Check Up: Can I get a sore throat from giving oral sex?

March 26, 2018

M Brown asks Check Up if she can get sick from having oral sex even though her partner has no symptoms of an infection and is her only sexual partner. However, since their last sexual contact more than a week ago when they had oral sex, she has been experiencing a sore throat which is very red. Her throat also has some yellow inflammation, and her neck glands are also swollen. They did kiss, and her boyfriend was also having a cold at the time.


The truth is that there is no way to say for sure using this print media. This could be a sexually transmitted infection (STI) contracted from the fluids encountered during oral sex, or it could be a streptococcal throat infection which she contracted from her boyfriend or from someone else by non-sexual means, and the occurrence is coincidental.

A throat swab sent for culture from M's doctor's office would certainly help to solve this mystery. Up to 90 per cent of people infected with gonorrhoea have little or no signs, so her partner not having any signs or symptoms is not a deterrent from checking for gonorrhoea.

Herpes, gonorrhoea and yeast infections are caught quite easily during oral sex. Chlamydia can also be caught in this fashion. These infections are easily tested for with a culture. Regular sore throat organisms such as group A streptococcus are also easily tested for with the same throat swab.

M, please stop just watching the sore throat. Visit your doctor and have a throat swab done, and go ahead and take appropriately prescribed medication, which might include antibiotics.

Don't start 'cussing' the gentleman before you have seen your doctor, because you are not sure what might be causing the problem.

An oral STI would be associated with the following symptoms: fever, sore throat, cold sores, tonsillitis and swollen glands

Protect yourself from contracting oral STIs by using a condom and avoiding oral sex when either you or your partner have cuts or sores in the mouth, or have recently visited the dentist. If it were to turn out that you do have an STI, you will need more thorough testing for other STIs which are less visible but which can also be contracted in this manner, like VD (syphilis) and HIV. If this were to be the case, your partner would also need to be tested and treated.

Please go visit your GP or nearest clinic now to get treatment and to sort out this matter as soon as possible.

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