What You Need to know about Oral Sex and STI’s
Before we can answer this question, lets look at what oral sex actually is.
Oral sex is defined as any use of the mouth, lips, or tongue to stimulate the genitals, genital areas, or anus of a partner. Some common terms people may use when referring to it are: blowjobs, fellatio, giving head, eating out, cunnilingus, rimming.
According to the CDC, surveys show that more than 85% of sexually active adults ages 18-44 years old, and 41% of teens age 15-19 years old report having participated in oral sex with a partner. Many teens report having oral sex with their partner even while they claim their virginity is still intact and have not participated in sexual intercourse.
The assumption that oral sex is safe(r) sex is misleading and dangerous when it comes to your health or the health of your partner.
The TRUTH is that several STI’s, and certain other infections, can be spread during oral sex. According to the CDC, certain STI’s such as Chlamydia, Gonorrhea, Syphilis, Herpes, HPV, and in rare occasions, HIV, can be transmitted. Furthermore if you are engaging in oral-anal sex you could contract infections such as hepatitis A and E.coli.
The more partners you have, the more at risk you are to contract one of these infections. Anyone exposed to a partner with an STI has an increased risk of contracting that infection and spreading it to future partners.
While things like condoms or dental dams may decrease this risk, they are not 100% foolproof. The safest method to prevent STI’s is to abstain from any type of sexual encounter or only participate if you are in a committed monogamous marital relationship.
Lets Review of Some Facts about STI’s and Oral Sex:
- Infections can be transmitted to the mouth, throat, or lips through this sex with a partner who has a genital STI.
- Infections can be transmitted to the genitals from a partner with an infection in their mouth.
- It is possible to have an STI in both the mouth and genitals.
- Several STI’s that can be transmitted via oral sex can also spread throughout the body, such as syphilis, gonorrhea, and intestinal infections.
- STI’s can be spread even when the partner is asymptomatic. Many STI’s are spread without ever knowing about or having symptoms of the infection.
- Brushing your teeth or using mouth wash before or after this sex is not recommended and may increase your chance of contracting an infection orally. According to the University of Georgia’s Health Center, flossing and brushing your teeth can cause your gums to bleed, thus irritating them and making it easier for an infection to be contracted. It is recommended to only rinse your mouth with water before and after oral sex.
If you think you or your partner may have an STI you both should be tested before participated in any further sexual acts!
YCR can help! We provide female clients free testing for genital chlamydia and gonorrhea (2 of the most commonly spread STI’s). Please call or text us at 336-629-9988. If you think you have an oral STI, contact your local Health Department or see a physician for an exam and testing.