the throat with a cotton swab, which they then place in the sample tube. The pack also includes a finger prick blood test and a vaginal swab test.

Nurx claims that people will usually receive their test results within 7 business days.

myLAB Box

The myLAB chlamydia and gonorrhea test includes everything a person needs to take a urine sample and comes with prepaid shipping. People can also access a free phone consultation with a healthcare provider following a positive result.

The company states that a person will receive their test results in an email, which generally takes between 2–5 days to arrive.

People who are at a higher risk of STIs, and those who have symptoms of an STI, including genital discharge, unusual sores, rashes, or a burning sensation during urination, may wish to see a healthcare professional as soon as possible for screening.

Doctors can treat chlamydia by prescribing antibiotics. According to the United Kingdom National Health Service (NHS), more than 95% of chlamydia cases are curable if people take their medication correctly.

A healthcare professional may prescribe either a single oral dose of azithromycin or a twice-daily dose of doxycycline for 7 days. Recommendations also advise against engaging in oral sex or intercourse for at least 7 days until treatment is complete.

Without treatment, chlamydia can cause serious problems, such as:

There are benefits to sex as well as risks. A healthy and active sex life can improve mental health and emotional well-being. However, a person may wish to be aware of the associated risks to protect their physical health.

People can try the following tips to get the most from their sex life while minimizing the risk to their health:

  • talking openly with sexual partners about protection and contraception
  • knowing the symptoms of common STIs
  • having a plan of action for testing and treatment in the event of symptoms
  • considering a regular testing schedule if sexually active with multiple partners
  • understanding the benefits and limitations to contraception and barrier protection methods
  • abstaining from sex if they suspect an STI or until they have finished a course of medication
  • using appropriate protection every time during oral, anal, and vaginal intercourse
  • keeping sex toys clean and using condoms on sex toys

Although chlamydia in the throat is uncommon, this infection is the most frequently reported STI in the U.S. A person may acquire chlamydia in the genitals and throat at the same time, and the infection can often be asymptomatic.

Young, sexually active people and those with multiple sexual partners are most at risk of chlamydia. Regular testing and testing after exposure to the infection can lead to a person receiving effective treatment, minimizing the risk of further or severe complications.

At-home test kits for chlamydia can provide reliable and confidential test results, making them convenient for people with limited access to clinics.