I have a cold and my throat hurts. Is this because I had oral sex?

Probably not. Your sore throat is a common symptom of a viral or bacterial cold. Not to mention its “flu season”! Many people are experiencing similar symptoms. If you are not feeling better in one week, visit your family doctor.

It’s great that you are thinking about STI transmission during oral sex- there is definitely a risk. Herpes & HPV are both viral STIs that transmit via skin-to-skin contact. Both viruses present themselves in the mouth and genitals. Herpes can cause cold sores on the outside of the mouth and around the genitals. HPV can cause abnormal cell growth (that can lead to cancer) in the mouth, throat and genitals. It’s also possible to contract Chlamydia or Gonorrhea in the throat through unprotected oral sex. Symptoms are generally a sore throat. Flavored condoms & dental dams exist purely for protected oral sex. Check out your Teen Clinic or local pharmacy for condoms & dental dams; be sure to use them every time!