Like any sex, the best ways to reduce the risks of oral sex are to abstain (not have oral sex) or to use protection.
Avoid oral sex if your partner:
– has an STI
– has sores, cuts, ulcers, blisters, warts or rashes around their genitals, anus or mouth
– has unhealed or inflamed piercings in their mouth or genitals
– has a throat infectionis a woman and has her period.
You can’t reduce the risks of oral sex by using mouthwash or brushing your teeth – in fact brushing and flossing can cause abrasions on your gums which put you more at risk of contracting an STI. Also avoid getting semen or vaginal fluid in your eyes.
For oral sex on a man, use a condom during oral sex. For oral sex on a woman, or when performing anilingus on a man or a woman, use a dam. A dam is a small thin latex or plastic square that acts as a barrier between the vagina or anus and the mouth. It may prevent the spread of STIs. You can buy dams at some sexual health clinics, online or at your pharmacy.