Health

Oral sex: The risks involved and how to reduce the risk of STD

Sex talk has become a very important topic in this day and age to keep everyone stay safe and cautious of their premeditated actions. Sexual intercourse isn’t only limited to vaginal or anal sex, it can also be oral which have become more rampant.

Oral Sex therefore, is the proves in which someone stimulates a person’s genitals with their mouth, is a another means to provide delightful sex. On part of women with vulvas, cunnilingus allows stimulation to focus on the clitoris, which is how most women reach orgasm.

And for men and people with penises, blow jobs mean extra stimulation for the head/tip of the penis which, like the clitoris, is packed with nerve endings

Becky Lund-Harket, founder of the Candid collective and facilitator of Sexplain now warns that Oral Sex isn’t as safe as most think it is. Cause once there’s an exchange of bloodily fluids sexually transmitted diseases like Chlamydia, HIV, hepatitis A, B, Cand HPV- which causes genital warts are transferred.

So how then can you reduce the risk:

You should use condoms or dental dams (depending on what kind of genitals you have and which sex acts you’re enacting) to have safer oral sex and lower the danger of passing on or catching a STI.

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Most of us are familiar with condoms and how their protective barrier reduces the chance of transmitting a STI. Dental dams, on the other hand, are a less well-known method of protection.

‘Dental dams are designed to be used during oral sex involving the vulva or anus,’ explains Lund-Harket. ‘They are thin latex or polyurethane sheets that stretch across the area and function as a ‘barrier,’ allowing oral sex to be given/received through the dam.’

Although dental dams aren’t as common as condoms, you’ll find that some sexual health clinics will provide them for free, just like condoms. They are also available online from trustworthy companies such as British Condoms.

Condoms, on the other hand, do not protect you from all STIs. ‘Note that herpes can still be passed on when using condoms unless the lesion is covered by the condom (e.g. on the shaft of the penis), thus intercourse is usually avoided when the person has an active lesion,’ says the CDC.

Another way to reduce the risk of passing on or contracting an STI is to communicate openly and honestly with your partner and with any medical professionals you speak to about your sexual health.

Lund-Harket advises, ‘Ask your partners their STI status and when they last got tested, and honestly tell them [the details of] your status and last test.’ And if you are in a medical setting, be aware that the medical professional you speak to while getting tested might ask a few questions. ‘Be honest with them about the kinds of sex you’ve been having so that they can test you accordingly.’

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