Home > Education., News, SEX > ORAL SEX(sucking and licking of penis/vagina) IS DANGEROUS!!!

ORAL SEX(sucking and licking of penis/vagina) IS DANGEROUS!!!

December 23, 2011 Leave a comment Go to comments

Oral sex is now widely practised, in both
heterosexual and homosexual relationships. For many years, it was regarded as an almost
‘unmentionable’ activity. But these days, research
suggests that most sexually active people go in for it
sometimes. In 2010, the American Center for Disease Control and
Prevention published the results of a large survey, in
which they found that 90.8 per cent of males aged
25 to 44 had had oral sex with a woman. And 88.8
per cent of females in the same age group had tried
oral sex with a man. In addition, 5.7 per cent of males said they had had
oral sex with a man. Equivalent figures for oral
activity between women are not available. It’s been shown that oral sex has certain positive
aspects. It can be extraordinarily effective at helping women
to reach a climax.
It can help men who have some minor difficulty in
getting an erection.
It cannot get you pregnant (except under the most
extraordinary and unlikely circumstances). However, a lot of people do – quite understandably –
worry about whether oral love play could give them
any infection – particularly HIV. And in 2010, serious worries began to emerge about
whether oral sex can give people human papilloma
virus (HPV) in the throat area and whether this could
lead to cancer. Also, in 2011 experts pointed out that there appears
to be some significant risk of acquiring chlamydia
and gonorrhoea through oral sexual activity. In this article, we look at the various risks.
What is oral sex? First, let’s just clarify what we mean by ‘oral sex’.
There are several main types. Cunnilingus (sometimes referred to as ‘cunnilinctus’)
is oral stimulation of a woman’s vagina and/or vulva
– and especially her clitoris – by her partner’s lips and
tongue (one recent study reports that in the UK
about 70 per cent of people have done this).
Fellatio is stimulation of a man’s penis by his partners mouth – usually by licking or sucking. It is often
wrongly referred to as ‘a blow job’ in fact, it is highly
dangerous to ‘blow’ during this manoeuvre (or
during cunnilingus). Research indicates that just
under 70 per cent of British people have tried fellatio.
‘Nippling’ is sucking or licking your partner’s nipples. It carries almost no risk of any infection.
‘Shrimping’ is a practice involving sucking your
partner’s toes; it seems to be popular among those
who find feet sexually attractive. Again, there is
almost no risk of sex infection. But theoretically you
could pick up a skin fungus, such as the one that causes athlete’s foot.
Oro-anal sex – often referred to as ‘rimming’ – is
stimulation of the partner’s anus with tongue or lips.
Clinical experience suggests that it is relatively
uncommon in heterosexuals. As the anus isn’t a very
clean area of the body, there is no doubt that rimming will lead to some transfer of germs to the
mouth. HIV infection risk Because of growing concerns about the possibility of
HIV transmission through the widespread practice of
oral sex, the British Government’s Department of
Health set up an expert group to report back on the
matter. In broad summary, their main conclusions
were: HIV can be transmitted by oral sex, though this does
not occur frequently
both fellatio and cunnilingus have been known to
pass it on
both ‘receiving’ and ‘giving’ fellatio have been
incriminated oral sex is certainly much safer HIV-wise than rectal
or anal sex
oral sex is probably safer than vaginal intercourse
ulcers in the mouth could increase the risk
oral sex is more risky than non-penetrative sex (eg
mutual masturbation, kissing, etc) during fellatio, if the man avoids ejaculation, it
probably reduces the risk somewhat
in the case of cunnilingus, there may be an increased
risk of transmission if the woman is menstruating
there’s no evidence that mouthwashes could reduce
the risk of infection using condoms or ‘dental dams’ during oral sex
could reduce the chance of infection, but not
eliminate it. You can see from the above that there is always some
risk of transmission of HIV during oral sex, whatever
precautions you take. However, you cannot get
infected if your partner does not have the virus.
What other germs could you pick up during oral sex? As any doctor at a genitourinary medicine (GUM)
clinic can tell you, it is possible to acquire several
forms of sexually transmitted diseases (STD) through
oral sex – if the other person if infected.
