Chlamydia is one of the most common STDs in the US, with more than 1.5 million reported cases each year. Among all age groups, teens and young adults show the highest rates of infection. Unfortunately, a lot of people who have the infection do not know they have it as chlamydia is a “silent” STD – most women and about 50% of men won’t exhibit any symptoms of the infection whatsoever.
This makes it impossible to diagnose chlamydia without a dedicated test, so you should get tested ASAP if you suspect recent exposure. In order to minimize chlamydia occurrences, we have to know how to protect ourselves and the best way to do that is learning how the infection is transmitted. There’s a lot of misinformation out there regarding this subject, so we will now answer one burning question about this STD – can you get chlamydia from kissing?
How Is Chlamydia Transmitted?
Like any other STI, chlamydia is transmitted through certain sexual activities, primarily through vaginal and anal sex. Chlamydia is rarely transmitted through oral sex because the bacterium causing the infection “prefers” the genital area and doesn’t target the throat as often. There haven’t been any reported cases of mouth-to-anus or mouth-to-vagina transmissions, but the infection can be transmitted through penis-to-mouth, anus-to-mouth, and vagina-to-mouth contact.
Women can get chlamydia in the anal area even without having anal sex. Bacteria can be spread from the vaginal area during wiping with toilet paper, for example. The infection can affect the eyes through hand-to-eye contact. Chlamydia can also be passed on during childbirth, which can result in pneumonia, eye infections, and other complications. Note that chlamydia in children may be a potential sign of sexual abuse.
But What About Kissing?
Contracting chlamydia through saliva is extremely unlikely, but science still can’t rule it out as a possibility. This also means that we are not sure whether the infection can be transmitted by sharing cutlery, glasses, and other utensils. On the other hand, casual contact like hugging and shaking hands is definitely eliminated as a transmission medium. It is also impossible to contract chlamydia from toilet seats.
If you are not certain whether you have the infection but suspect you might have been exposed to it, the only way to know for sure is to get tested. With a good chlamydia test, you can determine whether you have the infection, talk to professionals, and get all the information you need about available treatment options.