Are there consequences of performing oral sex on a woman with bacterial and/or yeast infections?

Are there any health risks for a man if he performs oral sex on a woman with bacterial and/or yeast infections? And conversely, is it possible for a man to harbor any bacteria in his mouth that can upset the bacterial balance or introduce bacteria into the vagina?

The literature states that women's symptoms of bacterial vaginitis (the discharge) may worsen after unprotected sex (as it does for me). Why is this? It doesn't worsen with protected sex. It makes one believe the problem is coming from the man's ejaculate. Can a man be a carrier of something that can contribute to a bacterial infection? If so, why is treatment for men usually not recommended?

It certainly is possible to transmit diseases by oral genital contact. Gonorrhea, for example, is a bacterial infection that causes not only a genital tract infection, but can cause a severe sore throat (pharyngitis). Herpes is transmitted easily by this route, also. Some women report yeast infections after receiving oral sex, but the mechanism of this is not clear.

I'm not sure why symptoms of bacterial vaginitis (or vaginosis) worsen after unprotected sex. It's possible that the introduction of 5 to 7 grams of fairly high quality protein may provide extra "food" for the bacteria. In any case, it's food for thought.

And remember, the basic rule for safe sex: "If it's wet and isn't yours, don't touch it."

By Dr. Flash Gordon

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