Home > Sex > Sex tips Updated 11 March 2014 Good, clean fun with your mouth Several STDs including HIV, herpes, syphilis, gonorrhea, HPV, and viral hepatitis can be transmitted through oral sex. 3 Shutterstock Related Should you kiss and tell? Oral sex: blow your mind Oral sex and STIs Check Are you a sex addict? » Ask Sexologist » Talk Heart to heart » Quiz Are you ready for sex? » The science of orgasms explained Is it true love? Many people mistakenly believe that oral sex is safe, as it does not lead to unwanted pregnancies. However, safe sex is about much more than that. What about sexually transmitted diseases (STDs)? While oral sex is less risky than vaginal or anal sex, several STDs including HIV, herpes, syphilis, gonorrhea, HPV, and viral hepatitis can be transmitted through both penetrative and oral sex. Any sore, lesion or scratch in your mouth or on your lips can allow bacteria and viruses easy access into your bloodstream. Everyone is vulnerable. Even something as normal as brushing your teeth can produce microscopic lesions in your gums, or eating food can scratch the lining of your tongue. And, if you have a piercing in your mouth, the irritation caused by oral sex can provide an easy point of entry for the virus or bacteria to get into your bloodstream. So what do you do? It is important to get tested for STDs. You or your partner could be carrying an STD without even knowing it. Not all STDs present symptoms immediately and as a result you could unknowingly be infected with the disease, or give it to your partner. You may have been in a committed relationship for years, but did you and your partner go for an STD screening before you got together the first time? Many virgins also mistakenly believe that they could not have STDs. Just because someone has never had sex, it does not mean that they can't have a disease that may be sexually transmitted. Once you’ve tested yourself for STDs, protect yourself and your partner by doing the following:When giving a blow job protect yourself by making sure that a condom is placed on your partner’s penis. If you don’t like the smell and taste of the latex; opt for a flavoured condom. There are many types of condoms that are ultra thin and won’t interfere with enjoyment.For oral sex on a woman, protect yourself by stretching a "dental dam" (a sheet of latex) over her vaginal opening and clitoris. You can also make your own dental dam by cutting a condom open and stretching it out as a sheet.When it comes to oral sex, be creative and have fun, but always put safety first.Video: how to make your own dental damA guide to safe oral sex(Photo of lovers from Shutterstock) More in Sex Oral sex: blow your mind More: SexSex tips advertisement Get a quote Momentum - save up to 35% on healthcare advertisement Read Health24’s Comments Policy Comment on this story 3 comments Add your comment Thank you, your comment has been submitted. Logout Comment 0 characters remaining Share on Facebook Logout Comment 0 characters remaining Share on Facebook Loading comments... From our sponsors Occlusal disease - a modern day dental problem The importance of choosing the best life insurance for you Alzheimer’s disease – incurable but preventable Breakfast like a King Live healthier Vitamin wise » Vitamins for HIV What to eat for vitamin B? Cut down on vitamins Get your vitamins right Find out which vitamin to use for which condition. Ask our Vitamin expert. Yoga » Exercise time? Yoga mats matter Yoga and sleep What yoga can do for you Yoga is a stress-buster, but it also helps with anxiety, depression, insomnia, back pain and other ills.