Most persons infected with Chlamydia (oral Chlamydia inclusive) usually do not show or have any outward symptoms in the early stages of the infection. In fact, research has revealed that most persons infected with Chlamydia (including oral Chlamydia) have no symptoms at all and if at all symptoms do appear, it often begins to surface after about two to three weeks after infection.
Though the symptoms are usually delayed, oral Chlamydia has symptoms which can be identified even by an untrained observer.
Oral Chlamydia Symptoms
A person infected with oral Chlamydia may show these symptoms:
- A sore throat is a consistent pain, scratchiness, or irritation that occurs in the throat. A sore throat could be pharyngitis when it affects the area right behind the mouth; it is laryngitis if there are swellings and redness of the voice box or larynx, and it is tonsillitis when there are redness and swellings of the soft tissue in the back of the mouth.
- A cough. A cough is a voluntary or involuntary act that rapidly expels air from the lungs and clears the throat and breathing passages of foreign microbes, mucus, fluids, etc.
- Fever. A person is said to be suffering from fever when the body temperature rises above the normal 98oF (37oC).
- Lesions which are identical to cold sores and fever blisters may appear around the mouth.
- There could be yellowish or whitish discharge.
Causes of Oral Chlamydia
The bacterium that causes oral Chlamydia is Chlamydia trachomatis. Oral Chlamydia is contracted through the following ways:
- Having unprotected oral sex.
- The interchange of genital fluids from one person to another transfers the infectious bacteria during oral sex.
- Oral Chlamydia can be caused by sharing unsterilized sex toys that contain sexual fluids of infected persons.
It is important to note, however, that oral Chlamydia cannot be contracted during hugging or kissing the infected person nor can oral Chlamydia be contracted by sharing bath towels and toiletries.
Diagnosis of Oral Chlamydia
Oral Chlamydia infection cannot be diagnosed via urine test. Thus, to ascertain if a person is infected by oral chlamydia, the person simply provides a throat swab and the healthcare provider will test same to identify the infection.
Treatment of Oral Chlamydia
Since oral Chlamydia is caused by bacteria, it is treated with antibiotics. The treatment of oral Chlamydia is very quick once it has been diagnosed. The usual prescribed treatment for oral Chlamydia is a single dose of antibiotics or a week-long course of antibiotics. The two most common antibiotics prescribed for oral Chlamydia are:
- Azithromycin. This is a prescription drug used to treat infection caused by bacteria. Azithromycin works by killing bacteria such as Chlamydia trachomatis and as well treat oral Chlamydia and other sexually transmitted infections caused by bacteria. It is usually prescribed in a single, large dose, however, the dose may also be spread out over five days depending on the severity of the infection. Azithromycin is available as an oral tablet, oral suspension, extended release oral suspension, eye drop or intravenous form.
- Doxycycline. This is a prescription drug that works by blocking a bacterial protein from being formed. It works by binding to certain units of the bacterial protein and thus stops the bacterial protein from growing, thereby treating bacterial infections such oral Chlamydia. Doxycycline comes in various forms and is available in a tablet, a capsule, and a suspension variant. Doxycycline is usually, prescribed to be taken twice per day for about one week. It is important to point out that during treatment, the infected person should abstain from having oral sex until she/he is certified okay before indulging in such acts because having oral sex during treatment of oral Chlamydia could lead to re-infection.
Prevention of Oral Chlamydia
The safest means of prevention of oral Chlamydia is abstinence from tongue-vaginal-stimulation. However, where a person wants to indulge in fellatio (oral-penile-stimulation), cunnilingus (oral-vaginal-stimulation), or anilingus (oral-anal-stimulation) without getting infected by oral Chlamydia, these options are available to prevent the bacterial infection:
- Condoms. Condoms are cheap and easy to find in stores and are easy to use but the downside of using a condom (especially latex) is that it is oily and may cause a little irritation.
- Dental Dam. This is more difficult to find in stores and its cost is on the high side. It is specifically made for oral sex and thus provides maximum protection.
- Having regular medical checkup and tests help to detect the oral Chlamydia early and once discovered at an early stage, it can be treated quickly before it becomes severe.
- Having a safe number of sex partners (one, ideally) helps prevent one from being with infected sexual partners.
Home test kits also work well in diagnosing and helping keep one safe from the bacteria. It comes in handy for folks who are shy to confront healthcare workers or are far away from where they can access test centers immediately. Travelers, hikers, and people with little time to spare should have such test kits available at all times.