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How can I avoid getting STDs during oral sex?

Although unprotected oral sex is presumably safer than unprotected anal sex or vaginal intercourse, it is no guarantee of protection against sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). Most STDs can be spread via oral sex.

To protect yourself, make sure your partner uses a condom if you're performing oral sex; if he's performing oral sex on you, or if you're having oral sex with a woman, use a dental dam (a flat piece of latex used during dental procedures). You can get them in some medical supply stores and they provide a barrier between the mouth and the vagina or anus during oral sex. Household plastic wrap or a split and flattened, unlubricated condom can also be used if you don't have a dental dam. Also, don't brush or floss your teeth right before having oral sex. Either may tear the lining of your mouth, increasing your exposure to viruses.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.