A common misconception among people – especially teenagers, is that oral sex is safe. This is true only as far as pregnancy is concerned. But when one looks at the larger picture, oral sex, like any other type of sexual intercourse, carries the risk of sexually transmitted diseases.
Sexually transmitted diseases are those diseases that are passed on from one infected partner to another during vaginal, anal or oral sexual intercourse. In the case of an oral STD, the infection is usually transferred when it comes in contact with the mucus lining of the oral cavity.
While oral STDs can sometimes pass off unnoticed, there are some oral STDs that have characteristic symptoms. The symptoms are not limited to the oral cavity alone and may erupt on other parts of the bodies in the form of a rash or fever. Listed below are some of the common oral STDs and the symptoms that they exhibit.
Common Oral STD Symptoms
This disease is quite often asymptomatic (without symptoms). When they do arise, symptoms include:
A redness in the throat which is very similar to a strep throat. The infected person may experience pain and difficulty when swallowing.
In men, oral herpes is a very painful condition. While the symptoms are often noticed around the lips, they can also travel deep into the oral cavity. Symptoms include:
Small reddish blisters around the mouth. These are found in clusters and are painful when touched. When the infection spreads inside the mouth these sores can be seen on the gums and even on the tongue. When these rupture, they form very painful ulcers.
There is a burning sensation associated with eating and drinking.
In women, the infection is as painful and traumatic. The sores produce a fever. After the first phase, both the sores and the fever disappear but may appear again at a later stage.
It is much easier to contract syphilis through vaginal and anal intercourse than through oral intercourse.
The first symptom of oral syphilis is the presence of an open sore known as a ‘chancre’ that appears about three weeks after contact with an infected person. This is usually seen on the lips; however, it is not uncommon for it to appear on the tongue. If left untreated, the chancre disappears on its own and the disease progresses to the next stage.
In the second stage, symptoms are more predominant and severe. Lesions are noted in the oral cavity. A rash appears in the oral cavity. This can spread on the face and cause permanent scarring and disfigurement of the face. Headaches and a fever may be noted as well. Severe hair loss and weight loss are common.
In the latent stage of the disease, all symptoms disappear. Organ damage, blindness and even death is possible if the disease is allowed to progress to this stage.
HPV And Genital Warts
Symptoms include warts in the mouth and throat.
Oral chlamydia is rare. When it does occur, it is usually asymptomatic; however, when the disease presents with symptoms, the symptoms include a sore throat and flu-like symptoms such as fever, body pain and nausea.
Oral STD symptoms are difficult to notice and take almost a week to show up. The best way to prevent an oral STD is to practice safe sex and to use a condom.