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The risks of oral sex

Oral sex is believed to bring about heightened sexual pleasure by many men and women. The act involves sucking or licking the sexual organs, i.e. the penis, anus, vagina and the nipples of both sexes. While some indulge in it, others are not encouraged due to the risks associated with it as well as due to hygiene issues.

We shall discuss the risks associated with oral sex.


Risk of transmission of HIV virus

The risk of contracting HIV virus is higher for those having multiple sex partners. When you are having oral sex with an individual infected with HIV virus, knowingly or unknowingly, you can get the infection too.

While indulging in vaginal licking with a menstruating woman or while having unprotected oral fellatio (stimulation of the penis by sucking it), the virus might enter your body. The virus is easily transmitted when individuals have mouth ulcers.

However, chances of acquiring HIV infection through oral sex are lesser than penetrative intercourse or anal intercourse with an HIV infected individual.


HPV infection rate is high

The herpes virus or the HPV virus (HSV 1 and HSV 2) can get transmitted through skin contact of the sexual organs. Thus you should avoid oral sex with individuals with genital warts and mouth ulcers. There are valid reports showing HPV infections contracted from oral sex have caused oropharyngeal cancers.


Oral sex and probability of sexually transmitted infections


Chlamydia infections are common in people indulging in fellatio and oro-anal sex. It cannot spread from licking of nipples and rarely through cunnilingus (licking of the vagina). Chlamydia infections can be detected by analysing the throat swab of the suspected individual.


One of the most common sexually transmitted infections is syphilis. It can spread via performing oral sex on the anus, vagina or the penis. The infection is usually latent during the initial stages but subsequently lesions develop in the genitals.


Another common infection that can spread by fellatio, vaginal or anal licking is gonorrhoea. The virus is routed inside your body via your throat, i.e. when the mucous membranes of your mouth come in contact with the infected secretions of the sexual organs of your partner.


Hepatitis might be contracted from oral sex

There is not enough scientific evidence to confirm whether hepatitis B and hepatitis C virus can be transmitted from oral sex. The probability of occurrence could be more in people with compromised immune system, like drug addicts or those with STDs.

However, several cases have been reported where individuals have been infected with Hepatitis A on indulging oral anal sex under unhygienic conditions.


So what is the bottom line?

Oral sex is risky when you do not know the immune status of your partner. We would suggest you to avoid oral sex under such circumstance or performing it with individuals with genital warts, wounds, mouth ulcers, etc.

Another option to ensure some degree of safety is to use condoms or dental dams. Lastly, it is important to get yourself screened and vaccinated against the contagious microorganisms to safeguard your health as well as your partner’s.

Written by: healthplus24.com team
Date last updated: April 12, 2014