Home Health & Relationship Oral STIs: Transmission And Prevention

Oral STIs: Transmission And Prevention


Can someone be infected with a sexually transmitted infection (STI) from oral intercourse? Yes. Many STIs, including chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis, can be spread through oral sex.  Anyone who engages in oral intercouse with somebody who has a sexually transmitted disease can contract the disease themselves. Oral intercouse refers to when a person puts their mouth, tongue, or lips on the genitals of another person. Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) that people can pass on through oral intercourse can infect multiple parts of the body, including the:

(a) mouth

(b) throat

(c) genitals

(d) rectum

Symptoms of Oral STDs

Oral symptoms that could indicate an STD include:

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(a) Sores in the mouth, which may be painless.

(b) Lesions similar to cold sores and fever blisters around the mouth.

(c) Sore throat and difficulty swallowing.

(d) Redness with white spots resembling strep throat.

(e) Swollen tonsils and/or lymph nodes.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), an oral STD often doesn’t produce any noticeable symptoms. So it’s important to be aware of both your own oral and sexual health and that of your partner.


The only way to prevent yourself from contracting an oral STD is to practice safe sex, including safe oral sex by using dental dam, a dental dam is a latex or polyurethane (very thin, soft plastic) square, of about 15cm by 15cm. It acts as a barrier to help prevent STIs passing from one person to another. You should also maintain a high standard of oral hygiene, which reduces your risk for developing any type of sore or infection in the mouth.

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