Herpes Posts

Can Oral Sex Cause Genital Herpes?

oral sex, genital herpes, hsv-1, hsv-2
Can oral sex cause genital herpes?

Before having sexual intercourse it’s important for an individual to get tested for STIs. If a person is diagnosed with herpes safe sex could happen and the chance of passing the virus to a partner drops greatly. Dental dam could be used when a male performs oral sex on a female. Dental dam acts as a direct skin-to-skin barrier. If dental dam were used correctly the chance of the mouth coming in direct contact with the genital would greatly reduce. However, dental dam isn’t guaranteed to cover 100% of the genital area. If a partner’s tongue or lips come in contact with the genital and an area isn’t covered by the contact there is chance herpes could spread. One way herpes is spread is by coming in direct skin-to-skin with the virus. A condom may not cover 100% of the genital region. That’s a partner can come in direct skin-to-skin contact with the virus even if a condom is used. However, having safe sex greatly reduces the chance of passing oral herpes to partner. An individual with oral or genital herpes could have a healthy and enjoyable sex life. It’s important to have safe sex when dating with herpes singles. It’s also important to educate a partner about how herpes to spread and how to have safe sex.

The herpes simplex virus is an infection of the skin. The herpes virus only spreads to a partner when the virus is on the surface of the skin. In order for herpes to spread a partner the virus typically comes in direct skin-to-skin contact with the infected area through a mucous membrane. The most common mucous membranes include the lining of the mouth, penis, scrotum, vagina, and the anus.  If a partner has oral herpes the virus could spread through oral sex. That means the partner who is receiving oral sex could come in direct contact genital contact with herpes from a partner’s oral herpes infection. If a partner has oral herpes and performs oral sex that would particular situation would be oral positive to genital negative.

It’s important to understand that there are two strains of herpes. HSV-1 typically causes oral herpes. Some of the symptoms of oral herpes include oral herpes sores, a rash or redness around the lips, a burning, itching or tingling feeling on the mouth. HSV-2 typically causes genital herpes. Genital herpes could cause similar symptoms genitally. Cold sore may appear on the upper thighs or buttock. Both types of herpes could spread orally and or genitally. The body naturally weakens herpes. Most people who carry the virus don’t show signs or symptoms of the virus. Therefore a person may not realize s/he is a carrier from the virus.

If an individual with oral herpes performs oral sex on a partner the chances are high the person performing oral sex has HSV-1. HSV-1 spreads genitally about 5-10% of all genital herpes cases. The chance of spreading herpes from oral sex isn’t high. The odds of an individual having oral HSV-2 is about 7%. If your partner actually catches genital HSV-1 from oral sex the symptoms usually aren’t that intense. Most genital herpes outbreaks don’t happen from HSV-2. Genital herpes is typically spread through vaginal intercourse, rather than oral sex. If a partner has genital HSV-2 the person performing oral sex could catch HSV-2 orally from a partner. That particular situation would be oral HSV-2 negative to genital HSV-2 positive. Having safe oral sex greatly reduces the chance of catching genital HSV-1 or genital HSV-2. In less common cases a partner could have genital HSV-1 and genital HSV-2. If that occurs it’s possible for a person without oral herpes to catch both strains of the virus orally. In that situation a negative partner could come in direct skin-to-skin contact with both strains of herpes. That situation would be somewhat rare. It also wouldn’t be common for a partner to have oral HSV-1 and oral HSV-2. It would be rare, but possible to spread both strains of herpes to a partner genitally through oral sex.

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