Gonorrhoea Gonorrhoea, a common STD, can be transmitted to
the throat during oral sex, especially fellatio. Because
of this fact, GUM clinics often take ‘throat swabs’ these
days. In the throat, the germ can cause inflammation,
formation of pus and sometimes soreness. But often, it causes no symptoms at all, and the
person just ‘carries’ it. In 2011, it was estimated that 1.9 per cent of London
prostitutes had unsuspected gonorrhoea in their
throats. It’s likely that they would give the germ to
men whom they fellated.
Syphilis The lesions of syphilis usually appear on the genitals
or the anus – and very rarely on the nipple. But they
do occasionally appear on the lips, as a result of oral
sex. However, please bear in mind that in the UK syphilis
has been a rarity for many years. Nevertheless, there
have been one or two small outbreaks among gay
males in the early 2000s, notably in Bristol and
Brighton. Currently there are a little over 3,000 cases
of syphilis a year in the UK. Chlamydia Chlamydia trachomatis – this little genital bug has
become almost epidemic among sexually active
young people during the early years of the 21st
century. It’s estimated that in some parts of the UK that at least
10 per cent of younger adults have it. It is sometimes found in swabs taken from the throat,
and it is thought that it can be transmitted by oral
sex, particularly fellatio. In May 2011, researchers
from University College London revealed that 4 per
cent of London sex workers had chlamydia in their
throats. This finding is of considerable importance, especially as many men go to prostitutes specifically
because they want to be fellated. Also doctors at Guy’s and St Thomas’ Hospitals found
that about 1 per cent of their gay male patients were
carrying chlamydia in the throat. Please note that if chlamydia gets established in the
throat, mouth or nose, it could cause various
infections, particularly of the eye. In 2010, doctors
warned that oral sex could cause a one-sided
chlamydial conjunctivitis, which does not clear up on
routine treatment with eye drops. Bacterial infections transferred by oro-anal sex As we’ve indicated above, contact between the
mouth and the anus will probably result in the
transfer of ‘bottom germs’ – though these will not
necessarily cause disease.
Bowel organisms There is evidence that the bowel organisms
Salmonella, Shigella and Campylobacter can all be
transmitted by oro-anal contact. These can all cause
abdominal pain and diarrhoea. Infections with
Salmonella and Shigella can occasionally be very
serious. Hepatitis A Hepatitis A is a common viral infection that can cause
jaundice and abdominal pain. It is not usually life-
threatening, although sufferers can feel very ill. The virus is often found in faeces in high
concentrations and will almost inevitably be present
on the apparently clean anal skin of infected
individuals. It can be transmitted by oro-anal contact. Several epidemic outbreaks have been reported
among gay men, but heterosexual couples practising
oro-anal contact are just as likely to be at risk.
Hepatitis B Hepatitis B is a viral infection. It is common in hot
countries and around the Mediterranean. It used to
be rare in the UK, but rates are rising. It is particularly
common among people who have had a previous
sexually transmitted disease, and among drug users.
It can cause a very serious, potentially fatal, liver disease and chronic liver damage. It is most
commonly transmitted by inoculation of infected
blood, by sharing needles for injection, needlestick
injuries and the medical use of infected blood
products. Virus particles are found in semen, stool
and saliva, as well as blood. There is clear evidence that it can be transmitted through vaginal and anal
intercourse, but it is unproven whether it can be
transmitted through oral sex. Certainly, there is a
theoretical risk of transmission.
Hepatitis C Hepatitis C is a viral infection transmitted in a similar
way to hepatitis B and often affects drug users. Some
people with hepatitis C infection were infected with
blood products, such as transfusions, prior to
adequate screening procedures in the 1980s. There
is limited evidence that hepatitis C may be transmissible through receptive oro-genital contact.
Worms Threadworms, and probably other worms, can be
transmitted by oro-anal contact or by fellatio after
anal intercourse.
