[Question #1099] Oral Sex

49 months ago

Hi I am  guy and I had unprotected oral sex performed on me by a girl not long ago.  She had no sores or signs of anything, but I know she had a somewhat of a promiscuous  past.  I have not had any symptoms, but am just wondering what the odds of acquiring an std through receiving oral is.  

I normally wouldn't be concerned, but I made the mistake of doing some research online and now don't know what to believe.  

Some websites say its easy to contract syphilis, herpes,  gonorrhea or chylamidia through oral sex.  and not so easy to catch HIV.  Some other sites say it is near impossible to contract an STD from receiving oral. 

Also if you do contract one of these STD's how long before you get symptoms?

She performed oral on me for about 10 minutes.  I had no cuts or wounds and like I said I saw nothing wrong with her. 


Thank you for your help and all the info here.

Edward W. Hook M.D.
Edward W. Hook M.D.
48 months ago

Welcome to the Forum and thanks for your questions.  I'll be pleased to comment.  Among the various forms of unprotected penetrative sex that a person might engage in, oral sex is the least likely to lead to STI.  This ins not to say that it is no risk but it is low risk.  Few people have oral STIs to pass on to others and few STIs result from oral sex.  There are no known cases in which a person has been proven to acquired HIV from receipt of oral sex and chlamydial infection is quite rare as chlamydia does not live well in the throat, thus there are few infections to be transmitted. 

Gonorrhea is found in the throat and can be transmitted fro one person to another through oral sex but the most common STI syndrome to occur following receipt of oral sex is non-gonococcal urethritis (NGU) which unlike NGU resulting from penile-vaginal or rectal sex is almost never due to chlamydia or a recently described bacterium call Mycoplasma genitalium,  It is thought that oral sex may introduce a partner's mouth bacteria into the urethra and lead to inflammation and therefore mild burning or urination or urethral discharge.  This form of NGU is not thought to be readily transmissible or dangerous for sexual partners. 

Finally, with regard to syphilis and herpes- syphilis is transmitted by direct contact with a syphilis sore so if your partner did not have a visible sore, I would not be worried.  Genital herpes can result from oral sex if you do not already have herpes simplex type-1 infection however about 60+% of adults already have this infection whether they know it or not.   Even when a partner has HSV-1 infection and you do not, the risk for getting herpes is low, likely occurring once in more than a thousand exposures.

Bottom line, since most people do not have oral STIs and since oral STIs are not transmitted well through oral sex, there is relatively little to worry about.   If you were going to develop symptoms form this exposure, in most instance, this would occur in a week or so.  In the absence of symptoms i would not worry too much and would not strongly recommend testing unless it would be done for your peace of mind.  My advice, in the absence of symptoms is not to worry, to move forward, and most importantly to stay off the internet which can be a major source of misinformation.  EWH

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48 months ago

Thank you so much for answering.  So I guess its been 3 months and I have had no symptoms at all, I am probably in the clear. 

I hope you don't mind me asking, but I would like to know for future events.  Is it safe to perform oral sex on a girl with no visible sores or anything?  I will always wear a condom for vaginal sex, but I don't know how I should treat oral sex for the future. Should I just avoid oral sex all together?  Thank you again so much

Edward W. Hook M.D.
Edward W. Hook M.D.
48 months ago

If it has been three months since the exposure you have described I would certainly agree that you are in the clear and I would not worry further if I were you. 

Regarding oral sex, I see no reason for avoidance.  Performing oral sex on a female sex partner is a relatively low risk event.  This may be, in part, because the mechanics of performing cunnilingus on female sex partners make contact with the cervix, which is where gonorrhea and chlamydial infection typically occur less likely.  Among the possible sorts of oral sex one might perform, oral sex is the lowest risk activity- not no risk but certainly low risk.  EWH

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