Oral sexx and HPV
You most likely do not require a description of what oral sex is, you might not know what HPV is. HPV stands for Human Papilloma Virus, and it is the leading cause of cervical cancer today. This same virus, HPV, can also cause oral cancer, and it is transmitted through oral sex in this instance. This was determined in a study conducted at the Ohio State University from 1974 to 2007 a 33 year study. HPV has no cure.
Through this same study, it was discovered that if a person engaged in oral sex with six or more partners, they were at the highest risk of getting HPV and oral cancer. The risk of getting HPV related oral cancer is even higher than the risk of getting tobacco related oral cancer, meaning that the situation is very serious. This information comes from a study done in France. Another study conducted in the United States, at John Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in Baltimore, states that engaging in oral sex with just five or more partners increases your risk of HPV, oral cancer, and throat cancer by 250%.
The HPV vaccine and oral sex
Today, a vaccine is available to guard against HPV. Young women are encouraged to get this vaccine, and it has been proven to guard against contracting cancer causing HPV, in terms of cervical cancer. However, scientists do not yet know whether this same vaccine, for the same virus, will also guard against oral cancer, due to oral sex. The company that produces the HPV vaccine, Gardasil, expects to see the HPV vaccine recommended for men as well in the near future.
Approximately 100,000 people are diagnosed with throat and oral cancers every year in the United States. What scientists do not understand, however, is that young white males are at higher risk than any other group when it comes to HPV and cancer caused by oral sex.
Protected oral sex
Simply put, you must use condoms. Hopefully, you are already aware of the dangers of sexually transmitted diseases, from a genital viewpoint, and you use condoms for sexual intercourse. You also need to start using condoms for oral sex. Since we do not know if the HPV vaccine will guard against oral cancer and throat cancer, this is the only option that you have to protect yourself.
Just as the withdrawal method usually fails to protect against pregnancy when it comes to sexual intercourse, you also cannot count on this method to protect you against HPV or oral and throat cancers. Small amounts of fluids and semen are emitted long before ejaculation actually occurs in full, and these bits of fluid can contain HPV.
Obviously, when you purchase condoms for use in oral sex, you should purchase non-lubricated condoms. Using a lubricated condom for oral sex could actually poison you, because of the ingredients used in the lubrication.
It is also important to know that if you have unprotected oral sex, and you smoke or drink alcohol excessively, your risk of oral and throat cancers is increased by three times. Considering that your risk has already increased by 250%, just by having unprotected oral sex, when you add smoking and drinking to the mix, the risk certainly outweighs the potential pleasure.
Although there has not been enough research done in this particular area, it is possible that those people who have had their tonsils removed, who perform oral sex on a partner are at a slightly lower risk for throat and oral cancers. This is because the tonsils actually trap particles, and those particles could be infected with HPV. The tonsils have numerous grooves that make this possible. Getting your tonsils removed for the purpose of guarding against cancer related oral sex doesnt make much sense, however, because the tonsils perform important functions. This is not a viable option for protected oral sex. As with sexual intercourse, the only way to protect against transmitting diseases is with the use of a condom, or by practicing abstinence.