What about herpes? Herpes simplex virus (HSV) infection is the
commonest cause of genital ulceration. There are two
types of the virus. Type 1 affects mainly the lip –
causing cold sores. Type 2 causes blisters on the
genitals. In the past, it was thought that genital herpes was
caused almost exclusively by Type 2, but in recent
years it has become clear that many herpes ulcers on
the penis or vulva/vagina are actually caused by the
Type 1 virus. Genital herpes is characterised by recurrent bouts of
vesicles (small blisters), either on the penis or vulva,
or other parts of the female genital tract. These
rapidly break down to form small, painful ulcers. The
first episode is usually associated with an acute
feverish illness, which may be quite severe. It frequently recurs, although recurrent bouts are
usually associated with a milder illness. HSV can also cause pharyngitis, an inflammation of
the throat with ulcer formation. HSV is highly
infectious and usually sexually transmitted. It is
certainly transmitted by penetrative intercourse but
there are several reports of transmission through
oral sex. Virus particles are shed profusely from ulcers, either oral (including cold sores) or genital,
and infection is far more likely when these are
present. Transmission is less likely, but not
impossible, in the absence of ulcers. If you have a cold sore on your lip, do not give
anyone oral sex – or even kiss them.
What about HPV and the risk of cancer? In late 2010, I was alarmed when an ENT surgeon
showed me the larynx (voicebox) of a man who had
had a lot of oral sex partners. The patient was
hoarse, and he found it difficult to speak. The area
round his vocal cords was virtually ‘swamped’ by a
network of fine, white threads. These, it transpired, were caused by the HPV virus. Fortunately, he did
recover. HPV is carried by many people. There are about 120
different strains of it. Some of them can cause warts,
including genital warts. Others can cause cancer –
notably cervical cancer. In the early years of the 21st century, a small number
of doctors began to warn that oral sex might
perhaps pass on HPV – and this could lead to cancer
of the throat and mouth area. A study published in the New England Journal of
Medicine suggested that people who had had more
that five ‘oral partners’ had a ninefold increase in risk
of cancer of the tonsils or tongue. By 2010, it was clear that the incidence of squamous
cell cancers of the mouth and throat was rising in
Europe and America, though not in all countries of
the world. According to the American Association for
Cancer Research, more than 50 per cent of all oral
cancers are now HPV-related. And there’s no question that oral sex has become more common in
recent decades. So far, no one has actually proved that fellatio or
cunnilingus could give you mouth or throat cancer.
However, in the light of current evidence, it’s clear
that both men and women should now be trying to
follow a policy of ‘risk reduction’ where oral sex is
concerned. Risk reduction Please note that we are discussing ‘risk reduction’
and not ‘total risk prevention’. Avoiding oral sex altogether is the only way of
preventing infection by the oral route, but because
it’s an important and enjoyable part of most couples’
sexual repertoire, this advice is rather impractical. Overall, oral sex seems to carry a lower risk of
transmitting infections than penetrative vaginal or
anal intercourse. Limiting the number of your sexual partners and not
being pressured into ‘casual’ sex with an unfamiliar
partner is an important way of reducing infection
risk. Consider whether your partner may have, or have
had, other sexual partners, and what their infection
status might be, before putting yourself at any risk by
giving them oral sex – or receiving it. It’s perfectly possible to enjoy oral sex using some
form of protective barrier. For fellatio, there are a
wide variety of flavoured and scented condoms
available, ranging from strawberry to curry, and from
whisky to lager and lime! For cunnilingus and oro-
anal sex, a dental dam – a thin plastic film – can be used. Remember, condoms can burst and dental dams can
slip, so don’t think that their use offers absolute
protection. These products can be obtained from
most pharmacies and many supermarkets and
online. If you are concerned that you have, or might be at
risk of having a sexually transmitted disease, it is
important to seek medical advice as soon as possible. Effective treatment is available for most diseases,
including HIV. Early treatment is not only important
for your own health, but in order to protect your
partner from infection. If you feel you’ve taken a risk with oral sex, call the
nearest large hospital to ask where the genitourinary
medicine (GUM) clinic is.

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Categories: Education., News, SEX
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