Oral sex is commonly practiced by sexually active male-female and same-gender couples of various ages, including adolescents. The various type of oral sex practices are fellatio, cunnilingus and analingus.
Oral sex is infrequently examined in research on adolescents; oral sex can transmit oral, respiratory, and genital pathogens. Oral health has a direct impact on the transmission of infection; a cut in your mouth, bleeding gums, lip sores or broken skin increases chances of infection. Although oral sex is considered a low risk activity, it is important to use protection and safer sex precautions.
There are various methods of preventing infection during oral sex such as physical barriers, health and medical issues, ethical issues and oral hygiene and dental issues. The lesions or unhealthy periodontal status of oral cavity accelerates the phenomenon of transmission of infections into the circulation. Thus consequences of unhealthy or painful oral cavity are significant and oral health should be given paramount importance for the practice of oral sex. Oral sex refers to sexual activities involving the stimulation of the genitalia by the use of the mouth, tongue, teeth or throat.
Oral sex is now very common in both heterosexual and homosexual couples. People may involve in oral sex as part of foreplay before sexual intercourse, or during or following intercourse. Oral sex may be practiced by people of all sexual orientations.
A significant proportion of adolescents are engaging in noncoital sexual activities, including oral sex. Fellatio Oral Penile Contact : Stimulation of a man's penis by his partner's mouth-usually by licking or sucking.
Although pregnancy is not an outcome of oral sex, sexually transmitted infections STIs are. Teens and the adults who involve in oral sex need to know that oral sex is associated with several STIs, including HIV. Oral sex is an efficient mode of transmission for syphilis,[ 11 ] gonorrhea[ 12 , 13 ] and herpes[ 14 ] HIV[ 15 ] Chlamydia[ 16 ] and HPV[ 13 ] can also be transmitted through oral sex.
The Surgeon General's report on oral health highlights the relationship between oral and overall health, emphasizing that oral health involves more than dentition. The oral cavity has the potential to harbor at least different bacterial species, and in any given patient, more than species may be present, surfaces of tooth can have as many as billion bacteria in its attached bacterial plaque and oral care may not only reduce the microbial load of the mouth but the risk for pain and oral infections as well. Lesions of the oral cavity have an immense impact on the quality of life of patients with complex advanced diseases;[ 18 ] they cause considerable morbidity and diminish patients physical and psychological well being.
The consequences of unhealthy or painful oral cavity are significant and oral health should be given paramount importance for the practice of oral sex. The good oral health permits in building up defense against the various viruses and organisms by obstructing their entry into body and circulation. Although oral sex is infrequently examined in research on adolescents, oral sex can transmit oral, respiratory, and genital pathogens. The practice of oral sex is also highly prevalent among young people, regardless of whether they have previously engaged in penetrative intercourse[ 20 ] and more of these body fluids you are exposed to, the greater the risk of infection there would be.
The various channels in oral cavity that serve as a gateway of entry of infection from oral cavity to blood stream includes any open sores, cuts, abrasions, or bleeding gum disease gingivitis, periodontitis in the mouth, the virus can get into the systemic circulation. The clinical depiction and silhouette of the various venereal diseases and infections spread through oral sex along with the possible channel of passage are mentioned in Table 1. Easily passed through contact with open sores commonly called chancres on the penis, anus, or mouth White spots in mouth.
Left untreated syphilis can eventually cause brain damage, heart disease, blindness and death. Open syphilis sores or chancres provide an easy entry and exit for HIV and can increase viral load. STD caused by the Chlamydia trachomatis bacteria and affects women more than men. Common features include pain while urinating, smelly vaginal or penile discharge, spotting after intercourse, can be found in the throat but less commonly than gonorrhea. In extreme cases cause severe damage to women reproductive system, including permanent infertility.
An STD caused by herpes simplex virus is the commonest cause of genital ulceration. There are two types of the virus; Type 1 affects mainly the lip causing cold sores and Type 2 causes blisters on the genitals. Sores and blisters usually on the lips, genitals, or anus are very infectious and painful. Research suggests that having genital herpes can more than double your risk for HIV infection. Treatment can reduce the frequency and severity of herpes outbreaks but there is no cure.
Warts usually appear on the penis or in the anus but may also occur in or around the mouth or lips. Genital warts may be more common and; harder to treat. While most strains of HPV only cause warts, some strains may cause oral or throat cancers.
Both these diseases can be spread through oral sex. Hepatitis A and E both are contagious viral infections of the liver. It is most commonly transmitted by inoculation of infected blood, virus particles are found in semen, stool and saliva, as well as blood. There is clear evidence that it can be transmitted through vaginal and anal intercourse, but it is unproven whether it can be transmitted through oral sex. Hepatitis B can cause weakness, dark urine, jaundice yellowing of skin and eyes , and enlarged liver.
The bowel organisms Salmonella , Shigella and Campylobacter can all be transmitted. Symptoms include Unknown diarrhea, stomach cramps, bloating, increased gas, and nausea. The potential for transmission of HIV by saliva is low, probably due to the low levels of infectious virus and potential HIV inactivating agent s in saliva.
Nonetheless, antiviral mechanisms are not impermeable, particularly if HIV is delivered as a bolus as in receptive oral sex or the integrity of the mucosal surface is breached as with tears, lesions or periodontal disease. In addition to lubricating mucosal surfaces; saliva dilutes the microbial burden and flushes microorganisms into the gastrointestinal tract for inactivation and destruction. The eradication of dentinal carious lesions with tooth restoration or extraction, when indicated, may eliminate potential fungal reservoirs responsible for recurrent or recalcitrant clinical oral candidiasis.
