Many people think that because oral sex isn’t necessarily penetration, there is little to no risk. But the fact is, you can get all STIs (except for pubic lice) when engaging in oral sex with someone who has the infection. There are four ways in which someone can contract an STI. They are…
- Skin to skin contact
- Sexual fluids (vaginal fluids and semen)
- Mother to child
When someone is engaging in oral sex, they can come into contact with someone’s blood, sexual fluids, and/or skin. But the good news is that there are ways to prevent STI transmission from happening! Using a condom for oral sex on a penis will help drastically reduce your risk of transmitting an STI. If oral sex is being performed on the vagina or anus, a dental dam can be used to help reduce your risk also! You can pick up free condoms and dental dams at Teen Clinic!
Possible symptoms of a chlamydial infection can include:
- Vaginal discharge
- Pain or burning during urination
- Pain or swelling of the testicles/scrotum
- Sore throat (if the infection is transmitted through oral sex and is localized in the throat)
It’s important to know though that 75% of people with vaginas and 50% of people with penises show no symptoms of the infection! So even if you don’t have any of these symptoms, it’s a good idea to get tested periodically. Some people get tested every time they have a new partner, every 6 months, or even once a year based on their risk factors.
Untreated Chlamydia on the cervix can cause things like pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) which can lead to infertility. Untreated Chlamydia in the throat cannot cause infertility. It can, however, cause severe upper respiratory problems. If the infection spreads to the eyes, it can also cause blindness in severe cases.
If you are concerned that you or someone who know has Chlamydia, the best thing for you to do is to get tested. You can learn how to make an appointment here at the Teen Clinic to get tested (and treated if need be) for free or at a low cost! You can see a more detailed description of costs here. Call us with more questions or concerns! 303-442-5160.