Is it just the flu?STI Symptoms You Shouldn’t Ignore

Sexually transmitted infections (STIs, formerly known as sexually transmitted diseases or STDs) are primarily spread through various types of sexual contact. In the United States, one in five people has an STD.

You can reduce your risk of contracting an STI by using barrier protection such as condoms during all sexual encounters, including oral sex. Some STIs can be spread by mouth and cause a sore throat.

Read on to learn more about sexually transmitted infections that can affect the throat and mouth and how to treat them.

gonorrhea in the throat and mouth

gonorrhea, also known as “clapping,” is one of the most common sexually transmitted infections in the United States.gonorrhea is caused by Neisseria gonorrhoeae Bacteria, spread through sexual contact. Gonorrhea can affect the genitals as well as the mouth and throat.

If left untreated, gonorrhea can lead to a range of serious complications, including miscarriage, infertility, septic arthritis and blindness.

The symptoms of gonorrhea appear differently in men and women. That said, gonorrhea sometimes causes no symptoms at all. This leaves many people undiagnosed and untreated, which is why regular STI testing is so important.

In women, gonorrhea may cause:

  • vaginal discharge
  • burning or pain when urinating (difficulty urinating)
  • vaginal itching
  • bleeding during menstruation
  • lower abdominal pain or discomfort
  • painful sex

In men, gonorrhea may cause:

  • yellow-green discharge from the penis
  • difficulty urinating
  • Testicular or scrotal pain and swelling

Generally, people with symptomatic gonorrhea begin to develop symptoms within 10 to 14 days of exposure.

oral transmission

Gonorrhea can be spread through oral sex on the genitals or anus of people with gonorrhea. Although oral gonorrhea usually has no symptoms, it can cause:

  • sore throat
  • redness of the throat
  • fever
  • swollen lymph nodes in the neck

Diagnosis and Treatment

Gonorrhea is diagnosed by a urine sample analyzed in a laboratory. It can also be diagnosed by swabbing potentially infected areas, such as the throat. If you are concerned that you may have been exposed to gonorrhea, contact your healthcare provider as soon as possible.

Since gonorrhea is a bacterial infection, it is primarily treated with antibiotics, however, it has developed resistance to most antibiotics. Reinfection is also common.

To address growing antibiotic resistance, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends a single intramuscular injection of 500 mg Ceftriaxone.

chlamydia in the throat and mouth

The most commonly reported sexually transmitted infection in the United States, with approximately 4 million cases Chlamydia Recorded in 2018. Chlamydia is a sexually transmitted infection caused by bacteria Chlamydia trachomatis, and Most common in young adults between the ages of 15 and 24.

Symptoms of chlamydia will depend on the part of the body that is infected. This may include the vagina, penis, rectum, or throat. However, many people infected with this particular STD have no symptoms at all.

For those who do have symptoms of chlamydia, common symptoms include:

  • vaginal discharge
  • penile discharge
  • difficulty urinating
  • genital swelling
  • abdominal and pelvic pain
  • bleeding during menstruation or during sex

oral transmission

Oral chlamydia can cause a sore throat and may include pus on the tonsils or pain when swallowing.

Diagnosis and Treatment

Chlamydia is diagnosed by a urine sample or swabs of the throat, urine, cervix, and rectum. These are the only ways to confirm an infection.

If someone tests positive for chlamydia, treatment options include prescription drugs.Most effective is 100 mg Doxycycline Oral, twice a day for seven consecutive days. This treatment is also used for oral chlamydia infections. Other treatments are available if someone is allergic to this drug or is pregnant.

Syphilis on the tongue and throat

syphilis is a sexually transmitted infection caused by bacteria Treponema pallidum. Syphilis is spread through vaginal, anal, or oral sex with an infected partner.

Syphilis symptoms depend on the stage of infection. There are four stages, each with a different sign.

  • Stage 1: The first stage is called primary syphilis and is marked by a chancre (sore). This sore can appear at points of sexual contact, such as the cervix, vagina, penis, rectum, anus, or mouth. After exposure, it takes about 21 days for chancres to appear.
  • Stage 2: If primary syphilis goes untreated, it progresses to stage 2, called secondary syphilis. Stage 2 symptoms usually appear 4 to 10 weeks after the initial infection. The main symptoms of secondary syphilis include a rash and hair loss. Other symptoms may include fever, sore throat, weight loss, headache, and more.
  • Stage 3: Stage 3 is latent syphilis with few signs or symptoms.
  • Stage 4: Stage 4, or tertiary syphilis, is the most severe stage of the infection. If someone progresses to stage 4, multiple organs, including the heart and kidneys, may be affected. Stage 4 can be fatal.

oral transmission

Syphilis can spread through the mouth and affect the tongue and throat. The main routes of syphilis transmission include oral, anal, and vaginal sex, but the risk of transmission from an infected partner depends on their stage. If spread by mouth, a sore throat may occur in stage 2.

