STD scare

Q. I am a 22yr old student. About 40 days back I had oral sex with my guy. At that time I had ulcers in my mouth. Though we used condoms but I sucked on his penis prior to using a condom. I want to know if my life is at risk...? Can I have any STD or aids just because I had ulcers in my mouth? I also get white vaginal discharge quite often. We didn’t get ourselves checked before involving in these activities. PLEASE HELP.....I also want to where can I get myself checked...?

A. You will not get an STD/STI just because you have mouth ulcers. However, any broken skin in and around the mouth puts you at much greater risk if your partner is carrying an STD; that’s because it is an opening that can allow an STD to pass more easily and directly into your system.

You should always bear in mind the principles of Safe Sex and insist that you and any prospective partner get a clean bill of sexual health beforehand. Bear in mind that when you have sex with someone, you are also ‘having sex’ with any other partner they have ever had – a sobering thought!

Is Oral Sex safe? Well, yes and no. That is certainly not to say that there are no risks, though unprotected oral sex is generally considered less risky then unprotected vaginal or anal sex. Since the lining of the (healthy) mouth is less permeable than the lining of the lower orifices, there is a less likely chance of getting a small tear from the activity. That being said, if a cut (or ulcer) is already there then it can be equally dangerous.

If you decide not to undergo STD Testing before experimenting with new partners, at least minimize your risk while engaging in oral sex by following these suggestions:

    Use flavored condoms or dental dams whenever possible.

    Avoid ejaculation in the mouth.

    If you see something suspicious, put the fantasy on hold until a doctor clears it.

    Floss and brush regularly - but not right before oral sex (vigorous brushing or flossing can create micro cuts within the mouth).

But now knowing all of this, why take the risk? Most STDs are not life-threatening, but some are - and all can be serious if left untreated. Get yourselves tested and know your status, that way you can protect yourself and others.

Your question about white discharge is not (in this case) related to STDs. A small amount of white vaginal discharge is not unusual and does not usually in itself indicate a problem – however if it is very heavy or carries a heavy or unpleasant odour then it is best to get checked by your doctor.

STD Testing is a painless and straight-forward procedure that is readily available in most areas; check our article for details of what to expect. To get tested you should contact your doctor or local STD or Family Planning Clinic. You will be dealt with tactfully and confidentially … and the peace of mind is priceless!