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Can kissing be a cause of STDs? Find out here

STDs are sexually transmitted diseases that spread from contact, but does kissing also lead to the problem? Let's find out.
Couple kissing
Find out if kissing is altogether safe or not? Image courtesy: Adobe Stock
Kanusha YK Published: 25 Dec 2022, 16:30 pm IST
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One of the most popular displays of affection that can be found in practically every culture is a kiss. A short kiss on the cheek or a protracted, passionate kissing are both acceptable. But did you know that sometimes, this lovable act could be detrimental to your health. The infections that are commonly spread during sexual activity are known as Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs or STIs) which can also spread by skin-to-skin contact, shared drug injections or needles, bodily fluid interchange, and mother-to-new-born transmission. Depending on the disease’s severity, it may cause health problems like infertility, or even be fatal. In addition to the physical symptoms, it could cause issues between spouses.

The good news is that most STDs and STIs may be avoided by limiting your sexual contact, using protection during sexual contact, abstaining from drug use, or using sterile needles for any injections. However, it’s crucial to understand that STDs can spread even through little skin contact and are not always dependent on vaginal or anal sex.

Can you get an STD from kissing?

Yes, as has been previously defined, kissing can spread STDs. Even so, the likelihood of getting an infection from vaginal, anal, or oral contact is lower. Most STDs are spread by bodily fluid interaction, yet saliva is less conducive to infection transmission than semen or blood.

kissing and STDs
Does kissing lead to sexually transmitted diseases? Image Courtesy: Shutterstock

However, your risk of contracting an infection dramatically increases if you have open wounds or sores. Therefore, you should be careful as there is a possibility of contracting an infection. Among the most common STDs contracted from kissing are:

1. Herpes

One of the most prevalent STDs that can be acquired by kissing is herpes. It is a viral infection that can be communicated through kissing or any other form of skin-to-skin contact. Herpes is more likely to spread if there are any open sores in the mouth or on the lips. Most blisters and cold sores brought on by herpes are noticeable and simple to identify. Although oral herpes is very contagious, it is vital to keep in mind that the virus is treatable and could result in uncomfortable blisters. To treat the illness in time, it is always advisable to see a doctor as soon as you discover the symptoms. Before engaging in any sexual activity, it is crucial to discuss these issues with your partners. Before initiating a kiss, one can also give their spouse a quick inspection.

2. Syphilis

Syphilis is a bacterial infection typically spread through sexual contact. Initial signs of the illness include painless sores around the mouth, rectum, or genitalia. When these lesions come into touch with the skin or mucous membranes, which can result in infection.

Also Read: Can sexually transmitted diseases cause infertility?

Although it’s less common, there is still a chance that you could get this serious STD by kissing. All it takes to catch the disease is an infected partner, the existence of open mouth sores, and poor odds.

kissing in relationships
Kissing is important! Image courtesy: Shutterstock

3. HPV

It’s vital to understand that there is no direct link between kissing and HPV transmission, even though several studies have suggested that it might. However, when in touch with a partner who has an infection, the presence of open sores or cuts in the mouth could result in an infection. You should speak with your doctor about the numerous HPV vaccines that are available in order to prevent infection.

How to avoid sexually transmitted diseases

Despite the prevalence of sexually transmitted illnesses, it is typically within one’s power to take precautions against these unwanted ailments. While you might assume everyone is healthy, you might not know which type of diseases they are carrying. There is no precautionary measure that can provide 100 percent protection but taking a few easy steps will greatly lower the likelihood of getting sick and transmitting the infection.

An important factor in this is awareness. Having said that, if you want to protect yourself, make sure you know who you’re kissing. When discussed directly and openly, some of the anxieties and uncertainty surrounding kissing can be eliminated, and the experience can be made even more sublime. It is critical to educate yourself and your partner on the potential for these diseases and have more honest conversations.

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About the Author

Kanusha YK is a clinical psychotherapist and relationship expert at Allo Health, Karnataka. ...Read More

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