Oral sex is one of the most pleasurable and intimate experiences you can have with your partner that gets things going. It is the mid-part of what we say “one thing led to another” and breaks the barrier between wanting to do it and actually doing it! Other than giving pleasure, it provides a range of emotional and physical benefits. But the activity can also be harmful you don’t take necessary precautions. Today we will discuss can you get strep throat from oral sex?
Let’s find out if there’s actually a connection between oral sex and strep throat or if it’s merely a misconception!
Table of Contents
Oral sex and its side effects
When you indulge in oral sex, your tongue explores a variety of bodily fluids like saliva and semen. So, like other sexual acts, oral sex also comes with the risk of getting infected.
Performing oral sex with someone who isn’t your long-term partner can make you susceptible to some infections. Is strep throat one of them?
When someone mentions sexually transmitted diseases, the common infections that come to mind are HIV, gonorrhea, and chlamydia.
So, ‘can you get strep throat from oral sex’ is not a question that generally crosses the mind. That’s because most people aren’t aware that oral sex can transmit several other diseases.
According to doctors, strep throat is one of the infections that oral sex might spread.
What is strep throat?
Strep throat is a kind of bacterial infection that affects the tonsils and the throat. It can cause discomfort by making a person’s throat scratchy and sore.
If left untreated for a long time, strep throat can cause rheumatic fever and kidney inflammation. But how does this infection spread? Can you get strep throat from giving oral sex?
Streptococcus pyogenes is the bacterium responsible for causing strep throat. Also known as group A strep, the bacterium is highly contagious.
When an infected person coughs or sneezes, the droplets can transfer the disease to another individual. It can also spread through shared drinks or foods and it infects nearly 11 million people annually.
Strep throat is more noticeable in children than in adults. So, most people don’t know that there can be a link between strep throat and oral sex. However, as streptococcus spreads through physical contact with an infected person, and it can pass sexually.
How can you get strep throat from oral sex?
The answer to, “can you get strep throat from oral sex?” is yes.
Now let’s discuss how that happens and what you can do to reduce the chances of getting strep throat.
When you have oral sex, there is an exchange of bodily fluids. Two people come in contact with each other’s bodily and skin fluids like breast milk, urine, blood, vaginal fluids, semen, and sweat.
Any of these fluids can have disease-containing bacteria or viruses. And if you think spitting out after pleasuring your partner’s genitals is enough, you’re wrong.
The bacteria can easily enter your body and affect your throat. If your partner has strep throat, then you can have it even if you stay away from sex.
Holding hands and kissing can transmit this disease from one body to another.
Who is at a greater risk of having strep throat after enjoying oral sex?
Any person exposed to a sex partner who’s infected can develop strep throat. However, studies have revealed that women are more at risk than men.
When a woman is doing oral sex and her partner is infected, she is at a higher risk of waking up with a sore throat the next day.
Men, on the other hand, are at a lower risk of acquiring these kinds of infections during oral sex. That’s because the bacteria’s presence is prominent on the penis than on the vagina or the clitoris.
Having sex with multiple partners is a behavior that increases the chances of contracting illnesses like strep throat. So, as thrilling as it may be, having unprotected oral sex with a stranger might impact your overall health.
Lastly, some people naturally have a weak immune system. Poor immunity can also be because of an unhealthy lifestyle or some disease. Such an individual can be more susceptible to getting infected if exposed to Streptococcus.
Viruses and bacteria also enter the body through tiny cuts resulting from flossing or shaving.
Is strep throat an STI?
Not all injected with strep throat have it because they had oral sex. The contagious infection can easily spread through drinking something from the same glass as an infected person.
Even if you don’t come in direct contact with an infected individual, contact with any contaminated surface is enough to get you infected. So, these transmissions have nothing to do with sex.
Doctors consider strep throat transmitted during oral sex a sexually transmitted infection (STI). So, like other STIs, it can pass from one infected person to another during sexual activities.
It is the same bacteria that causes strep throat in kids. Only the mode of transmission determines whether it qualifies as an STI or a normal strep throat infection.
In simpler words, since the answer to the question ‘can strep throat be passed sexually?’ is in the affirmative, there shouldn’t be any doubt about it being an STI.
Can you have strep throat even when your partner doesn’t have it?
Someone can be a carrier of strep bacteria. They may not realize they have it as most carriers don’t have symptoms.
If you have strep throat occasionally, it could mean that you come in contact with a carrier frequently.
The constant exposure to streptococcus is probably making you sick. So, instead of delaying treatment, seek medical attention at the earliest.
How do you know you have strep throat?
Sometimes, people dismiss throat itchiness or soreness as cough and cold. If you have a throat infection that doesn’t subside after 48 hours, it can be strep throat or something else. Watch out for these symptoms:
- Extreme pain in the throat
- Painful swallowing
- Swollen and red tonsils along with pus or white patches
- Body aches
- Red spots inside the mouth (on the soft palate/ hard palate)
- Vomiting or nausea
If you notice any of the above-mentioned symptoms, visit an esteemed doctor.
