Oral sex is fast becoming a common risky practice, especially among young people.  There is a pervading notion that it is no big deal because it is “not sex.”  I had a friend once who described oral sex as merely “foreplay before the real thing.”  However, oral sex is sex and IT’S A VERY BIG DEAL.

While pregnancy may not be an issue, oral sex still puts you at risk for many STI’s, including syphilis, gonorrhea, genital herpes, chlamydia, HPV, and HIV.  All of these infections could be detrimental to your health.  Let’s take a closer look at some of the dangers of these infections.

Syphilis: This highly contagious STI can go from painless ulcers to a rash, heart disease, nerve damage, and even death.

Gonorrhea: This common STI can survive in the throat.  Gonorrhea can cause Pelvic Inflammatory Disease, which sometimes causes infertility.  Although it is curable, some strains of gonorrhea are increasingly becoming resistant to antibiotics.

Chlamydia: Chlamydia is the most common bacterial STI and very widespread among sexually active young people.  Like gonorrhea, chlamydia often has no symptoms and can lead to infertility through Pelvic Inflammatory Disease.

HPV: HPV, the most common viral STI, can cause genital warts or cervical cancer in women in some strains. Often, there are no symptoms and there is no cure for HPV.  Studies have shown that HPV contracted through oral sex is associated with a group of throat cancers.

HIV: With the presence of cuts and bleeding sores in the mouth, there is a possibility of HIV transmission.  HIV is an incurable virus that causes AIDs, which is often fatal.  Those with AIDs many times get infections like tuberculosis, pneumonia, and yeast infections.  However, they cannot fight off these diseases as easily.

Oral sex is clearly no game.  Doesn’t abstinence look very appealing now?

*From Medical Institute for Sexual Heath