Reports of an increase in head and neck cancers that are caused by human papillomavirus, or HPV, have lead some to propose that changes in sexual behavior, specifically an increase in oral sex, are responsible. But experts say such conclusions may be premature, or at least overstated, and are leading to unnecessary worry. While oral sex may be a risk factor for some types of head and neck cancer, the link is, at this point, speculative, experts say. Moreover, there are many other elements that play a role in whether a person develops cancer, including the strength of the immune system, said Sara Rosenquist, a psychologist and sex therapist in North Carolina. In general, there is no need for individuals in monogamous relationships to restrict their sexual activities if the pair is in good health, Rosenquist said. Rosenquist recently wrote an article in the Journal of Sexual Medicine to dispel myths about oral sex and cancer.
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Everything You Need to Know About Oral Sex
Oral sex and throat cancer: Links, facts, and research
Oral sex is commonly practiced by sexually active male-female and same-gender couples of various ages, including adolescents. The various type of oral sex practices are fellatio, cunnilingus and analingus. Oral sex is infrequently examined in research on adolescents; oral sex can transmit oral, respiratory, and genital pathogens. Oral health has a direct impact on the transmission of infection; a cut in your mouth, bleeding gums, lip sores or broken skin increases chances of infection.
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Does oral sex cause throat cancer?
Back to Sexual health. Some types of cancer are linked to human papillomavirus HPV infection in the mouth and throat. It's likely that some types of HPV are spread by oral sex. Cancers in the mouth and throat are sometimes called head and neck cancers, and include cancers of the:.
We include products we think are useful for our readers. If you buy through links on this page, we may earn a small commission. Oral sex is a commonly performed act of foreplay involving the kissing or licking of the genital area to pleasure a partner. However, it is sometimes stated that the act alone can increase the risk of throat cancer.