Did your "Step throat" fail to clear up with a Z pak?
Have you ever had painful urination a few days after receiving fellatio?
The penis and throat serve as reservoirs for gonorrhea and chlamydia, sexually transmitted infections [STIs] that are on the rise. Fortunately, these STIs are largely preventable.
Protect yourself with proper hygiene.
This week, let's review practical tips to reduce your chance of acquiring one of these nasty buggers when giving or receiving fellatio.
STI vs STD
What's the difference between sexually transmitted infection [STI] vs sexually transmitted disease [STD]?
STD is a term of the past; STI is now the preferred term in the medical community because many infections are asymptomatic and curable (especially if diagnosed and treated appropriately). Also, given the stigma around the topic, it's easier to discuss having an infection than a disease.
Of course, the only way to completely prevent sexually transmitted infections [STIs] is to abstain from sexual activity.
You remember the teaching from Sex Ed class: always wear a condom, even during oral sex.
Yet, as reality would have it, condoms are not so popular for oral sex.
So, if you're not going to abstain from sex and you're not going to use a condom for oral sex, are there still strategies to reduce your risk of gonorrhea and chlamydia infection?
Let's review tips for the receiver and giver of oral sex.
As the receiver, you can acquire a gonorrhea or chlamydia infection in your penis IF the giver has an infection in his/her throat, and IF that bacteria successfully climbs down your urethra. The key to preventing gonorrhea and chlamydia infection is to clear any bacteria out of the urethra by urinating and remove any lingering bacteria on your penis by washing with soap and water. Boom! You just dramatically reduced your risk of acquiring an STI. Bravo.
DO urinate after receiving fellatio. Urine is a sterile liquid that will wash out bacteria that are trying to invade your urethra. Can't urinate? Go drink a glass or two of water; don't let your empty bladder be an excuse.
DO wash your penis with soap and water. If the giver has a throat full of gonorrhea and chlamydia, those bacteria are now coating your penis. Wash. Them. Off.
DO clean inside your foreskin if you have one. The inner foreskin is to bacteria as Brooklyn is to hipsters. Use soap and water in and around the foreskin to eliminate bacteria overstaying their welcome. Uncircumcised men with recurrent genital infections despite proper hygiene and men with phimosis should consider circumcision.
DON'T receive oral sex if you have open sores or lesions on your penis; this will increase risk of transmission.
DON'T receive oral sex if you suspect that you may have a sexually transmitted infection. Keep it in your pants and call your doctor to get tested.
As the giver, you can acquire a gonorrhea or chlamydia infection in your throat IF the receiver has gonorrhea or chlamydia colonizing his urethra, and IF those bacteria reach and conquer your throat. The key to preventing gonorrhea and chlamydia infection in the throat is removing any bacteria from your oral cavity after performing fellatio.
DO drink a glass of water after performing oral sex. Water helps wash any bacteria into your stomach where the acid neutralizes these pathogens.
DO rinse your mouth with an alcohol-based mouthwash after performing oral sex. The alcohol will kill unwanted bacteria. Gargling is a good strategy to reach the depth of your throat.
DON'T brush your teeth immediately before or after performing oral sex. Brushing can create small cuts along the gums which can serve as points of entry for bacteria. Rinsing with mouthwash is a smarter strategy.
DO inform your partner(s) if you have an STI and if you may have exposed them. Encourage you partner(s) to get tested and treated, if necessary.
DO wait seven days after undergoing treatment for an STI before engaging in further sexual activity.
DO undergo routine screening for STIs even if you don't have symptoms. Certain infections, especially in women, can occur without symptoms at all. How often should you get screened? That depends on the number and frequency of sexual partners. Every three, six or twelve months are reasonable intervals to consider.
DON'T have sex if you suspect you have an STI. Go to your doctor and get tested.
questions or comments?
CDC. "STD Risk and Oral Sex - CDC Fact Sheet " <https://www.cdc.gov/std/healthcomm/stdfact-stdriskandoralsex.htm>
Marrazzo, Jean and Willard Cates. "Interventions to Prevent Sexually Transmitted Infections, Including HIV Infection" Clin Infect Dis (2011) 53 (suppl_3): S64-S78.