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Ladies, oral sex can give you STIs. Here 5 ways to stay protected

Published on:24 November 2020, 17:23pm IST
Not many people know that oral sex can also lead to several STIs. That’s exactly why it is important to follow these tips to have unadulterated fun with your partner.
Geetika Sachdev
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safe oral sex
Have fun, but make sure to take care of your sexual health. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

Using condoms to prevent pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections (STIs) is often heard of, but did you know you could also contract infections while having oral sex?

For those of you who do not know what oral sex really is, let’s tell you all about it. It is any type of sexual activity where a person’s mouth, lips or tongue comes in contact with another person’s genitals or anus. Of course, pregnancy can’t happen if someone indulges in oral sex, but infections can certainly be passed on.

Before we get down to how you can reduce your risk of these infections, let’s understand the kind of infections that you can catch:

What are the STIs you can contract?

You can get several sexually transmitted infections through oral sex, whether it is chlamydia or trichomoniasis.

In the case of chlamydia, there are potentially no visible symptoms. If it affects your genitals, you might experience white, green or yellow vaginal discharge, sudden bleeding in-between periods, vaginal itching, and a burning sensation when you pee. According to the Centres of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the infection can also affect the throat due to performing oral sex on your partner’s penis or anus.

Gonorrhoea is similar to chlamydia in several ways. Those affected experience white or vaginal discharge, a burning sensation while urinating, rectal pain and a sore throat.

safe oral sex
The pleasure comes with some risks. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

Syphilis doesn’t really lead to any particular symptoms, but when it does, you might get pain-free ulcers or sores on your lips, mouth, throat or genitals. You might also develop rashes on your mid-section, palms of your hands, and soles of your feet.

HPV or human papillomavirus harms your body in several ways. In some cases, it can cause warts in your throat or genitals but in severe cases, it can also lead to changes in your vocal chord, shortness of breath, and potentially cause cancer of the cervix, vagina, anus, penis head or neck.

Trichomoniasis can affect your sexual organs, and before you know it, you might experience discharge, vaginal redness, itching, and a burning sensation when you pee.

Last but not the least, it is possible to contract HIV through oral sex, but the risk is very low.

Here’s how you can protect yourself from infections during oral sex

There are some who say abstaining from any form of sex is the answer, but we all know that’s not possible! So, here 5 are ways to keep yourself safe during oral sex:

1. Using condoms even during oral sex

To begin with, ask your partners to use condoms even during oral sex. Yes, we know people use it during penetration, but we suggest it should be used at all times. It does cause some hassle, but it’s definitely worth the safety it provides.

safe oral sex
Don’t forget to use a condom even while having oral sex. Image courtesy: Shutterstock
2. Pick the correct condom and use it right

The CDC recommends using a non-lubricated latex condom for protection during oral sex. In case you or your partner are allergic to latex, then you must go for a plastic (polyurethane) condom. Oh and remember, it’s not just about using a condom, but doing so correctly. This means not using a condom that has expired, and putting it on before any sexual activity, even oral sex, has taken place.

3. Try a dental dam

If you are receiving or performing oral sex, then you should use a dental dam. For those who are unaware, it is a square sheet made out of thin material that acts as a barrier between a person’s genitals or anus, and another person’s mouth.

4. Practice good oral hygiene

Last but not the least, oral hygiene is important. Tooth decay, gum disease or bleeding gums can all lead to STI transmission. That’s
exactly why brushing and flossing regularly help. These habits go a long way in keeping you safe during oral sex.

safe oral sex
Brush after oral sex as well. Image courtesy: Shutterstock
5. Get yourself tested regularly

You can get infected in spite of taking multiple precautions. It is also important to get tested every now and then if you are sexually active.

So, ladies, follow these tips and enjoy oral sex without a worry in the world!

Geetika Sachdev Geetika Sachdev

An independent writer and journalist, Geetika loves sharp and fresh humour, just like her coffee! If not writing, you'll find her cafe-hopping and raiding the best book stores in town.