Dr. Matthew KNorton is a Chiropractor practicing in New York, NY. Dr. KNorton specializes in preventing, diagnosing, and treating conditions associated with the neuromusculoskeletal system, while improving each patients functionality and quality of life. Conditions treated include sciatica, neck pain, and arthritis pain,... more
Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) are something you should be very careful with. Thanks to the invention of condoms, we have a reliable device to protect us not only from unplanned pregnancy but also from sexually transmitted infections.
However, a sexual interaction between the partners doesn’t just include intercourse. There are many contacts of the skin, fluids, and mucous membranes. Are they safe? What are the risks if there are any? Let’s observe all the possible risks of infection through oral sex which involves a lot of contact and bacterial exchange between the two partners.
What Is Oral Sex?
Oral sex is an interaction between partners that involves stimulating the sex organs of a partner with the help of the mouth, tongue, and lips. Its advantage is that it doesn’t come with risks for an unplanned pregnancy. But what about the risk for STDs? Here is some useful information you should know:
- There are infections that are more likely to be transmitted through oral sex than through other means. These include herpes, gonorrhea, and syphilis. However, you're less likely to get chlamydia, HIV, hepatitis A, B, C, condylomas, and crabs.
- The risk is higher when there are any eruptions or fissures on the skin or mucous membranes of the partner.
- It’s not only your partner's blood that may contain infections but also all their body fluids. The contact of body fluids with the eruptions on the skin/mucous membranes may cause an infection.
- Hepatitis can be transferred through the gastrointestinal tract if there was a contact of mouth-to-anus.
- The giving side’s risks are more than those of the accepting one.
When Are the Risks Higher?
In some cases, the risk of being infected with an STD through oral sex can be higher than ever. It is increased in the following cases:
- When you have a sore throat
- When your partner has menstruation
- The infected fluids got into your mouth, throat, or eye
- Your mouth and lips contacted with the skin, where eruptions appeared afterward.
What Are the Symptoms of Being Infected Through Oral Sex?
- A sore throat
- Eruptions or abscesses on the lips or in the mouth
- Symptoms of hepatitis
How Can You Protect Yourself During the Oral Sex?
- Use a male condom or a special dental dam for women’s genitals while having oral sex
- Get vaccinated against hepatitis
- Don’t clean your teeth before oral sex to avoid wounding your mouth unintentionally
- Protect your eyes from the partner’s body fluids
- Avoid having oral sex if you have any eruptions, wounds, or rashes in your mouth, on your genitals, or lips. This also concerns fresh piercings.
Remember that cleaning your mouth or urinating after oral sex will not protect you against infection if it’s already in your body. Regular STD testing and mindful attitude towards your intimate choices will help you control your health and prevent the infection.