STDs and Oral Sex

Jonathan Trager, M.D.

Gonorrhea -- A bacterial infection of the urethra (urine tube), cervix or anus, gonorrhea can be transmitted to your throat and cause a severe throat infection. 

Syphilis -- A highly contagious bacterial infection that can be transmitted from a partner's genitals to your mouth. 

Hepatitis B -- This is a viral infection of the liver, which is spread by contact with an infected person's blood. Small tears in the anal area could transmit this virus through cuts or sores in your mouth into your blood. 

Hepatitis A -- This viral infection is transmitted by fecal-oral contamination so this could happen from licking a partner's anus. 

Nasty Genital Germs
Really -- what could you catch from oral sex? Unfortunately, a lot. Here are the sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) that could be transmitted to you from an infected partner if you give oral sex: 

HIV -- This virus can pass from a guy's ejaculate or pre-ejaculate (the liquid that leaks out from his penis before he ejaculates) or a girl's vaginal fluid through small cuts or sores in your mouth and into your bloodstream. Small tears in a partner's anal area may also expose you to HIV if you lick his or her anus. 

Herpes -- Genital herpes can be passed right from a partner's genitals to your mouth or lips. Remember, a person can be contagious even between herpes outbreaks. That's because herpes virus is shed from the genitals even when there are no obvious sores.

Genital warts -- This viral infection can pass from a partner's genitals or anus to your mouth or lips.

Molluscum -- This STD shows up as smooth, skin-colored bumps and can be spread to the skin around your mouth from a partner's genital skin. 


Can you get an STD from receiving oral sex? The answer is yes, it's possible. Diseases like herpes, syphilis, and gonorrhea -- which can infect a partner's mouth or throat -- could be transmitted to your genitals by receiving oral sex. It's also possible that HIV and hepatitis B could be transmitted this way, especially if your partner has cuts or open sores in his or her mouth. 

Remember: Most of the time, STDs have no symptoms at all. That makes it hard for you and your partner to recognize an infection.

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