FOral sex is the stimulation of the
genitals using mouth and the tongue. This is an act of sex that can be given
and received from both men and women. Oral sex can also be known by the common
names ‘going down’, a ‘blow job’, ‘giving head’, a ‘69’ or ‘rimming’ (plus
plenty more). Its official names are cunnilingus if done on a woman, and
fellatio if done on a man. Oral sex can be a very interesting way of showing
love between two partners especially when they both consent to it except that
it comes with some risk if done unprotected.

Risks of oral sex

Many studies have revealed that
oral sex is not safe sex. This is because oral sex involves sucking, licking
and stimulating of your partner’s genitals with tongue and lips, during this process
you might likely come in contact with genital fluids and secretions and this
puts you at risk of STIs. Some of these include;

  • Gonorrhea
  • Syphilis
  • Hepatitis A
  • Hepatitis B
  • Hepatitis C
  • Genital warts
  • Genital herpes
  • Chlamydia
  • HIV
  • Public lice
  • Oral cancer: Researchers
    have found that some cancers of the oropharynx (the middle of the throat) and tonsils are
    probably caused by a certain type of human papillomavirus (HPV). HPV is common, but it doesn’t always cause cancer. If you aren’t
    exposed to HPV during oral sex, you’re not at risk for cancer.

     How to reduce risks of oral sex

  • Avoid
    unprotected oral sex
  • Avoid
    giving oral sex when you have a cut, blisters, and warts around the genitals or
    your mouth
  • Do
    not give or receive oral sex from a partner with 2 or more sexual partners
  • Avoid
    oral sex if your partner has STIs
  • Do not give oral sex if you have unhealed
    or inflamed piercings in their mouth or genitals
  • Avoid oral sex if you have a throat
    infection
  • Do not give oral sex to a woman who
    is on her period.
  • For oral sex on a man, you a condom
  • For a woman, use a dam (small
    thin latex or plastic square that acts as a barrier between the vagina and the
    mouth)

When to see a doctor

You should see a doctor if any of
the following happens;

  • You’ve recently had unprotected sex
    or oral sex with someone new
  • You or your partner have unprotected
    sex with other people
  • Your partner has symptoms of an STI.

It
is important to get treatment for an STI as soon as possible. Some STIs can’t
be treated but medications may reduce symptoms. Leaving an STI untreated may
cause discomfort in the short term, and may harm your health or fertility in
the long term.