Better Health Channel

About oral sex

oral sex used to be a taboo capable, but these days it ’ s a common phase of intimate natural process. Oral sex means using your mouth, lips or tongue to stimulate your partner ’ s genitals or anus. Both men and women can give their partner oral sexual activity. You ’ ve probably hear oral arouse called many names – ‘ going down ’, a ‘ blow job ’, ‘ giving oral sex ’, a ‘ 69 ’ or ‘ rimming ’ ( plus enough more ). But oral sex has official medical names besides : oral sexual activity on a woman ( the vagina, vulva and clitoris ) is called cunnilingus, and oral sex on a man ( the penis ) is called fellatio. If oral sex involves the anus, it ’ randomness called anilingus. oral sex can be a natural and enjoyable part of sexual activity between partners if both of you enjoy it and consent to it. You can give or receive oral arouse as partially of other sexual activity ( like vaginal or anal intercourse ) or on its own. But oral sex without a condom does come with risks.

Risks of oral sex

many experts say oral arouse is not safe arouse. It may be ‘ safer sex ’ than genital sex without a condom, in that you won ’ metric ton get meaning from oral sex alone, but oral sex without a condom hush carries the meaning risk of catching or passing on sexually transmitted infections ( STIs ). Because oral sex normally involves sucking or licking your spouse ’ second genitals or anus, you ’ re likely to come into contact with genital fluids or faeces and this puts you at hazard of many STIs.Generally, you ’ re more at hazard of catching an STI from oral sex if :

  • you give rather than receive oral sex – because you’re more likely to be exposed to genital fluids
  • you have cuts, sores or ulcers in your mouth at the time 
  • you don’t use protection.

Another gamble of oral arouse is strain on your kinship, peculiarly if one of you doesn ’ thymine enjoy it or has concerns about it. One partner may have anxiety about their oral sexual performance or what their spouse will think of them during oral sex. Or oral arouse may make one partner spirit under the other spouse ’ s restraint. These are all significant issues to resolve before introducing oral arouse into your relationship.

STIs from oral sex

A compass of sexually transmitted infections ( STIs ) can be associated with oral sexual activity. The come are some of the most common ones.

Human papilloma virus (HPV) or genital warts

HPV is known as the virus that can cause cervical cancer in women. But HPV can lead to a range of other cancers excessively – such as throat or oral cancer or cancers of other parts of the genitals – and other unplayful diseases. HPV is a common virus that can affect both males and females. It ’ s passed on through either genital or oral sex. HPV affects both heterosexual and lapp sex partners. Some strains of HPV consequence in genital warts – indulgent growths that occur on the genitals – although it ’ south rare for genital warts to be passed to the mouth and lips through oral sexual activity. genital warts are very common, but can ’ thymine be cured. They may be treated with medications or operation. sometimes HPV shows no signs or symptoms at all. Your risk of HPV is higher the more partners you have. Contracting HPV doesn ’ deoxythymidine monophosphate guarantee cancer, but US studies have shown more than 50 % of cases of oral cancer can be linked back to HPV, for exemplify. Men are more at risk than women. If you suspect you have HPV or genital warts, talk to your doctor of the church.


Herpes is a common STI that has two types : oral herpes ( blisters and cold sores round your mouth or nose ) and genital herpes ( pain, itching and humble sores on the genitals that turn into ulcers and fink ). You can catch either character of herpes from oral sex without a condom ( and vaginal or anal sex without a condom besides ). If your partner has cold sores around their mouth ( oral herpes ), they can pass these on to your genitals during oral sex if you have not had cold sores in the by. If your spouse has herpes blisters around their genitals, they can pass these on to your talk if you give them oral sex.
sometimes you can have herpes but not have any symptoms. You can hush pass on the disease through clamber to skin contact.

Gonorrhoea, chlamydia, hepatitis B, hepatitis C

All of these STIs are caused by viruses or bacteria that can be passed on in the lapp way : through reach with infect bodily fluids, such as semen, pre-ejaculatory fluid, lineage, or vaginal secretions. sol oral sex puts you at gamble for these diseases. HIV is besides in this class ( see HIV on this page ). You may be infected with one of these STIs if infected fluids come in contact with any sores, cuts, or ulcers you may have. The fluids can besides get into inflamed cells on the lips, mouth, genitals or anus, the membrane of your eye, or the cells of your throat. This contact can allow the fluids to get into your bloodstream and make you pale.

