Fellatio and Cunnilingus HPV

Oral sex is not safe sex.

HEALTH Young children are often taught that focusing one's eyes, hands, or other body parts below the waist is nasty conduct. As teens reach puberty, hormones, curiosity, peer pressure as well as misinformation spread through the Internet and various forms of entertainment exert a powerful influence on social norms. Even sex education in many schools has shifted focus from abstinence to "safe sex" techniques.

Viewer discretion: Currently, 36 percent of states in the U.S. require schools to provide sex education. In some states, such as Louisiana, kids might learn about HIV/AIDS, but not about any other STIs or how to prevent pregnancy. In other states, like Washington, teens receive information on everything from birth control pills to homosexuality. [1] Whether sexual education is censored, uncensored or absent in public or private schools, it is vital that parents assume their responsibility for teaching their own children about sexual matters. This important matter is herein candidly discussed with propriety and decency.

Does Oral Sex Preserve Virginity?

Two related misconceptions are that oral sex — cunnilingus or fellation — preserves virginity and represents a safer option for intimate expression. The word virgin is derived from the Latin virgo, which literally means "sexually inexperienced woman." The English word is not gender specific and can even be applied to inanimate objects (e.g. virgin olive oil, virgin margarita). The primary idea is that a virgin has a sexually "blank slate." [2]

Biblically, porneia, often translated "sexual immorality" or "fornication" in scripture, includes all forms of illicit sexual intercourse, including acts that may be performed in a house of prostitution. Since oral sex is included among homosexual and lesbian practices, can such conduct really be viewed as preserving ones virginity?

Porneia : illicit sexual intercourse; adultery, fornication, homosexuality, lesbianism, intercourse with animals; sexual intercourse with close relatives (Leviticus 18); sexual intercourse with a divorced man or woman (Mark 10:11, 12) —Thayer's Greek Lexicon [3]

What's Really Down There?

When aroused, the vaginal cavity is lubricated by a combination of plasma and mucus — neither of which are considered edible bodily fluids. For those considering oral sex as form of contraception, there is a remote possibility that accidental vaginal exposure to semen without copulation may result in pregnancy. While upwards of a half million spermatozoa are released per ejaculation, it only takes one to fertilize a female egg. [4]

For most people, a more serious deterrent is the spread of sexually transmitted infections (STIs). Long gone is the simple solution of taking penicillin to get rid of a venereal disease. Syphilis is seeing a resurgence in Europe, Germany, France, Netherlands, Amsterdam, and the U.S. [5] There are now many STIs resistant to penicillin. Chlamydia, human papillomavirus (HPV), gonorrhea, herpes, hepatitis (multiple strains), and other sexually transmitted infections — including HIV — can be transmitted through oral sex. [6]

Physical cleanliness is important. But despite good hygiene, there are plenty of potential gynecological disorders that could be lurking down there. Some result from multiple (infected) sex partners, while infections can occur in someone that is not sexually active. In addition to normal acidic microflora, the vagina can be a breeding ground for everything from abnormal bleeding and yeast infection to HPV and AIDS[7]

Hematospermia is the presence of blood in semen. It is most often a benign and idiopathic symptom, but can sometimes result from medical problems such as a urethral stricture, infection of the prostate, or a congenital bleeding disorder. [8] Bloody semen can unknowingly be ejaculated during fellation. STIs can be transferred via an open canker sore or infected semen.

Men and women can suffer bouts with intertrigo (or jock itch) in the groin, anus and beneath the breasts. Intertrigo is a rash in the creases of overlapping skin associated with sweating, skin-on-skin friction, and occlusive clothing. Intimate contact with objects that harbor fungus spores (e.g. unwashed towels, bedding or hair combs, moldy tile grout) can cause intertrigo since the fungus can thrive on dead skin cells for a long time. People taking broad-spectrum antibiotics or those with diabetes are at risk to develop the rash. [9] Thoroughly pat dry after showering or bathing and apply talcum powder (or antifungal powder if rash is present) to folds of skin to control jock itch. Even with these precautions, something more insidious may cause one to pause when contemplating oral sex.

Oral Cancer From HPV On The Rise

The human papillomavirus (HPV) is pervasive. [10] It is now considered the most common STI in the U.S. Of more than 100 types, about 40 are transmitted sexually, affecting the anogenital tract. [11] Mild cases may clear up on their own in 6 months to 2 years. To prevent cervical cancer, vaccinations are available for young women who have not yet contracted HPV. By guarding against four main types of HPV (2 for genital warts and 2 for cancer), the vaccine Gardasil is also netting promising results in virgin boys and young men 9 to 26 years old according to an article published in the New England Journal of Medicine[12]

On the other hand, it is possible for HPV to remain dormant for decades. The majority of carriers exhibit no symptoms. It is only after one of the two visible signs of the virus — warts or cancer — is discovered do people begin to wonder when it was contracted and with whom has it been shared.

