How is chlamydia transmitted?

Updated on:
July 12, 2021

The different ways chlamydia can be transmitted

Oral sex on the penis

Giving oral sex to a partner with a penile chlamydia infection can transmit the infection to your mouth/throat.

Receiving oral sex on the penis from a partner with a chlamydia infection in their throat can result in a chlamydia infection of the penis.

Oral sex on the vagina

Giving oral sex to a partner with a chlamydia infection in the vagina or urinary tract can result in a chlamydia infection of your throat/mouth.

Receiving oral sex on the vagina from a partner with a chlamydia infection of the throat can result in getting a chlamydia infection of the rectum and vagina.

Oral sex on the anus

Giving oral sex to a partner with a chlamydia infection in the rectum can result in getting chlamydia in your throat/mouth.

Receiving oral sex on the anus from a partner with a chlamydia infection of the throat can result in getting a chlamydia infection of the rectum.

Vaginal sex

Having penis-to-vagina penetrative sex with a partner who has a chlamydia infection of the vagina or urinary tract can result in getting chlamydia of the penis.

Receiving penetrative vaginal sex from a partner with a chlamydia infection of the urethra (penis) can result in getting a chlamydia infection of the vagina.

Fingering the vagina may transmit chlamydia if the recipient has a chlamydia infection of the vagina. When infected bodily fluids come into contact with the hand, this can then transmit the chlamydia to mucous membranes the hand comes into contact with (i.e. genitals, mouth/throat, eyes, rectum).

Anal sex

Having penis-to-anus penetrative sex with a partner who has a chlamydia infection of the vagina or urinary tract can result in getting chlamydia of the penis.

Receiving penetrative anal sex from a partner with a chlamydia infection of the penis can result in getting a chlamydia infection of the rectum.

Fingering of the rectum may transmit chlamydia if the recipient has a chlamydia infection of the rectum. When infected bodily fluids come into contact with the hand, this can then transmit the chlamydia to mucous membranes the hand comes into contact with (i.e. genitals, mouth/throat, eyes, rectum).

Sex toys

Sharing sex toys, especially if infected fluids come into contact with the toy, can result in chlamydia transmission.

Chlamydia prevention

For a complete guide on preventing chlamydia, visit our article on How to Prevent Chlamydia.

Chlamydia treatments

If you have tested positive for chlamydia, making sure that you and all of your recent sexual partners are treated effectively is of the utmost importance to prevent further transmission of chlamydia.

For more information about treatments, see our article covering everything you need to know about chlamydia treatments.

Reviewed by:
Dr. Caley Shukalek

Caley is passionate about evidence-based, patient-centred care, including telemedicine that can provide high quality care from wherever a patient may choose.

He helped create Alberta's PrEP guidelines and works as a specialist in General Internal Medicine with additional training in sexual health, including HIV and sexually transmitted infections.

He holds an Masters of Public Health from Johns Hopkins University, an MD from the University of Calgary and an MSc from the University of Alberta.