The biologic risk for transmission or acquisition of HIV from oral sexual contact is not known, but the risk is likely to be related to a number of factors. These include the presence or absence of virus at sexual sites oral, vaginal, anal and penile , the titer of virus if present , the integrity and mechanical properties of the sexual mucosa, mucosal immunity, local inhibitory factors, and the presence or absence of cofactors that may facilitate transmission. Finally, the frequency and nature of exposure e. Similarly, the proportional importance of oral sex to HIV transmission will be a complex result of the relative frequency of oral sex compared with other activities, infectivity of oral secretions and its modification by oral pathology, resistance to infection by inhibitory substances in saliva, the HIV prevalence in the community in which such activity takes place, the maturity of the epidemic in the community given recent observations on differential infectivity by stage of infection, the role of high activity antiretroviral therapy, and the extent to which personal prophylaxis is adopted.
Oral sex with ejaculation was perceived as more risky than oral sex without ejaculation, across scenarios, receptive anal intercourse was judged to be riskier than insertive anal intercourse, which was perceived as riskier than oral sex. Case reports describe apparent transmission from mouth to penis although this appears less likely.
The risk of oro-genital transmission of HIV is substantially less than from vaginal and anal intercourse. Receptive oro-genital sex carries a small risk of human papillomavirus infection and possibly hepatitis C, while insertive oro-genital contact is an important risk factor for acquisition of HSV 1.
Oro-anal transmission can occur with hepatitis A and B. The transmission of other viruses may occur but ha not yet been proved. The relative importance of oral sex as a route for the transmission of viruses is likely to increase as other, higher risk sexual practices are avoided for fear of acquiring HIV infection.
Increasing attention to the risks of oral-genital contact as an important means of HIV acquisition appears to be warranted;[ 27 ] although it is true that oral sex negates the risk of pregnancy[ 10 ] STI is an issue. There is no pathway or scope for sperm from the penis to enter the uterus and fallopian tubes to fertilize an egg.
In humans, there is no connection between the gastrointestinal system and the reproductive tract. Ingested sperm is killed and broken down by acid in the stomach and proteins in the small intestine. The breakdown products will be absorbed as a negligible quantity of nutrients. Despite this, oral sex does carry a possible risk of pregnancy if semen from the man comes in contact with the vaginal area circuitously. This can occur if the semen in the ejaculate is carried on the fingers, hands, or other body parts; and comes in contact with the vaginal area.
It is therefore still essential to exercise awareness when having oral sex to avoid pregnancy. The risk of obtaining an STI through oral sex is certainly lower than the risk of infection through sexual intercourse; research has indicated that oral transmission is an important health concern, particularly because some adolescents and adults erroneously view oral sex as a risk-free behavior.
However, substantial changes in attitudes and social norms may be required before there are noticeable differences in teen use of protection for this relatively low-risk sexual behavior; indeed, many teens may purposefully engage in oral sex to avoid the greater risks associated with other sexual behaviors.
The increased reporting of risky sexual behaviors is consistent with changing cohabitation patterns and rising incidence of sexually transmitted infections. When multiple acts over a period of time are considered, frequency of sex and number of partners are important contributors to cumulative risk.
In this context, choosing safer sex acts could lead to other behavior changes that increase risk. For example, oral genital contact may be less efficient at HIV transmission than other sex acts, but if oral sex is practiced more frequently or with risky partners because it is perceived to be safe , it could increase the risk for HIV infection, similarly, having a larger number of partners increases the likelihood of exposure to an infected or highly infectious partner.
Actively manipulating social norms and adolescents' perceptions of the social benefits associated with sexual behavior may also prove to be effective prevention strategies. The main dilemma now is how to present the small but real risk of oral sex without encouraging a resumption of higher risk sexual activity including anal intercourse , which it has been suggested may accompany an awareness that oral intercourse is not risk-free.
Due to above mentioned disease risk, it is advisable to use proper precautions when performing or receiving oral sex with a partner.
It is not as risky as unprotected anal or vaginal sex, but it is still possible to get HIV and other venereal diseases and infections in this way. There have been a few documented cases of HIV transmission this way.
HIV is found in blood, semen cum , vaginal fluids, and breast milk. The virus can transmit through cuts, openings, sores, and mucous membranes mouth, anus, and vagina to the body. The various manners to minimize the chances of getting infection during the oral sex are illustrated in Table 2.
Avoid oral sex after recent dental treatment or periodontal therapy Dental scaling and periodontal surgery. If any doubt or uncertainty it is essential to seek medical advice as soon as possible and talk to professional for more information.
To avoid risks during oral sex it is advisable to keep semen and vaginal fluids out of mouth as earliest. The oral cavity should free from any potential bleeding tendencies or pathology. Due to disease risks, many medical professionals advise the use of condoms or dental dams when performing or receiving oral sex with a partner whose STD status is unknown.
A makeshift dental dam can be made out of a condom. Using a real dental dam is preferable, because real dental dams are larger and the makeshift version may be accidentally poked with the scissors during the cutting procedure.
Plastic wrap may also be used as a barrier during oral sex, but many find that the thickness of the plastic dulls sensation. Details of various methods and technique are illustrated in Table 3. Cover the vulva area with the plastic wrap.
Either cut a piece of the wrap and hold it in place or wrap the pelvic area. Unroll the condom and cut off the very tip and the very end of the condom and cut lengthwise to make a rectangle. The practice of oral sex is also highly prevalent among young people, regardless of whether they have previously engaged in penetrative intercourse. However, although the risk of STD transmission is far greater during vaginal and anal sex than during oral sex, the increasing practice of oral sex, low rates of barrier method use and the finding that first oral sex often occurs prior to first vaginal or anal sex will help increase the relative importance of oral sex as a mode of transmission for genital pathogens.
There are several ways to reduce the risks of oral sex.