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Can STIs be transmitted through oral sex? : Here's what you need to know

Let’s cut to the chase: yes, you can catch sexually transmitted infections (STIs) from oral sex.

Oral sex

While it's often seen as a 'safer' option compared to other forms of sexual intimacy, it's not without its risks. So, before you dive deep, it’s worth knowing what you're potentially getting yourself into.

Oral sex involves contact between the mouth and the genitals, and just like any other sexual activity, it can be a pathway for STIs to make a move from one person to another.

You might be wondering, "What kind of STIs are we talking about?" Well, the list includes some familiar faces:

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  • Human papillomavirus (HPV), which can lead to genital warts and oral cancers.
  • Herpes simplex virus (HSV), which can cause herpes sores on the mouth (commonly known as cold sores) and genitals.
  • Gonorrhea, which can infect the throat and cause gonococcal pharyngitis.
  • Chlamydia, which can also infect the throat.
  • Syphilis, which can lead to sores on the mouth and genitals.
  • Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), although the risk is significantly lower than with vaginal or anal sex.

Now, the good news is, there are ways to keep things spicy while reducing your risk of STIs. Using barriers like dental dams during oral sex is a game-changer.

They act like a protective wall, keeping those unwanted germs at bay. And let’s not forget about vaccines—getting vaccinated against HPV and hepatitis B can shield you from these specific viruses.

Knowledge is power

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Ignorance isn't bliss, especially when it comes to STIs. Regular screening is crucial because many STIs can be silent, showing no symptoms until they've caused significant damage.

Knowing your status and your partner's can help you make informed decisions about your sexual health. Plus, most STIs are treatable, and catching them early can prevent complications down the line.

In wrapping up, oral sex, like any form of intimacy, comes with its share of responsibilities. It’s about enjoying the moment while being smart and safe.

Using protection, staying informed, and keeping up with regular health check-ups are your best bet for a healthy and happy sex life.

So, next time you’re getting cozy, remember: a little precaution goes a long way. Stay safe, stay informed, and keep the good times rolling.

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