A mind-set is developing that, since you can’t get pregnant through oral sex, then it must be “safe”.
Here are the facts. Judge for yourself.
What is oral sex?
Oral sex is the contact of one person’s mouth or tongue with the genitals of another person.
Is oral sex really sex?
There is a common, growing idea (especially among young teens) that oral sex isn’t really sex. What they say is “real sex” or sexual intercourse, is technically called “coitus” (or vaginal sex – the penetration of the male genital into the female vagina). However, almost any dictionary also contains the secondary definition for sexual intercourse: “intercourse involving genital contact between individuals other than penetration of the vagina by the penis. In other words, any genital contact is “sex”. Oral sex IS really sex.
Is oral sex “safe sex”?
Oral sex, like other methods of sex, carries with it the risk of serious, untreatable and even life-threatening diseases in both men and women. Oral sex has been found to spread syphilis, gonorrhea, HIV (HIV causes AIDS), HPV, genital herpes, chlamydia and possibly hepatitis C.
How can STDs be prevented?
While condoms have been shown to reduce the risk of some sexually transmitted diseases during vaginal sex, much less is known about their effectiveness in oral sex.
The surest way to avoid infection with any sexually transmitted disease is to practice sexual abstinence (abstain from any sexual contact, including oral sex) while single. If you marry, select a partner who is not infected with an STD and remain sexually faithful.
Concerned you might have an STD/STI? Get tested. We offer free STD/STI testing at First Choice Georgia Pregnancy Clinic. Call or visit our website to make an appointment.
Sources and Resources:
1. Stepp, LS, Unsettling New Fad Alarms Parents: Middle School Oral Sex, Washington Post, July 8, 1999, page A1.
2. “sexual intercourse.” Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary. 2002. http://www.merriam-webster.com (18 January 2004).
3. S Edwards and C Carne, Oral sex and the transmission of viral STIs, Sexually Transmitted Infections, 1998, 74(1) 6-10.
4. Disease information: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for HIV, STD and TB Prevention Division of Sexually Transmitted Diseases, Fact Sheets found at: http://www.cdc.gov/nchstp/dstd/disease_info.htm, accessed 1-5-04.