Just a reminder boys and girls. (Most places use STI instead of STD, but I’m so used to using STD, so I’m sticking with it)
If you think oral action is “safer sex,” you’re very mistaken. Here’s what the dangers are and how to protect yourself.
Chlamydia. You can catch chlamydia in your throat by performing oral sex on a partner who has it. People with Chlamydia may have no symptoms and be unaware they are infected.
If you give oral sex to a partner with the HPV virus, you can get the virus in your throat and mouth. Symptoms include a sore throat, difficulty swallowing and visible growths. (HPV is also linked to oral cancer, although it’s rare.)
There is no data to indicate exactly how often hepatitis B is transmitted through oral sex. Hepatitis B is transmitted in the same manner as HIV and is considered 100 times more contagious.
You can catch oral herpes from performing oral sex on a partner with genital herpes and catch genital herpes when a person with oral herpes performs oral sex on you, a person with a cold sore going down on you can give you genital herpes. At least one in four people is said to have herpes, and some sources site a much higher number. Statistics have shown that approximately 80% of people with herpes do not know they have it.
Although rare, it is possible to catch the HIV virus from giving and receiving oral sex. If there are tiny cuts in your mouth, the virus can enter your bloodstream through them, and if your partner has any sores in their mouth, they could infect you while giving oral sex. The body fluids of a person who has HIV (including semen and the natural fluids that lubricate the vagina) will contain the virus. Therefore HIV can infect the cells that line the mouth of the person performing oral sex, and then enter the bloodstream (Journal of Virology 2003;77:3470â€“6). The risk is likely to be greater for performing oral sex on a man than on a woman, but there is a risk for both. Withdrawing the penis before the manâ€™s orgasm (ejaculation) would lessen the risk; however, when a man is sexually aroused, small amounts of semen leak out before ejaculation so infection could still occur. People who have any other STD are at a higher risk to contract HIV.
cases are on the increase. Studies have shown most of the people infected were homosexual men who had oral sex without using a condom, so you can get syphilis orally. Syphilis can be transmitted when infected lesions come into contact with the mouth during oral sex. According to a study conducted by the Chicago Department of Public Health, approximately 14% of syphilis cases were attributed to oral sex. This percentage might be much lower than the actual percentage transmitted orally because people who engaged in anal and/or vaginal sex as well as oral sex were not included in the reported 14%. In the reported cases, persons only engaged in oral sex.
If you contract an oral sexually transmitted infection, you might experience a sore throat, tonsillitis, oral lesions, or cold sores. However, many times, you most likely will have no symptoms at all.
How to Stay Safe
Do not perform oral sex on someone who has an unusual discharge. Do not perform oral sex on anyone whose genitals look unhealthy or unclean. If your partner has a cold sore on the face or lip, do not let him or her perform oral sex on you. Likewise, do not offer oral sex if you have a cold sore or think you might be getting one. Some experts say you should avoid mouth-to-genital contact unless you are very sure that your partner is HIV negative. Avoid brushing your teeth beforehand, because this could open up cracks in the gum which would make it easier for infection (such as HIV) to enter. Use a condom and/or dental dam. bag it! Keep semen and vaginal fluids out of your mouth. Avoiding aggressive and deep thrusting in oral sex, which can damage throat tissues and increase susceptibility for throat-based gonorrhea, herpes and abrasions. After oral sex, rinse with water or an anti-bacterial mouthwash. Thereâ€™s no evidence that spitting is more or less risky than swallowing. It is clear, however, that the longer infected fluids remain in the mouth, the more possible it is for infection to occur. Be aware that many, probably most, people with STDs don’t know they have one, they usually don’t have visible symptoms, and that using a condom/and or dental dam doesn’t give you complete protection, it just minimizes the risk. Also get tested and ask your partner(s) to get tested for STDs and make sure that you are both aware that there are still risks. Testing is not 100% reliable and some STDs including HIV may not show up in testing until several months after infection.