A sexually active person needs to know a lot to protect their sexual health. After all, the risks of being sexually active don’t just begin when you enter the bedroom. They can exist with even the most casual forms of intimacy.

One common myth out there is that you get Chlamydia while kissing. But is this true?

In this blog, we’ll cover what Chlamydia is, how it’s spread, and what you can do to protect yourself from this STI.

What is Chlamydia?

Chlamydia is a sexually transmitted infection caused by bacteria called Chlamydia trachomatis. The bacteria can infect the urinary tract, throat, eyes and rectum of an infected person, causing a variety of symptoms.

This bacterial infection is common among younger people aged 15-24, and most common among women under 25. The Centers for Disease Control estimates that 1 in 20 sexually active women in the US between the ages of 14 and 24 have an active Chlamydia infection. However, anyone can get it, regardless of age, gender, or sexuality.

What are the symptoms of Chlamydia?

Chlamydia often doesn’t present with any symptoms. Someone can have a Chlamydia infection and not even know it, allowing them to spread the infection without meaning to. This is what makes Chlamydia and other sexually transmitted infections so pernicious.

However, when symptoms do appear, they include:

  • A burning sensation during urination
  • An unusual discharge from the penis or vagina, usually with a distinct odour
  • Pain during sexual intercourse
  • Bleeding from the vagina between periods
  • Swelling and discomfort in one or both testicles
  • Discomfort and bleeding from the rectum (rectal infection)
  • Sore throat (throat infection)
  • Conjunctivitis (eye infection)

If left untreated, Chlamydia can lead to serious health complications like Pelvic Inflammatory Disease. For someone who is pregnant, Chlamydia can lead to pre-term delivery, conjunctivitis, and pneumonia in the newborn.

Having Chlamydia can also make you more susceptible to getting other STIs like HIV.

How does Chlamydia spread?

You contract Chlamydia primarily through unprotected sex, like vaginal sex, anal sex, oral sex, and other forms of sexual contact like sharing sex toys.

Can you get Chlamydia from kissing?

No, you can’t get Chlamydia from kissing, even if someone has a Chlamydia infection in their throat. Chlamydia cannot spread through casual physical contact, like hugging, holding hands, and kissing.

However, just because you can’t get Chlamydia from kissing doesn’t mean you can’t get something else.

What can you get from kissing?

There are several sexually transmitted diseases you can get from kissing. Here are a few:


The Herpes Simplex Virus has two strains: HSV 1 and HSV 2.

HSV 1, commonly called Oral Herpes, is the virus that causes cold sores around the mouth. This virus can be passed on to another person through kissing.

HSV 2, commonly called Genital Herpes, tends to infect the genitals. However, it is possible to have an HSV 2 infection in your mouth and to pass it on to another person through kissing, as well.


HPV is the most common STI. More than 100 types of HPV exist, and more than 40 subtypes of HPV can affect the genital area and throat.

HPV tends to spread through sexual intercourse and intimate skin-to-skin contact. It is possible for someone with an oral HPV infection to spread the virus through deep kissing. Spreading the virus is more likely if infected saliva comes into contact with open sores in a partner’s mouth.


Syphilis spreads mainly through sexual intercourse, but it’s possible for the infection to spread through kissing.

During the initial stages of a Syphilis infection, a chancre (sore) appears at the initial site of infection, usually the genitals. However, it’s possible that this chancre can appear in the mouth if the mouth is the initial site of infection. If an infected person has a chancre in their mouth and kisses someone, they can spread the infection.

Final thoughts

The idea of having an STI can be very stressful. However, if you think you may have an STI, it’s always better to know for sure by getting tested.

To book an appointment at a sexual health clinic near you, call the number at the top of this page to speak to one of our trained Sexual Health Advisors. They will be able to discuss your situation with you can come up with the best course of action to protect your sexual health.

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