Last week, I got together with a married friend of mine. We often catch up over lunch and talk about anything ranging from normal momsie conversation to cheeky subject that our children would be shocked off their cotton socks, if they heard us.
So the conversation about sex came up as always and we both admitted our fear of Oral sex. It may sound bizarre but we are within our rights not to want anything other than food and drink to go past our lips. I wish I could be more daring but the thought of a penis hovering over me just makes that impossible, too scary!
I know oral sex has been practiced for centuries but there isn’t clear and sound awareness on the transmission of sexual disease/infection through oral sex. In fact many people do not actually believe Oral sex can carry any risk at all. But it does, just like any other weird and wonderful sexual activities. HIV, HPV and herpes are also transmittable via oral sex.
Whilst there are other causes of mouth and throat cancer such as heavy consumption of alcohol and smoking, I have chosen to highlight Human Papilloma Virus (HPV). This is simple because it’s probably not in the lime light as a possible risk the way it should be and it’s still being researched by experts.
In brief, Human Papilloma virus is very common and can live in our bodies without any symptom at all and may cause no harm however they are known for causing changes in the cells of cervix and lining of the mouth hence the development of cervical, mouth and throat cancer. There are over 100 strains of HPV.(Cancer research UK)
HPV infection cannot be transmitted by kissing alone or at least there isn’t enough evidence to support this yet but researchers have pointed out that most oral HPV has links to oral sex. On the other hand, Studies have suggested that those who have more than five oral sex partners in their life time are more at risk of throat cancer than those who do not have oral sex.( Shocking and scary!) Oral HPV is higher in men than women.
Gardasil vaccines are now being offered to school girl against HPV but young boys in the United Kingdom are not eligible for this vaccination as yet. I do hope that soon enough Gardasil will be offered to school boys too.
Condoms are still great form of protection; there are fruit flavoured ones suitable for oral sex, if that takes your fancy.
Stick to one partner, if you can. However peolpe are not always who you think they are.(Bear that in mind )
It is not my intention to put you off oral sex; I just wanted to shine my safety light on it. When you are single and still searching, it is so easy to have few relationships before finally meeting the right person. Therefore staying safe is very important.
If in doubt, just stick a condom over it!
- 5 Ways to Prevent Oral Cancer (topdentists.com)
- HPV: Do I stay or go? (ask.metafilter.com)
- Attitudes Toward HPV Vaccination For Boys (medicalnewstoday.com)
- HPV: A Health Threat You Need to Know About (drlauraberman.com)
- HPV replaces tobacco as cause of growing number of oral cancers (sj-r.com)