Diagnosis and Treatment

Syphilis is diagnosed with an antibody blood test. If antibodies are detected, the main treatment for syphilis is penicillin, but other types of antibiotics can also be used.

Oral herpes in the throat and mouth

Herpes is an umbrella term describing infections caused by the herpes simplex virus (HSV). Herpes can appear on the mouth or genitals. Where infection occurs depends on the type of HSV involved.


HSV-1 is a strain of the herpes virus that usually causes oral or cold sores. HSV-1 can be transmitted through oral sex and can also cause genital ulcers.

herpes simplex virus 2

HSV-2 is another strain of herpes virus that commonly causes genital herpes. HSV-2 is mainly spread through vaginal, anal or oral sex, which can cause herpes on the genitals.

Oral herpes symptoms include:

  • cold sores
  • itching around the sore
  • pain when chewing, swallowing, or talking

If herpes affects the throat, this is called herpetic esophagitis. This can be caused by HSV-1 or HSV-2 and cause a sore throat.

oral transmission

HSV-1 can be spread through skin-to-skin contact, including during oral sex. The most contagious form of herpes is the open cold sore.

Diagnosis and Treatment

Herpes can be diagnosed with blood tests and viral cultures. A self-test can also be performed if there is skin damage. If you think a cold sore may be the result of herpes, see a healthcare provider to get a diagnosis.

Although herpes is not a curable STI, it is treatable. The main goals of herpes treatment include:

  • Symptom relief and management
  • Reduce burst duration
  • prevent recurrence
  • Reduce the risk of transmission

Treatment for herpes:

  • home remedies
  • rescue the suffering
  • anti-viral drug

HPV in the throat and mouth

Human papillomavirus (HPV) is a group of more than 200 wart-causing viruses. Of the 200 viruses, 40 variants can spread through sexual contact and affect someone’s genitals, anus, mouth or throat.

HPV is usually an asymptomatic infection. However, HPV symptoms may include:

  • genital lumps or lumps
  • genital itching
  • wart

oral transmission

HPV can also affect the mouth. Although this type of HPV is less common, it can still occur and cause warts in the mouth or throat. This can cause a sore throat.

Diagnosis and Treatment

HPV diagnosis includes testing for the presence and Determine which type is involved. Diagnosing a specific type of HPV is important because 14 is closely linked to cancer.

Many HPV cases go away on their own. Currently, there is no treatment available to cure HPV. Management strategies include monitoring for potential complications and addressing symptoms.

HIV and Oral Transmission

Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) causes acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS). HIV can be transmitted orally.

HIV symptoms can vary depending on the stage of infection someone finds themselves in. Divided into three stages:

  • Acute HIV: Acute HIV is the first stage of HIV infection. Symptoms are similar to those of the flu, such as fever, sore throat, headache, fatigue, and swollen lymph nodes.
  • Chronic HIV: During this phase, the symptoms present in the acute phase are largely relieved. Chronic HIV is mostly asymptomatic.
  • Symptomatic HIV: The final stage of HIV is the progression of infection to AIDS. Symptoms at this stage are mainly associated with opportunistic infections.

oral transmission

HIV can be transmitted by mouth, but the risk of actual transmission is small.

Diagnosis and Treatment

HIV is diagnosed by blood or saliva testing. If HIV is detected, the main course of treatment is antiretroviral drugs. These drugs prevent HIV from replicating by blocking a stage of the viral life cycle.

When to see a healthcare provider

If you suspect that you have been exposed to an STI, contact your healthcare provider as soon as possible for screening. Many STIs are treatable, but still need to be addressed to reduce the risk of any complications.

Sexually active adults should be regularly screened for chlamydia, gonorrhea, herpes, and HPV. It is also recommended that everyone between the ages of 13 and 64 get at least one HIV test.

When testing for STIs, various methods are used, including urine and blood tests. A swab test as well as a physical examination can also be performed.

At-home STI kits are also available to those who are uncomfortable going to a clinic or healthcare provider.


There are many types of sexually transmitted infections that can cause a sore throat. The only way to know for sure if the sore throat you’re experiencing is an STI is to get tested. Sexually active people should be tested regularly, especially before starting a relationship with a new partner or sleeping with someone new.

While STIs are nothing to be ashamed of, it’s important to know if you have someone who is responsible for your sexual health and preventing spreading the infection to others. Talk to your healthcare provider about getting tested and any concerns you may have.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What STI starts with a sore throat?

    Chlamydia, gonorrhea, syphilis, herpes, and HPV can cause throat infections after oral sex.

  • How do you know if you have an STD in your throat?

    The only way to really know if you have an STI in your throat is to get tested. If you suspect that you have had oral exposure to an STI, have your healthcare provider perform a swab test on your throat to detect a potential infection.