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How to Avoid Oral STDs

How to avoid oral STDs

Oral STDs are a direct risk of having oral sex, but if you’re like 85% of sexually active adults*, that’s still not going to stop you from playing the skin flute.

The most common and high-risk STDs can be passed orally, including:

  • Chlamydia
  • Gonorrhea
  • Syphilis
  • Herpes
  • HPV
  • HIV
  • Trichomoniasis

Oral STDs often don’t show any signs. But when they do, those signs can include a sore throat, difficulty swallowing, flu-like symptoms, and sores in the mouth or throat. Read more about STD symptoms here.

While abstaining from oral sex altogether is the only sure-fire way to dodge an oral STD, there are other methods to reduce risk.

Dam it

A ‘dental dam’ sounds like something Grandma might use for her dentures, but it’s actually a device you can use to protect yourself against oral STDs. In practice, you put this thin, rubbery barrier over the area to be orally aroused (anus, vagina, scrotum) and proceed as usual. The barrier, like a condom used for fellatio, will allow safe oral stimulation.

Tip: When you find yourself without a dental dam, an easy DIY is to cut a condom open into a rectangle, and carry on enthusiastically.

Know your risk factors

According the the CDC*, some characteristics and behaviors may make some individuals more susceptible to oral STDs:

  • Unprotected oral sex
  • Tooth decay, gum disease, bleeding gums, and oral cancer
  • Sores in the mouth or on the genitals/anus
  • Oral exposure to pre-cum or cum
  • Multiple sexual partners

Make an effort to control the risk factors and you’ll be on the right track to avoiding oral STDs.

Get tested

Another reliable way to ward off oral STDs that doesn’t call for chastity is to be in a long term, monogamous relationship with a partner who has tested negative for oral STDs. If you’re in a relationship and want the peace of mind that testing brings, you can get your sweetie a myLAB Box gift card or order two tests to take together.

(Read: Why an STI test kit is actually the best gift ever)

Even if you’re flying solo, testing for oral STDs will ensure you aren’t carrying something that’s causing internal damage. myLAB Box offers a test that identifies oral, anal, and genital infections of chlamydia and gonorrhea: two very common oral STDs.

Order your three site test now and be oral STD free.  

More questions? Check out our FAQs:

Reviewed by Luis Ferdinand M. Papa, MD, MHA

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