men receiving head

Oral sex, once a taboo in modern society is now a common sexual practice amongst adults and teenagers today.

Oral sex is defined as when one puts his or her lips, mouth or tongue on a man's penis, woman's genitals (clitoris, vulva and vaginal opening) or anus of another person.

Experts warn that there is a risk of getting or passing sexually transmitted infection's (STI's) when giving or receiving oral sex. The risks dramatically increases if you have sores or cuts around the mouth, genitals and anus. This is because viruses and bacteria which may be present in body fluids such as semen, vaginal fluid and blood can travel easily into the body through breaks in the skin present at the genitals, mouth and oral cavity while giving or receiving oral sex.

The risk of contracting STI's is higher when one gives oral sex than when receiving oral sex.

Sexually transmitted infections that can be acquired through oral sex includes

  • Gonorhoea
  • Chlamydia
  • Genital warts
  • Syphilis
  • Herpes Symplex virus (Type 1 and 2)
  • Human Papilloma Virus (HPV)
  • Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV)

Throat cancer, a major manifestation of Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) infection at the throat is primarily caused by oral sex. Usually, the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) is commonly seen around the genitals of sexually active men and women. Oral sex however serves as a vehicle in transporting HPV from the genital area to the mouth and throat, giving rise to throat cancers. 


The risks associated with oral sex can be reduced by using a condom, dental dam or other barrier methods each and every time you give or receive oral sex.

Abstinence from oral sex provides the best form of protection against risks associated with oral sex practices. Where abstinence is not possible, maintaining a long term mutually monogamous relationship with a partner uninfected with STI's would considerable reduce risks associated with oral sex.

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