Medical Q&As

Oral sex - STD risk?

I performed unprotected oral sex whilst on holiday in May. I now feel so foolish and am very concerned about the possibility of having contracted an S.T.D. Am I in a high risk category and where should I get tested in Dublin?

It is possible to transmit a sexually transmitted disease through oral sex. A man can acquire gonorrhoea, syphilis, chlamydia, genital herpes or HPV (wart viruses) by performing oral sex on an infected female partner. In some cases, because of the asymptomatic nature of the infection, the woman may not be aware that she is infected and can transmit the infection unwittingly. A woman is also at risk of acquiring infection from a male partner if he is affected by an STD. Oral sex also carries the risk of transmitting oral or respiratory infection. If you did not have any mouth or throat symptoms after the episode of unprotected oral sex then it is unlikely that you acquired an infection. The symptoms I am referring to include sore throat, mouth or throat blisters or ulcers in the mouth or throat. However, it would be best to be screened for STDs because, as mentioned previously, it is possible to acquire an STD and not have symptoms. Testing can be performed at an STD clinic. There are several such clinics attached to several of our major hospitals. Alternatively you could attend a GP or a specialist with a special interest in STDs for screening and treatment should that prove to be necessary. Finally I would not consider you to be in a high risk category but some risk does exist albeit small.