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Receiving oral
sex can lead to common STD

Receiving oral
sex can lead to common STD

Bacteria and viruses in the mouth can be transmitted during oral sex.

Previous research has shown that while performing oral sex on a man carried some risk of sexually transmitted disease, receiving oral sex was relatively safe. However, a new study in the February 1 issue of The Journal of Infectious Diseases shows that men who receive oral sex may be at increased risk for nongonococcal urethritis, one of the most common sexually transmitted diseases.

NGU is a condition marked by any infection of the urethra caused by a virus or bacteria other than gonorrhea. Studies have previously shown that putting unsterilized foreign objects into the urethra as well as unprotected insertive anal or vaginal sex are risk factors for the condition. Men who receive penile piercings also are at risk for NGU.

The new study shows that several strains of bacteria, adenoviruses, and the herpes simplex-1 virus that causes cold sores can be transmitted from the mouth of one male to the urethra of another during oral sex. Any of these pathogens can lead to NGU, the researchers say. Receiving oral sex also was associated with NGU when no specific pathogen was detected, suggesting there are other causes of the STD that have not yet been identified, according to the Australian researchers.

NGU typically causes a burning sensation during urination and a discharge from the tip of the penis. Because most NGU cases are caused by a bacterial infection, notably chlamydia and ureaplasma urealyticum, the STD can usually be treated with antibiotics. (

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