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Can Oral Sex Give You Cancer? Does HPV Vaccine Help?

Can Oral Sex Give You Cancer? Does HPV Vaccine Help?

Oral sex is one of the many types of sex in which one partner uses his/her lips, mouth, and/or tongue to stimulate the genitals of the other. Though it can be enjoyable, some of its health risks are concerned.

How Often Do People Have Oral Sex?

People often have oral sex as a form of foreplay, or they may even have oral sex as an alternative to sexual intercourse.

According to a survey taken by 754 men and 309 women [1], 11% of the men and 18% of the women admitted that they performed oral sex more than 90% of the time during sexual intercourse. Another study indicates that oral sex is most common in people between the ages of 16 and 24.

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What Are The Benefits Of Oral Sex?

While oral sex, like any other type of sex, is an act of intimacy that brings pleasure to both partners involved, it also has some health benefits. Much like masturbation, receiving oral sex frequently and ejaculating from it can lower a man’s risk of developing prostate cancer.

Are there any risks involved in performing oral sex?

Along with all of the above, oral sex also seems like an ideal method of birth control. However, when compared to sexual intercourse, the risk of contracting a sexually transmitted infection (STI) tends to be greater during oral sex.

The most common STIs that a person may contract while performing oral sex include:

  • Gonorrhea, which is caused by the gonococcus or Neisseria gonorrhoeae.
  • Herpes, which is caused by the herpes simplex virus (HSV).
  • Syphilis, which is caused by the Treponema pallidum bacteria.

Any of the above STIs can be transferred by having unprotected oral sex with a person who is already infected with the bacteria or virus that causes them. Although not as common, there is also the risk of contracting chlamydia, genital warts, hepatitis A, B and C, HIV and pubic lice as a result of having unprotected oral sex.

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Biggest and most concerning risk: throat cancer

However, the biggest and most concerning risk of having oral sex (or at least unprotected oral sex) is its link to causing throat cancer. Oral sex itself is not responsible for causing throat cancer, but if the person receiving oral sex is infected with the human papillomavirus (HPV), the one performing the act may be at risk of developing throat cancer.

According to research, a particular type of HPV can cause certain cancers of the throat, such as oropharyngeal cancer and squamous cell carcinomas (or tonsil cancers). Despite being common, HPV does not always cause cancer, and those who have not been exposed to it during oral sex will not be at a greater risk of developing throat cancer.

How to continue performing oral sex without increasing the risk of throat cancer

The risks of oral sex, including the risk of throat cancer and the transferral of STIs, have a lot to do with how the act is performed and who it is performed on. The danger of contracting an STI is relatively lower during oral sex than it is during anal or vaginal sex unless the person receiving oral sex is infected with a particular STI-causing bacterium or virus.

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Limit oral sex to a permanent, trusted partner

The simplest solution to avoid this risk would be to limit oral sex to a permanent, trusted partner who has been tested for STI-causing bacteria or viruses, but it is not the only one.

Barrier protection

Much like anal or vaginal sex, protection is equally important when engaging in oral sex. Oral sex may seem safer, but no sex is safe without protection. The risk of contracting an STI or getting infected with HPV can be lowered with the use of barrier protection. This means that a man receiving oral sex should wear a condom, while a woman receiving oral sex should wear latex or plastic dental dam. Moreover, a man or woman receiving analingus should also wear a dental dam over their anus.

HPV vaccine

In recent years, vaccines have also been developed to protect men and women against high-risk HPV infection. And it has been proven that the vaccine can protect those who have oral sex too. [2]

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Conclusion

All in all, there is nothing wrong with having oral sex as long as both partners enjoy it equally. However, just like safe sex is the best sex, it is also important to stay safe when orally pleasuring one’s partner or receiving oral pleasure.

Reference

More by this author

Christopher Jan Benitez

Freelance Writer

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Last Updated on August 15, 2018

18 Signs You’ve Found Your Soulmate

18 Signs You’ve Found Your Soulmate

Spiritually speaking, it is said that even before you were born, the name of your spiritual half has been determined. Each soul has a perfect match… your soulmate.

Although most people think of a soulmate as a perfect harmonious union of bliss, your true spiritual soulmate is the person who is intended to help you “complete yourself.”

Video Summary

Jerry McGuirewas right – soul mates complete each other. A person is unable to complete his mission in life alone. Everyone needs someone to help them become a better person. This is not always a blissful experience.

Being in an honest, sincere, and committed soulmate relationship helps you to become a better version of yourself. You have to push yourself beyond your comfort zone, beyond your limits to find your better self.

Even though we tend to think of soul mates as a symbiotic union; soulmate relationships can be rough at the beginning. They can be like two jagged edged puzzle pieces trying to click into place. Sometimes it looks like you do not fit together at all, but soon after a little bit of twisting, turning, and flipping the pieces around, you feel the moment of the perfect click. It’s a feeling deep in your soul, that says, this is the right one.

