Can You Really Catch STD’s Through Oral Sex?


Oral sex is not without risk. While it is “technically” safer than intercourse when it comes to STD’s, having oral sex doesn’t mean you’re totally in the clear.

Is The Risk Actually That High?

Okay, so here’s the naked truth. When parts of your body are coming into contact with parts of other people’s bodies, you run the risk of catching infections and diseases. Now while a handshake is almost perfectly safe, cunnilingus is not. You may have heard that it is more difficult for a woman to transmit a virus or infection to a man and to an extent, this is true. Both unprotected fellatio and unprotected vaginal sex carry more risks of sexually transmitted diseases than cunnilingus does.

How STD’s Are Spread During Oral Sex

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Keep in mind, however, that your mouth will be coming into contact with bodily fluids that may potentially carry a virus and your partner’s vulva will be coming into contact with a mouth that may have a potential infection – therefore, it is better to be safe than sorry. Let’s first examine what types of sexually transmitted diseases you may be at risk for if you perform unprotected cunnilingus in an unsafe environment (i.e. with a promiscuous partner). Blood borne diseases are quite possibly the most serious of sexually transmitted diseases and include both HIV and Hepatitis C. These are diseases that are spread only if one partner or the other comes into direct contact with infected blood. This generally only happens if both partners have an open sore or cut on both the vulva and the mouth. You will want to be very careful or avoid cunnilingus entirely if you or your partner have an open sore or cut on the mouth or vulva.

These diseases can also be transmitted through hand to vulva contact if there is an open sore or cut on the hand as well. This is where communication is essential – if you are concerned about the risks of transmitting a blood borne STD, discuss the risks with your partner and whether you both would be more comfortable avoiding cunnilingus and hand foreplay at that time whether you would prefer to practice safer sex.

Types Of STD’s Transmitted Through Oral Sex

Bacterial infections and other infections such as Hepatitis A and B as well as Chlamydia, gonorrhea and syphilis can also be transmitted through unprotected cunnilingus. While there are Hepatitis B vaccinations and Hepatitis A as well as the other infections can usually be treated successfully with antibiotics, there is no reason that these sexually transmitted diseases should be considered any less serious than blood borne STD’s. The practice of safer sex during cunnilingus and any other foreplay involving the vulva can reduce the chances of transmitting these types of infections.

Perhaps the most commonly contracted sexually transmitted disease during cunnilingus is genital herpes, the reason for which is because genital herpes can be transmitted through simple skin-to-skin contact of the affected area. Although they are two different types of herpes viruses, it is possible to transmit the virus to the vulva through a cold sore on the mouth or to the mouth with a herpes sore on the vulva. Although the herpes virus is dormant underneath the skin when an outbreak is not present, it is still possible to spread the herpes virus even if there aren’t any open sores on the affected area. In the case of either a cold sore on the mouth or an outbreak of genital herpes on the vulva, it is probably best to avoid cunnilingus and other sexual contact during this time due to the fact that genital herpes is so easy to spread. Like other sexually transmitted diseases, however, genital herpes can also be practiced in a safer manner by taking proper precautions.

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