CAN INFECTIONS (STIs) BE CONTRACTED VIA ORAL SEX?

What you need to know.

Oral sex is when someone or somebody put his or mouth, lips or tongue on a woman’s genitals ( including the vulva, vagina opening and clitoris), a man’s penis or the anus of another person.
This is common among sexual active people. Unlike sexual intercourse, oral sex cannot result into pregnancy. Many people mistakenly believe that it is impossible for sexually transmitted infections to be spread through peak sex.
However, it is very possible to get a sexually transmitted infections(STIs) from owl sex. You can catch an STI if you have just one sexual partner. However, the risk of contracting an infection is higher among people with multiple partners

About 1 million new STIs are acquired each day globally according to the World Health Organization (WHO). It is important that sexually active adults are in the know of how STIs are transmitted and the risk of spreading STIs can be reduced.
It is possible to get certain STIs on the penis, and possibly vagina, rectum or anus, from having oral sex from a partner who had a mouth or throat infection.

Although the risk of catching most STIs from oral sex is lower than for vaginal or anal sex, there is still the risk of transmission. Different STIs are spread through various body fluids and at different rate. The probability of getting an STI depends on a variety of factors.
STIs commonly caught or contracted through oral sex are:

Genital herpes
This is a virus transmitted through oral, vaginal or anal contact with an infected partner. It is highly contagious. Common symptoms include appearance of blister-like sore on or around the genitals of their partners through oral sex. It is incurable, but medication can manage symptoms.

Syphilis
Syphilis is a bacterial infection that is treatable, but if left untreated, it can result in organ failure, dementia and other serious health problems. Symptoms of Syphilis include many small blister-like sores.

Gonorrhea
This is a highly contagious bacterial infection that spreads through sexual contact with the vagina, penis, anus or mouth a partner with the disease. Symptoms include genital discharge, itching or burning sensation during urination and bleeding between periods.
Other infections that are less likely to spread through oral sex though still possible are; HIV, Chlamydia, pubic lice, hepatitis B and C and genital warts.

Genital warts
These are lumps and bumps on or near the genitals. They are caused by the human papillomavirus (HPV). The disease spreads when people come into physical contact with a genital wart. It is asymptomatic in most people, however, some have pain and itching near their genitals.

HIV and AIDS
HIV is contracted when the bodily fluids (blood, breast milk, vaginal fluids, rectal fluids, semen, and pre-seminal fluid) containing the infections come in contact with another person’s blood. This can happen when there’s a contact with an open wound or contact with the mucous membrane of the vagina. HIV can be contracted from oral sex when the bodily fluids of an infected person come in contact with the torn or injured mucous membrane partner.

How can I protect myself from STIs during oral sex?

The surest way to not to get an STI from oral sex is total abstinence from oral, vaginal and anal sex or to be in a long-term mutually monogamous relationship with an uninfected partner.
The use of condom or dental dam during oral sex as well as getting tested regularly can help prevent STIs. Condoms should be placed completely covering the penis. Condoms need to be thrown away after each use and changed between having oral sex and penetrative sex.

Dental dams can be used to cover the vulva and vagina or anus. Dental dams can be purchased, or made by cutting the tip and the ring off a regular condom, then cutting the condom open and laying it flat. Don’t create dental dams out of condoms which use spermicide, as this shouldn’t be ingested. Dental dams should also be used only once then thrown away.

Other ways you can take to protect yourself from STIs during oral sex include
1. Not having sex (even with a condom) if your partner has a visible sore, ulcer or lump on their genitals, anal area or mouth

2. For men: ejaculate outside of your partner’s mouth

3. Avoid brushing or flossing teeth right before oral sex.

4. Not having oral sex if you have cuts or sores in or near your mouth, have a sore throat, or a mouth or throat infection

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