Can you get an STD from oral sex?

Can you get an STD from oral sex?

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A common question that often comes up in relation to oral sex is “Can you get an STD from oral sex?” 

Often when we think about sexually transmitted diseases, we only think about how STDs transmitted via vaginal or anal sex. 

Oral sex can also lead to infections in both the throat and genitals. Let’s talk through the oral STDs, how you get them and what symptoms may arise from an oral STD. 

Can you get an STD from oral sex?

Yes, you can get an STD from oral sex. 

Many STDs can be contracted through oral sex including: 

  • Chlamydia 
  • Gonorrhea
  • Syphilis
  • Herpes
  • HPV (human papillomavirus)
  • HIV 
  • Trichomoniasis 

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As the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention summarize: “Oral sex involves using the mouth, lips, or tongue to stimulate the penis (fellatio), vagina (cunnilingus), or anus (anilingus) of a sex partner.”

Some of the factors that may put you at greater risk for contracting an STD through oral sex include: 

  • Giving oral sex to a partner with a genital or anal infection
  • Receiving oral sex from a partner who has a throat or mouth infection 

What are the signs of STDs in your mouth? 

Often those who have an STD in their mouth will not experience any signs or symptoms, this is why it is so important to regularly get tested

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If signs or symptoms do occur, they may include: 

  • Painful or painless sores in the mouth 
  • Sore throat 
  • Difficulty swallowing 
  • Swollen tonsils 
  • Swollen lymph nodes 
  • Redness or white spots on the tongue or throat 
  • Blisters in and around the mouth 

Let’s run through some of the common symptoms of each oral STD. 

  • Chlamydia: Oral chlamydia may not have any symptoms, however if symptoms do occur, it’s usually a sore throat. 
  • Gonorrhea: Oral gonorrhea may not have any symptoms, however if symptoms do occur, it’s usually a sore throat. 
  • Syphilis: Oral syphilis may not have any symptoms, however if they do occur, symptoms may include sores around the mouth, lips or throat. 
  • Herpes: Oral herpes may have no symptoms while the virus is dormant, however, during outbreaks, the symptoms include itching and/or painful blisters in and around the mouth.
  • HPV (human papillomavirus): Oral HPV may have no symptoms but if they do occur, it may include visible warts in the throat, which could lead to difficulty speaking, changes in the voice and even difficulty breathing. 
  • HIV: HIV may have no symptoms for years, however if they do occur, flu-like symptoms may be the initial tell-tale sign.  
  • Trichomoniasis: Oral trichomoniasis rarely has any symptoms, however if they do occur, it will likely be itching or pain in the affected area.  

Can you get an STD from swallowing sperm?

You can get an STD from oral sex, period. This means that whether you swallow the sperm or spit it out, you can still get an STD. 

To prevent oral STDs, men can wear a condom during oral sex. Women can use a dental dam. Often people only think about contraception in terms of preventing pregnancy but it is equally important to remember contraception during oral sex to ensure that you are protected. 

Can STDs be passed through the mouth?

STDs can be passed from the mouth to the genitals in the same way that sexually transmitted diseases can be passed from the genitals to the mouth. 

The following STDs can live in the mouth and/or throat: 

  • Gonorrhea
  • Syphilis
  • Herpes
  • HPV (human papillomavirus)
  • HIV 
  • Trichomoniasis 

FAQs

Can you get treated for an STD online?

It is possible to get treated for certain STDs online. If you receive a positive result, some at home health providers include treatment options via prescriptions as part of their service. 

Can STDs be cured at home?

It is possible for STDs to be cured at home. Many STDs can be treated using prescription medications, and you will not be required to leave the home during this treatment plan. 

What STD is not curable?

Antiviral drugs are used to treat viral STDs. While bacterial and parasitic STDs can be treated and cured, viral STDs can be controlled, but not cured. 

This includes STDs such as: 

  • HIV
  • Herpes
  • Hepatitis 
  • HPV 

Read:STD Treatment | Can you cure an STD without going to the doctors?

How long does it take for an STD to go away? 

The length of time it takes for an STD to go away will depend on the treatment plan that you are prescribed, as well as the type of STD you have. 

Read: STD List | Your ultimate guide to sexually transmitted diseases

Written byHannah Kingston on March 18 2020

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