Complications resulting from strep throat
Strep throat is completely curable, but timely diagnosis is crucial. If you don’t take medicines, the infection might lead to the following complications:
- kidney inflammation
- ear infection
- rheumatic fever (an inflammatory condition affecting the heart, skin, nervous system, and joints)
- sinus infections (If the strep bacteria spreads from a person’s throat to their sinuses or lungs, the person may have sinus infections or pneumonia)
- peritonsillar abscess (throat pain accompanied by constipation, nausea, and body aches)
- scarlet fever (high fever along with red rashes on the tongue)
- PSRA (Poststreptococcal reactive arthritis)
Can you get strep throat from oral sex cured?
When you visit your healthcare provider, they will use a throat swab to diagnose your infection. Once the doctor confirms that you have strep throat, the treatment will begin.
Here are some treatment options and remedies to help you recover quickly:
Antibiotics are compulsory to eradicate the infection and you must not consume any medicine without consulting your doctor. It is also essential to complete the course of the antibiotics your doctor prescribes.
The intensity of pain due to strep throat infection varies from one patient to another. Over-the-counter painkillers can come to your rescue if the pain is too intense. Most patients rely on pain relievers like acetaminophen or ibuprofen when they have difficulty swallowing.
In severe cases, doctors prescribe pain relievers of stronger dosages to help their patients manage the pain effectively. Whichever painkiller you take, following the recommended dosage is crucial.
There are several home remedies for strep throat and gargling is one of them. Boil water with salt and allow it to cool down a bit so that you don’t burn your mouth.
When the water’s not too hot, gurgle by tilting your head backward. Each time you take a sip of the saline solution, gargle for at least 10 seconds. Repeat this process several times throughout the day to reduce inflammation and soothe your sore throat.
Add ½ tsp of salt to one cup of warm water to prevent it from becoming too salty. To dissolve it evenly, add the salt when the water is warm.
Wondering how can staying hydrated ease the symptoms of strep throat? Drinking warm beverages at regular intervals is necessary to alleviate discomfort. So, keep having plenty of fluids like tea and warm water to keep your throat moist and reduce soreness.
Strep throat prevention
No doctor can tell you a surefire way that provides 100% protection against infections during oral sex. However, you can take certain steps to limit the spread of infections.
Maintain good oral hygiene
Floss and brush your teeth daily to get rid of any kind of bacteria that accidentally enters your mouth. Using mouthwash is another way of killing bacteria lingering in your oral cavities.
Say yes to dental dams
Did you know that using dental dams significantly decreases your chances of getting infected?
It acts as a barrier and doesn’t let the bodily fluids of an infected person enter your system. So, start using dental dams before doing any type of oral act.
Always dispose of dental dams after using them. You should never use an old dental dam.
Avoid intimacy when your partner seems infected
Does your partner suddenly have sores in the throat or mouth?
As you don’t know the reason behind the soreness, not getting intimate will be wise.
Instead, take your partner to a doctor and find out if there is any serious infection like strep throat. If the test results prove they have STI, wait until the treatment is over to rule out complications.
Be mindful of cleanliness
Being comfortable and confident in bed makes sex more blissful. However, we often forget to set boundaries when finally meet someone with whom we have excellent sexual chemistry.
No matter how much you love your partner, washing your mouth properly after giving oral sex is mandatory. You should also encourage your partner to do the same.
Instead of drifting off to sleep, wash your genitals with water and mild soap. These healthy habits will stop a lot of germs from entering your body.
Increase the intake of fluids
Nothing beats having a lot of fluids. Having sufficient water and other warm liquids will always keep your throat moist. Even if some bacterium or virus enters your mouth, it won’t be able to cause much damage to your throat. It will flush out with urine.
Communicate openly with your partner
Most couples shy away from discussing serious matters like STIs. This explains why more than 1 million people around the globe acquire STIs daily. Hence, you should discuss these things with your partner without any shyness. You both should also go for yearly check-ups and blood tests.
So, oral sex is fun and it improves intimacy and the emotional connection between partners. But it can also spread some infections at times. This doesn’t mean you should deprive yourself of having oral sex.
Have safe sex and maintain good hygiene to minimize the chances of getting infections like strep throat. If you still have a sore throat after oral sex, don’t neglect it. Consult a sexologist at the earliest to receive the right treatment.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
1. Why do I get strep throat after giving oral sex?
If you have strep throat after you performed oral sex, you may have acquired the infection from your partner. If there aren’t any symptoms of strep throat in your partner, it is possible that they are just a carrier of the infection.
2. Can you get strep infection from sex?
Unlike Group B strep, Group A strep can be a sexually transmitted ailment. Strep bacteria can be found in the rectum and vagina. So, strep throat can pass from one infected individual to another while having sex.
3. Can oral sex give you tonsillitis?
Gonococcal tonsillitis is caused due to the transmission of gonococcus during oral sex. So, when a sexually active person suffers from recurrent tonsillitis, it can be gonococcal tonsillitis.