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A sore throat is a vague symptom when you think about it. Do you have a cold or the flu? Sore throat. Are your allergies acting up? Sore throat. What you may not realize, however, is that your sore throat could be telling you something about your sexual health.
The back of the throat is where your tonsils hang out. These clusters of soft tissue are part of your immune system, trapping germs to prevent illness throughout your body. When viruses or bacteria reach the tonsils, they can turn red, get inflamed, or even develop white spots.
Any infection, including sexually transmitted ones, can cause these white spots. That’s why it’s crucial for you to get a rapid STD test if you have a sore throat and are sexually active. STD white spots on tonsils may clue you in about exposure through oral sex.
Symptoms of Chlamydia in the Throat
According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), 85% of sexually active people between 18 and 44 engage in oral sex. With one in five people reporting that they have had an STD in the United States, the risk of contracting one through oral sex is pretty high.
Chlamydia is a common STD that can cause severe problems if left untreated. Women are at a greater risk of developing significant side effects from chlamydia, including infertility.
Unfortunately, this bacterial infection may not have many symptoms, making it challenging to know you have it without having a Chlamydia test. To complicate matters further, you can get chlamydia from oral to genital or anal contact, which means that a sore throat may present as one of the only clues that you are infected.
Appearance of chlamydia in the throat
If you can’t tell that you have chlamydia through other symptoms, how does a sore throat point in the right direction? White patches on your tonsils or throat can be enough information to go on. Even with what appears to be a localized throat infection, chlamydia can work its way throughout your body to wreak havoc on your reproductive system.
If you have recently had unprotected oral sex with a new or multiple partners, you may want to consider chlamydia or other sexually transmitted infections as a possibility for the cause of your sore throat.
What to do if you have chlamydia bumps on tongue
Never ignore white patches on your tongue or throat. Ease your mind with a visit to the nearest Rapid STD Testing site. Any mouth sores can make it uncomfortable to chew food, but they are also just one sign of what is underneath the surface. Even without symptoms, you could transmit chlamydia or other STDs to your partners, especially if you engage in unprotected sexual activity.
Treatment and diagnosis of chlamydia in the throat
The only way to know for sure if you have chlamydia in your throat or anywhere else is through accurate STD testing. Some testing facilities may do a throat swab in addition to blood work. This swab is like a test for strep throat you may have had in the past. Medical professionals usually treat chlamydia with antibiotics, although some strains may resist certain medications.
It is not a bad idea to get retested at Rapid STD Testing a week or two after completing your course of antibiotics to ensure the chlamydia is gone. That way, you know if you are in the clear or if you should ask for a different medication to resolve the infection.
Antibiotic-resistant chlamydia is an issue these days—don’t assume that you have a clean bill of health after you finish your prescription. A positive diagnosis is also a good reminder of why safe sexual practices should include oral contact.
Symptoms of Oral Gonorrhea
Much like chlamydia and other kinds of STDs, gonorrhea is easy to contract without knowing. You can transmit this disease through genital or anal sexual activity, but you can also share it through oral contact. It's less likely to occur from oral to female genitals than through oral to male genitals.
People with oral gonorrhea may not have any symptoms, but sometimes they indicate a sore throat or difficulty swallowing food. That’s why it is nearly impossible to determine your STD status without getting tested.
Appearance of oral gonorrhea
If you look at the back of your throat, you may not notice anything. For other people, redness, swollen tonsils, or STD white spots on tonsils are the only sign that they may have an infection. The appearance of throat irritation does not point to oral gonorrhea or other STD infection.
Rather, your throat may look just like it would from any cause of soreness. The only way to prevent oral gonorrhea is by refraining from oral sex. With most sexually active people enjoying this way to connect intimately, the focus should not be abstinence. A 10-panel STD test and safe sexual practices are the best ways to prevent the spread of any STD.
Treatment and diagnosis of oral gonorrhea
To test for oral gonorrhea, medical professionals use a throat swab, just like they do for chlamydia, strep, or other throat infections. It may make sense for you to go to a Rapid STD Testing center to get checked for all major sexually transmitted diseases at the same time. Accurate testing is there to give you peace of mind and start your treatment options without delay.
For some people, oral gonorrhea may clear up without the need for antibiotics. Instead of taking any chances, however, you may want to start a round of prescription treatment to help it along or prevent a breakthrough infection.
Gonorrhea is also becoming resistant to some antibiotics, and doctors often prescribe two forms at the same time to kill off the bacteria and stop long-term complications from developing. It's vital to take any medicine as prescribed to receive the full benefit and stop that resistance from limiting treatment options in the future.
Other Types of STDs on Tonsils
The spread of STDs through oral sex isn’t limited to chlamydia and gonorrhea. Any sexually transmitted disease can result from any form of sexual contact. Regular STD testing can be an important aspect of maintaining good oral health. Here are a few more STDs that can cause a sore throat, even without other STD symptoms:
HPV is prevalent in most age groups throughout the United States and carries a risk of certain types of cancer with it. Cervical cancer is a significant concern for women, but anyone is at risk for forms of anal cancer as well as mouth and throat cancers from HPV.
Perhaps not as severe, but just as concerning is the risk of developing mouth warts from the same virus responsible for genital warts. If the idea of mouth warts worries you, head over to Rapid STD Testing to know for sure.
Herpes simplex II is often referred to as genital herpes, while simplex I is typically oral. The unspoken truth about herpes is that you can have either variety in your mouth, genitals, or anus. Sores can indicate an active case, and while antiviral medication can control it to some extent, it is not a cure for this disease.
The last thing you want going on in your mouth is an outbreak of syphilis. With oral sex, you may notice sores on the inside of your mouth, tongue, gums, or back of your throat. It can present as red spots but can quickly change to painful open sores or infected yellow or gray patches.
Syphilis responds to antibiotic treatment, and the sooner you get tested, the faster you can knock it out. Without medicine, syphilis can become life-threatening by damaging your brain or heart.
How To Prevent Contracting Oral STDs
Sexual health education in some parts of the United States may focus on abstinence as the only way to stop the spread of STDs. In other areas, the emphasis may center on pregnancy prevention. If you want to enjoy oral to genital or anal sex, ask your partner about their STD status.
The idea of wearing a condom for oral sexual contact may not be popular, but it is effective. Some people are unaware that condoms effectively stop oral STD infections, just as they do during genital or anal sex. You and your partner can have fun experimenting with different products to see what gives you both pleasure and protection.
Condoms are not the only type of barrier protection that limits STD infections. For example, dental dams are thin sheets of latex or other materials that dentists use during some procedures to keep a tooth or area of the mouth dry.
The CDC recommends both condoms and dental dams to prevent STDs during oral sex or oral-to-anal stimulation. Unfortunately, unlike condoms, you can’t find dental dams at any convenience or drug store. However, if you look online, you should be able to locate them and have them shipped directly and discreetly to your home.
Be Proactive About STD Testing
Why sit around wondering why you have a sore throat or white spots on your tonsils when you can find out right away if you have an STD? Rapid STD Testing has convenient locations to serve you. Contact us online or call (866) 872-1888 to learn more about our same-day STD testing procedures and how we can help.