Tips on STDs

and Oral Sex


Fast Facts

  • By definition, oral sex is when someone puts his or her lips, mouth or tongue on a man’s penis, a woman’s genitals (including the clitoris, vulva, and vaginal

Can STDs Be Spread During Oral Sex?

Many STDs, as well as other infections, can be spread through oral sex. Anyone exposed to an infected partner can get an STD in the mouth, throat, genitals, or rectum.

The risk of getting an STD from oral sex, or spreading an STD to others through oral sex, depends on a number of things, including:

  • The particular STD
  • The sex acts practiced
  • How common the STD is in the population to which the sex partners belong
  • The number of specific sex acts performed

Which STDs Can Be Passed On from Oral Sex?



What May Increase the Chances of Giving or Getting an STD through Oral Sex?

It is possible that certain factors may increase a person’s chances of getting HIV or other STDs during oral sex if exposed to an infected partner, such as:

  • Having poor oral health which can include tooth decay, gum disease or bleeding gums, and oral cancer
  • Having sores in the mouth or on the genitals
  • Being exposed to the “pre-cum” or “cum” (also known as pre-ejaculate or ejaculate) of an infected partner

What Can You Do to Prevent STD Transmission During Oral Sex?

You can lower your chances of giving or getting STDs during oral sex by using a condom, dental dam or other barrier method each and every time you have oral sex.

For oral sex on the penis:

In women, untreated gonorrhea can cause pelvic inflammatory disease (PID). Some of the complications of PID are:

  • Cover the penis with a non-lubricated latex condom
  • Use plastic (polyurethane) condoms if you or your partner is allergic to latex

For oral sex on the vagina or anus:

In women, untreated gonorrhea can cause pelvic inflammatory disease (PID). Some of the complications of PID are:

  • Use a dental dam
  • Cut open a condom to make a square, and put it between the mouth and the partner’s vagina or anus

The only way to avoid STDs is to not have vaginal, anal, or oral sex.

If you are sexually active, you can do the following things to lower your chances of getting an STD:

  • Being in a long-term mutually monogamous relationship with a partner who is not infected with an STD (e.g., a partner who has been tested and has negative STD test results).
  • Using latex condoms the right way every time you have sex.

It’s important to remember that many infected individuals may be unaware of their infection because STDs often have no symptoms and are unrecognized.

6 Types of STIs