Sex Pod

The World Of Oral STIs

/ 25 May 2016

This week on Sex Pod, Joyce had a question that you won’t often hear and one that a lot of people won’t have even thought about; can you get an STI from oral sex?

It’s a common misconception in sex that you can only get STI’s from penetrative sex, a lot of people will perform unprotected oral sex without even realising that there’s a risk of STIs but, dun dun dunnnn, there deffo is!

STI’s thrive in mucus membranes; that means the lips, inside the mouth, over the genitals and anus and, of course, inside them. Also, all STIs can be transmitted through contact alone, although there is a higher risk of infection with ejaculation, that’s not the only time you can get an STI. So weather the man ejaculates or not, you can get STIs through both giving and receiving oral in all its forms.

What’s the risk?

Forms of chlamydia, gonorrhoea, syphilis, herpes, HPV and even HIV (though the risk is lower) can be transmitted through oral sex and the results can often be pretty nasty with symptoms including but not limited to painful sores, tonsillitis and whitish or yellow discharge. As with most STIs though, they can also often be symptomless and can spread throughout the body without your knowledge.

What can you do about it?

The best sure-fire way to avoid getting an STI from oral sex is to make sure both you and your partner have regular check-ups and are STI free; no STIs, no transition! Realistically though you can’t always be sure that your partner has been recently tested so using condoms (male or female) and dental dams are essential so you’re certain you’re staying safe. Oh and while we’re at it, brushing your teeth after oral won’t prevent STI’s, much like brushing your penis or vagina after sex will do nothing other than probably hurt quite a bit.

What actually is a dental dam?

A dental dam is basically just a square of latex or polyurethane (soft plastic) that you can use to cover the vagina or anus when performing oral sex to act as a barrier to STIs. Since the plastic is very thin and flexible this won’t reduce the amount of pleasure you can get from oral sex but will ensure you’re being safe. You can get dental dams online or from your local sexual health clinic and, failing that, you can actually just make them by cutting open a condom into a flat square (but be careful doing this, it’s best to get a proper one if you can).

What do you do if you think you might have an STI?

If you’ve had unprotected oral (or otherwise) sex with someone and you’re not sure if they were STI free then you should get checked right away. Your local sexual health clinic is completely free, they won’t judge you and it’s actually a pretty straightforward process, so don’t be afraid! Even if you think you’re being safe, regular testing is a must, just to be sure ya know.