Many teens and even older couples believe that you can only get sexually transmitted diseases from having vaginal intercourse. This is completely untrue. The fact is, STD’s can be transmitted via oral sex. In particular, the person giving oral sex is at a high risk of catching certain STD’s, especially if they aren’t using any protection.
One such STD is called nongonococcal urethritis and it is on the rise. Nongonococcal urethritis, also referred to as NGU, is a type of STD that affects men and women. NGU consists of an infection found in the urethra. The urethra is a tube that transports the urine from the bladder to be expelled from the body by urination. Infection by chlamydia trachomatis is the most common cause for this STD. However, other viruses and bacteria that can be transmitted during oral sex can also cause it.
NGU is characterized by the presence of pain during urination, burning during urination and urethral discharge, though many people experience no symptoms at all. Since so few know they have NGU, this has contributed greatly to the rapid rise in its spread. Oral sex is linked to NGU in both homosexuals and homosexuals.
HIV is another STD which can be transmitted via oral sex. HIV can be transmitted via vaginal, anal or oral sex. It is most commonly transmitted via vaginal and anal sex, however, the risk of contracting HIV during oral sex is less than with vaginal or oral sex, but it is still a risk. There is little risk of contracting HIV by performing cunnilingus or anilingus. Risk for contracting HIV is very high however, when ejaculation takes place in the mouth from an HIV positive male. When a person who is HIV positive is receiving oral sex, their semen, blood, vaginal fluid and pre-seminal fluids all can contain the HIV virus. If a person performing oral sex is HIV positive, there is still a chance of transmitting HIV to the receiver through blood that may be in their mouth that is exposed to the lining of the anus, vagina, cervix or the tip of the penis. A person can also be infected through any cuts or sores they might have that are exposed to these sexual fluids.
Other STD’s can also be transmitted through oral sex, including HPV (human papillomavirus), herpes, syphilis, gonorrhea and genital warts. In addition, hepatitis and intestinal parasites can also be transmitted through oral sex.
Tips for Safer Oral Sex
The good news is that there are ways you can protect yourself and lower your risk of being infected by any STD. First and foremost, it is critical to avoid letting your partner ejaculate into your mouth, as this carries the highest risk from oral sex. You can also use barriers for oral sex, these include condoms, dental dams, latex rubber sheets or you can even use a condom that has been cut open as a barrier between your mouth and your partner’s genitals. Using barrier protection is a great way to lower your risk of contracting an STD during oral sex. If your partner is already HIV positive, your risk of getting the virus is lowered if they are taking proper antiretroviral therapy for their HIV. This drug therapy lowers the amount of HIV in their blood, sometimes to non-detectable amounts, which substantially lowers the chance of transmission.
If you enjoy oral sex often, it’s important to remember these tips and to always try to practice the safest oral sex possible. While you can always lower your risk of getting an STD, the only 100% effective way to avoid getting an STD is to not have any sex at all.