Have sex with two people who have each had sex with just two people and you have a 200 percent chance of contracting HPV.

The fact that HPV may not present symptoms and that vaccines are ineffective on those that already have the virus means many can unknowingly be infected and infect others. A study by the Department of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics at the H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center and Research Institute in Tampa, Florida indicates HPV may be active in 50 percent of males at any given time. [13] Putting that in perspective, if you have sex with two people who have each had sex with just two people, you have a 200 percent chance of contracting HPV.

Otolaryngologists and oncologists have noted an alarming increase in oral cancer rates among nonsmokers. Anna Giuliano of the H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center and Research Institute, and colleagues studied rates among more than 1,100 men aged 18 to 70 in the United States, Brazil, and Mexico. They swabbed the men's genitals and found that about 40 percent tested positive for the virus. "Many of these men are becoming infected in their 20s and developing cancers decades down the road," says Dr. Anthony Nichols. [14,15]

So doctors are drawing a direct connection between oral sex, HPV and oral cancer. In fact, people infected with these viruses, especially the strain HPV-16, "have a risk of oropharyngeal cancer 32 times higher than the rest of the population, which is significantly higher than the danger posed by smoking" said Dr. Maura Gillison, a professor of medicine at the University of Ohio. HPV has been known to cause not only oral cancer but anal, vulval, cervical and penile cancers. [11,16]

The Battle Against HPV : HPV-16 and HPV-18 thrive in the genital tract and oral mucosa such as the back of the tongue, the oropharynx, tonsils and the tonsillar pillars. [10]

What makes HPV particularly concerning is that some doctors postulate it may also be spread by skin-to-skin contact; requiring no fluid exchange. [10,15] Therefore, it is probable that use of a condom to protect against many STIs can still result in contracting HPV from an infected person via contact with an HPV wart or lesion anywhere on the body, including the lips, tongue, chest, hand, scalp, anus, or exposed genitals. [17]

Though there is no cure, per se, for HPV, many noncancerous strains are self-limiting. There are tests for cervical cancer caused by HPV. But there is currently no corresponding routine test for males; detection is determined primarily by a visible dermatological manifestation. Precancerous HPV may be treated with cryotherapy, conization, or Loop Eletrosurgical Excision Procedure (LEEP). [18,19]

A person can contract HPV from just one sexual encounter with a carrier. The best prevention against HPV includes early vaccination (preferably while still a virgin), monogamy, mutual chastity, good personal hygiene (e.g. regular bathing, shampooing, fingernail scrubbing, tongue scraping, weekly washing of bedding, wearing clean undergarments), and regular medical checkups.

Based on the risks, the best response to a proposition to hook up or go down for oral (or anal) sex is to open your mouth wide and say, "NO." Everyone should realize, that's nasty!

Tags: haemospermia, intercourse, licking spermatozoa, rimming, risks, venereology

References
  1. Carnal knowledge: The sex ed debate. msnbc.com
  2. Virginity. Wikipedia.org
  3. Thayer's Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament Amazon.com
  4. Semen. Wikipedia.org
  5. Risky Sex Returns Syphilis to Europe. breitbart.com
  6. Oral Sex. The Univeristy Health Center, uhs.org
  7. Common Gynecological Disorders. Wolters Kluwer poster at ClinicalPosters.com
  8. Hematospermia. Wikipedia.org
  9. Jock Itch. eMedicineHealth.com
  10. The Battle Against HPV. ClinicalPosters.com, Health News
  11. Genital Warts in Women. MedicineNet.com
  12. HPV vaccine effective in men. cnn.com
  13. (Not) For Women Only: HPV Affects Half of Adult Men, Study Shows. abcnews.com
  14. Oral Sex Linked to Rise in Men's Throat Cancer. abcnews.com
  15. HPV causing surge in oral cancer rates: doctors. CTV.ca
  16. Oral Cancer: fellatio and cunnilingus more dangerous than tobacco. pisqa.com
  17. Can HPV Be Transmitted Orally? bodywart.com
  18. What Are the Treatment Options for HPV? WebMD.com
  19. Human Papillomavirus (HPV) Test. WebMD.com