Hepatitis A

hepatitis A is a gut infection that ’ s passed on through contact with infect faeces. If oral sex includes licking or touching your partner ’ second anus, even if it looks clean, you may be at hazard of this disease.


Experts say the gamble of contracting HIV from an HIV-positive person during oral sexual activity is extremely low, but it ’ south unmanageable to know precisely because people much participate in vaginal or anal sex at the like time as oral arouse The hazard of contracting HIV increases if you have sores in your mouth or on your vagina or penis, bleeding gums, sass liaison with menstrual blood, or other STIs.


Shigella gastroenteritis is a intestine infection caused by bacteria that is passed on through touch with infect faeces ( poo ). It can besides be spread through sexual contact, particularly during oral or oro-anal arouse. homo who have sex with men are at finical risk.


Syphilis is a very good condition if left untreated, but can be cured with the correct treatment. Symptoms come in three stages : a one sore ( often painless ), then a rash or sores ( or both ), then organ damage and possible death in the late stages if left untreated. The late stagecoach of syphilis may not develop for 10 to 30 years from when you were infected. You can catch syphilis by coming into aim liaison with a syphilis sore during vaginal, anal or oral sex. Sores may be on your collaborator ’ south penis, vagina or anus, in the rectum, or on their lips and in their mouth.

Pubic lice (‘crabs’)

Pubic worm or ‘ crabs ’ are bantam insects, found in the genital sphere, that feed on blood. They can cause acute itch. Pubic louse are spread during sex. They can be treated with nonprescription medications.

How to reduce the risks of oral sex

Like any sex, the best ways to reduce the risks of oral sex are to abstain ( not have oral sex ) or to use auspices. Avoid oral sex if your spouse :

  • has an STI
  • has sores, cuts, ulcers, blisters, warts or rashes around their genitals, anus or mouth
  • has unhealed or inflamed piercings in their mouth or genitals
  • has a throat infection
  • is a woman and has her period.

Avoid getting semen or vaginal fluid in your eyes. For oral sex on a man, use a condom during oral sex. For oral sex on a womanhood, or when performing anilingus on a man or a charwoman, use a decameter. A decameter is a humble thin latex paint or formative square that acts as a barrier between the vagina or anus and the mouth. It may prevent the spread of STIs

STI testing

See your doctor about testing if you become sexually active, variety partners, or start a new relationship. besides see your repair if you think you have any signs and symptoms of an STI. Your collaborator should be tested if you decide to not use condoms.

STI signs and symptoms to watch for

If you ’ ve had oral sex without a condom ( or vaginal or anal sex without a condom ), try medical advice if you notice any of these signs or symptoms :

  • itches, rashes, lumps or blisters in or around the genitals, vagina, anus or mouth
  • unusual vaginal discharge
  • discharge from the penis
  • irritation, pain or burning when you urinate
  • pain or bleeding during or after sex
  • bleeding between periods
  • pain in the testicles or lower abdomen
  • sore throat.

hepatitis A, B and C affect the liver, so watch for :

  • flu-like illness, such as fever, general aches and headaches
  • tiredness and feeling sick, sometimes with vomiting and diarrhoea
  • dark-coloured urine or pale faeces, or both
  • jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes).

even if you don ’ t have any symptoms, you may want to see your doctor of the church if :

  • you’ve recently had sex without a condom with someone new
  • you or your partner have sex without a condom with other people
  • your partner has symptoms of an STI.

It ’ s crucial to get treatment for an STI a soon as possible. Some STIs can ’ metric ton be treated but medications may reduce symptoms. Leaving an STI untreated may cause discomfort in the unretentive term, and may harm your health or richness in the long term.

Oral sex and young people

many young people do not consider oral sex as sex, so they may take emotional or physical risks. Read more information for youthful people about condom sex, sexually transmitted infections ( STIs ) and teenagers and sex.

Where to get help

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Category : Sex Tips

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