In short, yes. Oral sex is responsible for frequently helping to spread sexually transmitted infections (STI’s) between people carrying out oral sex acts without any protection.

While sex education has evolved, and is now much more effective in delivering its message about the dangers of unprotected sex, most people still do not consider oral sex in the same way. Many people will engage in oral sex without protection before reaching for the condoms pre-penetrative sex believing this is sufficient protection from disease.

The term STI is used to describe a wide range of ailments, from bacterial infections such as Chlamydia, viruses including HIV and genital warts, parasites such as pubic lice and many more. Although these diseases are branded as sexual, they act in the same manner as all other bacteria, viruses and parasites. If they get any opportunity to transmit to a new host, they will.

With regards to catching diseases through oral sex, it may be more common than you think. Herpes or warts on the face, especially around the mouth are a common sign of an STI. Some cases have involved people with a thick yellow discharge coming from the throat and being discharged from the mouth. Often believing this to be a little more than a cold, many people are shocked to discover they have contracted diseases such as gonorrhoea of the throat. Pubic lice have also been found in beards and eyebrows.

As is the case with all STI’s, you must not leave them untreated. If you believe you may have contracted something, visit your local genitor-urinary medicine (GUM) clinic at the earliest possible opportunity. Although this can seem embarrassing, leaving these infections untreated can lead to more serious medical problems and even infertility.

With STI’s prevention is certainly better than cure. The only way to ensure your own safety is by using protection. Condoms are a proven and reliable tool to stop the spread of infections from the penis but for oral sex involving the anus or vagina, a dental dam (very thin layer approximately 3″ x 3″) should be used to act as a barrier. In the case of pubic lice, the risk of picking up unwanted visitors could be justification enough for some grooming.

If you are concerned about your sexual health, you should make an appointment at one of our clinics in London. We offer STI testing and can then offer you the appropriate treatment.