Often soulmates appear in disguise. You might not be physically attracted to each other when you first meet, but there is a mysterious force pushing you forward that tells you this is “the right one” for you.

You have a personal checklist of everything you want in a partner. Tall- check. Dark hair (no curls please)-check. Blondes only-check. 6 pack abs- check. Or you can be likeJerry Seinfeldwho knows his date is not “the one” becauseshe eats her peas one at a time.

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So, if you are brave enough to move away from your romance checklist, open your eyes and your heart to unexpected possiblities, you might just be one of the lucky ones who finds their true soul match.

You know you’ve found your soulmate when:

1. You just know it.

Something deep inside tells you this is the perfect one for you. It’s as if there is a spiritual force pushing you to let go of everything you previously expected and to give of yourself completely.

2. You have crossed paths before.

Soulmates have met each other and a previous time. You may not have connected, but you were in the same place, at the same time. Before my husband and I met, we lived across the street from each other and worked across the street from each other. Yet we never met until the time was right.

3. Your souls meet at the right time.

    Each person has to be ready to receive the soul connection. Even though my husband and I were in close proximity of each other for many years, we did not meet until the time was right for both of us. You have to be prepared to meet your soulmate. It could be that you have to go through a relationship that doesn’t work out, or that you’re not ready to ditch your “perfect person checklist,” but when it comes to soulmates- timing is everything.

    4. Your quiet space is a peaceful place.

    Being quiet together is comforting like a fluffy down blanket on a cold winter night. Whether you are reading in the same room, or driving in the car, there’s a quiet peace between you.

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    5. You can hear the other person’s silent thoughts.

    With soulmates, there is such depth to your relationship that you can feel and hear what your partner is thinking, even if it is not verbally expressed.

    6. You feel each other’s pain.

      You stand in each other’s shoes. You know each other so well, that the second he walks in the door, you can tell how his day was. You feel each other’s feelings: sadness, worry, and stress. And you share each other’s happiness and joy.

      7. You know each other’s flaws and the benefits in them.

      Yes, it’s true. Our flaws have benefits. Every trait has a positive as well as a negative side. It’s the task of each person to always look for the good, even when things don’t look so good. There is usually a benefit to each flaw. Stubborn people are good decision makers. Overly organized people are great at paying bills on time.

      8. You share the same life goals.

      You’re both on the same page with values, ethics, and goals. You may have a different way of reaching those goals, but you both want the same end result.

      9. You’re not afraid of having a conversation.

        Conversations can be challenging. Expressing concerns or attempting to make decisions is uncomfortable. Soulmates know that if they join together, they will be able to work it out.

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        10. You are not threatened by the need for alone time.

        Whether it’s tennis three times a week or girls’ night out, you respect each other’s need for independence, knowing that when you get together, your time alone is special.

        11. You don’t experience jealousy.

        Pretty girls at the office or handsome personal trainers aren’t a threat to your relationship.You are secure knowing that you are the only one.

        12. You respect each other’s differences and opinions.

          You know you have different opinions. Often soulmates are polar opposite. At times this is challenging. These are the times when you are being forced to let the other person complete you. You still have your own opinion, but instead of agreeing to disagree, there is a deep level of respect for each other. You listen and honor the differences.

          13. You don’t scream, curse, or threaten each other with divorce.

          Of course you feel the anger. People unintentionally hurt each other. But soulmates aren’t nasty, hurtful, or punitive.

          14. You give in because you want to make your partner happy.

          Giving can often occur in unhealthy, co-dependent, or abusive relationships. But soulmates give to each other for the sole purpose of making each other happy.

          15. You know how to apologize.

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            It’s not easy to say “I’m sorry” or admit that you did something that hurt the person you love. Soulmates realize that their actions or words cause harm. Even if they feel justified in their point of view, if their partner was hurt by it, they can easily apologize for the harm they have caused.

            16. You would marry each other again.

            You know this is the one and only one for you. Even through the tough times, you would choose your partner again. You feel a sense of pride in your partner.

            17. You complete each other.

            Yes, I’m sorry to say it but, your partner fills in your blanks. No person is perfect. We all have our strengths and weaknesses. Soulmates complete each other. It’s the yin and yang of perfect harmony. One person may be the extrovert, while one is the introvert. One may be social, while the other a homebody. Soulmates are often opposite that are attracted to a person who has their missing pieces.

            18.Being in each other’s arms washes away all your stress, worries, and anxiety.

              There is no place you’d rather be at the end of the day but in each other’s arms. If you had a rough day filled with disagreements, a fight with your boss or if you missed the train, whatever happened is gone the second you cuddle up together. There is a warmth in your heart, an inner peace you can feel. No words need to be spoken. All that exists is the silent, blissful union of two souls together. Two souls that were meant to be together eternally.

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