Can Chlamydia be contracted through kissing?

When it comes to STIs in medical records, Chlamydia is always on the top of the charts. It is especially widespread among the younger population. However, the very cause and treatment remains somewhat debatable, if not controversial. One quite popular opinion argues that kissing can lead to the transmission of the disease. Let’s check if this is so.

Is Chlamydia only a kiss away?

To put things simply, the answer is – no. Kissing or hugging a person with Chlamydia does not put you in harm’s way. Even if you share a glass of your favourite beverage or sit on the same toilet seat as the infected person, you should have no fear – it is but a myth that needs to be debunked by proper Sex-Ed.

The reason why you should not worry is because this bacteria doesn’t live in or spread through saliva. However, unprotected sexual intercourse, whether oral, vaginal or anal, bears risks, as Chlamydia thrives in genital fluids. Therefore, don’t forget to use a condom.

What about other STIs and kissing?

There really isn’t an abundance of diseases which can be transmitted through kissing. The number is quite low and amounts to about two or three.

Most commonly, these are the Herpes viruses. The type known as Herpes simplex usually causes cold blisters in the oral area, while the other type – Herpes genitalis – causes genital rashes. It is worth noting that the first type of Herpes is easier to transmit through kissing, especially while the rashes and blisters are visible. Although the Herpes virus becomes a lifelong companion of the host, fortunately there are successful antiviral means to treat the symptoms when they occur. For most of the time, the virus remains silent, showing no symptoms. 

Syphilis is yet another, albeit bacterial disease that can be transmitted through kissing, although the chances are far lower than through genital contact. If the symptoms include sores on the lips, tongue and elsewhere in the mouth, the probability of passing the bacteria between partners is greater. When diagnosed at an early stage, it is easily treated with antibiotics. 

Other Chlamydia-related misconceptions

We are certain that we have put the myth of mouth-to-mouth Chlamydia transmission to sleep. However, you might still have other related doubts that beg for some clarification. Let us take a closer look at some opinions about Chlamydia and distinguish between what is true and what is false. 

Chlamydia can be passed through anal and oral sex. 

True. This is a fact that does not need much elaboration. However, some people tend to use condoms only as means of contraception during vaginal intercourse, while ignoring other important functions of protection. Needless to say, unsafe sex in any form – oral, anal or vaginal, does not keep you away from Chlamydia or any other STI for that matter. 

You cannot have multiple STIs simultaneously. 

False. This is clearly a misconception as the very presence of a disease increases the chances of contracting other infections, which can often lead to further complications. Pathogens, whether bacterial or viral, do not wait in a queue, so it is important to always double check your health with a medical professional.

You can contract Chlamydia only once in your lifetime.

False. After treating it successfully once, some people tend to relax and go back to their old ways. This is clearly wrong as there is no reason to expect lifelong immunity. Also, there is no limit to how many times you can catch Chlamydia – our bodies do not develop any special mechanisms to cope with it without antibiotics. This is why you should be mindful of potential risks and employ healthy lifestyle strategies. For example, reduce the number of sexual encounters with strangers, use protection and take care of your health in general.

Symptoms will show if you’ve caught it or not. 

False. One would expect that Chlamydia would make you feel sick rapidly. Actually 75% of men and 50% of women experience no symptoms at all. This is the main reason why it remains largely under the radar for most of the time. In consequence, it is advisable to run regular yearly check-ups, even when you feel well.

Chlamydia cannot be contracted through first sexual intercourse.

False. Having sex without protection for the first time leaves you as vulnerable to the infection as anyone else. Being a virgin does not safeguard you from Chlamydia or any other sexually transmitted disease. In order to enjoy sex without worry, it is essential to be informed about proper STI prevention. 

There are zero chances of missing Chlamydia when you sleep with someone infected.

False. Studies have indeed shown that the danger of contracting Chlamydia varies according to multiple factors. If you sleep with one infected person, the chances are approximately 30% that you will contract the disease. You might think that this is a fairly low number, as you could likely fall into that lucky 70%. However, you should remain cautious, as the likelihood increases exponentially with the number of potentially infected partners. For these reasons, common sense dictates that you should always protect yourself, especially if you are frequently changing partners.