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Can kissing someone give you an STD? An ob-gyn clears the air

Who would have thought something as little as a kiss could wreak havoc on your sexual well-being? Well, time to know more!
kissing benefits
Kissing has its benefits, but do it right with proper oral hygiene. Image courtesy: Shutterstock
Nikita Bhardwaj Published: 25 Apr 2021, 16:00 pm IST
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Kissing seals the deal in any relationship. Well, not just emotionally, but in so many other ways. According to science, the oxytocin that’s released in our body when someone kisses us helps in building a stronger bond. But guess what? Kissing can be the cause of sexually transmitted diseases.

Is that even possible? We are as confused as you are! That’s why we have Dr Aruna Kalra, a senior gynaecologist and obstetrician at CK Birla Hospital, Gurugram, who will tell us all about it. 

Here’s how kissing can cause STDs

Kissing is generally associated with a lower risk of infection, as compared to intercourse or oral sex. However, it is possible to transmit STDs from kissing. The skin-to-skin touch during kissing as well as the involvement of saliva can cause transmission of STDs, especially when one has an infection or oral sores.

std and kissing
Indulge in responsible kissing ladies. GIF courtesy: Giphy
STDs you can get by kissing an infected person

1. Herpes: The herpes simplex virus can be of two types:

  • HSV-1: This is also known as oral herpes, which can be easily transmitted through kissing. The symptom can include red or white blisters on the mouth or genitals. This virus is mainly spread by touching or kissing an active sore or sharing the saliva during kissing or while sharing utensils.
  • HSV-2: This is also known as genital herpes, and it usually spreads through sexual contact. Mouth-to-mouth transmission is also possible in this case. The symptoms are the same as HSV-1.

2. Cytomegalovirus: It is a virus that can be passed through the saliva. Symptoms of this virus include a sore throat, fatigue, body ache and fever. It can also be transmitted through the following:

std and kissing
Don’t let that burning sensation make your life miserable. Image courtesy: Shutterstock
  • Semen
  • Urine
  • Breast milk
  • Blood

3. Syphilis: It is a bacterial infection, which is typically transmitted through oral, anal or genital sex. It usually causes sores in the mouth, which can further transfer the bacterial infection through kissing. Symptoms of syphilis include:

  • Sore throat
  • Headache
  • Fever
  • Hair loss
  • Body ache
  • Abnormal pimples
  • Vision loss
  • Heart conditions
  • Memory loss
  • Brain damage
std and kissing
STD can give you severe headache. Image courtesy: Shutterstock
Thankfully, you can prevent STDs that spread through kissing. Here’s how:
  • Talk about it with your partner. Don’t hesitate or play a blame game, if you find out that either of you have an STD.
  • Avoid kissing someone, if either of you has open sores.
  • Don’t bite while kissing.
  • Try to kiss other parts of the body, instead of lips.
  • Avoid kissing if you have cuts in or around your mouth.
  • Avoid kissing, when you are sick. 
  • You can also use dental dams to prevent infection. It’s like a condom for your mouth.

Yes, we agree getting STDs through kissing isn’t as common, but you just can’t dismiss its possibility.

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About the Author

Six-pack abs are all that Nikita needs, along with her daily dose of green tea. At Health Shots, she produces videos, podcasts, stories, and other kick-ass content. ...Read More

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