• Cunnilingus gives you cancer

    1370536101
    S-E-X 4 L-I-F-E [sign in to see picture]
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    I've seen a few to many..... Everything gives you cancer theses day?

    I personally eat well. Don't smoke and barely drink.... But I know many people who live bad lifestyles smoke a lot and drink too much but they've not got cancer...

    It's not all down to what causes it. My daughter had cancer at 19months. That was down to very unfortunate luck. I personally think its not something you can prevent... You should live your life how you feel happy and not listen to media scaring people into loving healthy

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    Rowan [sign in to see picture]
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    My husband fell about laughing. He says it's a way he'd be willing to go . Personally I think taking risks is something we all do, just different ones, this is such a LOW risk statistically speaking that it would be irrational to avoid it, particularly if it's an activity one already indulges in as the probability of pre existing infection is quite high. As many others have pointed out there are many different strains of HPV and very few of them are carcinogenic. I live in a city (albeit a small one), pretty sure the air and traffic are worse for our health than Mr Rowan having a thing for cunnilingus ;)

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    Rowan [sign in to see picture]
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    Curious as to what you mean by 'with one possible exception' MB. WHich exception would that be? Again as has been pointed out you can contract HPV from kissing, you also risk passing it on to any woman (or man) with whom you have penetrative sex and it is one virus that condoms do not provide an effective barrier against. Presumably you could seek to be privately immunised but if you have been kissing people you are probably too late.

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    [suspended user]

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    From todays Daily Telegraph by Justin Hanock

    It's difficult to answer the question 'how risky is oral sex?' because many people who have oral sex also have other kinds of sex which may have put them at risk of infections. The risks of STIs (sexually transmitted infections) for oral sex are generally much lower than for unprotected penetrative vaginal or anal sex. Just how risky oral sex is depends on where the people concerned are having oral sex (eg penis, testicles, clitoris, labia, vagina, anus), whether they are giving or receiving and what infection we are talking about.

    HPV, (human papillomavirus), which is what http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/northamerica/usa/10094693/Michael-Douglas-oral-sex-caused-my-throat-cancer.html (the sexually-transmitted virus is best known as a common cause of cervical cancer), can be transmitted from unprotected oral sex but so can chlamydia, gonorrhoea, syphilis, HSV and Hepatitis. It is worth also mentioning that HIV can be transmitted via oral sex, but the risk is very, very low indeed.

    Some of these are more problematic than others – for instance HSV (herpes simplex virus) can easily be passed on through oral sex but (apart from for pregnant women) presents few, if any, long term effects.

    Remember you can only pick up an STI from someone who has one. However, it is not always easy to know whether you have an STI or not. Most cases of STIs are either symptomless or have symptoms which are mild and go unnoticed. Often the only way of finding out whether we have an STI is by having a check up and the relevant tests.

    Most areas have services where you can get a check up for STIs: they are either called GUM clinics, or sexual health clinics. Many 'family planning' services are now able to offer STI screening too, as do increasing numbers of GPs. These clinics are confidential: currently GUM clinics keep their own clinical records, meaning they don't even have to be shared with a GP. All tests and treatment are also completely free.

    The staff will recommend which tests to have depending on the kind of sex that someone has been having and with whom. They will determine this by asking a series of questions as part of taking a 'sexual history'. Generally tests involve urine tests, vaginal swabs (self swabs are often available), blood tests (including a rapid finger prick test for HIV) and just a visual examination.

    Sometimes the mouth and throat may be examined if the staff feel that someone has been at risk or has reported certain symptoms (persistent sore throats, unusual growths at the back of the throat or trouble swallowing for instance). However, this isn't something that is recommended by all clinicians. Also tests for HPV aren't routinely offered unless it's part of a smear test. So it's difficult to be sure whether someone has an STI which can be transmitted through oral sex even if all parties have had a check up.

    Oral sex can be made safer by using condoms (this is why we have flavoured condoms) on the penis or on the vulva or anus (cut them in half and they form a barrier). Sexual health clinics also stock dams which are thin sheets of latex similar to a condom. Non-microwavable cling film (usually the cheap stuff in supermarkets) can also be used as a barrier. It's also a good idea to avoid unprotected oral sex with someone with a coldsore (HSV1).

    However, many people choose not to use protection when engaging in oral sex and will not get an STI from it, nor will not realise they have one. For instance - the immune system effectively deals with most cases of HPV and most cases don't have any symptoms. (But please note one symptom of HPV is genital warts). Most people who have oral sex won't get the strain of HPV which is thought to be linked to throat cancers, that Douglas has said he contracted. And even if someone does, this doesn't necessarily mean that they will get throat cancer. We still don't know enough about the link between HPV and mouth and throat cancers, but we do know that smoking and alcohol are other risk factors which may have a role to play combined with the risks of HPV.

    Lastly there is no such thing as 100 per cent safe sex, which is why us http://www.telegraph.co.uk/women/sex/9960041/Teenagers-know-porn-isnt-real-but-they-still-need-decent-sex-education.html always say any precautions lead to ‘safer sex’.

    We need to be sensible with our sexual health to try to make it as safe as possible.

    But we also need to accept there are small risks that we can't eliminate and weigh this up with the pleasures of having the kind of sex we want to have.

    For more sensible information about HPV visit this http://www.nhs.uk/chq/Pages/2611.aspx created by NHS Choices.

    1370601328
    rose hip [sign in to see picture]
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    Mr Socks wrote:

    In Michael Douglas' case it was more likely to have been his heavy drinking, smoking and drug use, rather than oral sex. That is, unless HPV has been clearly identified as the cause — the other factors certainly would not have helped matters.

    I've heard that alcohol increases the cancer risk for smokers, which makes sense since it's giving the body more to deal with. Maybe either or both increase the risk for HPV developing into cancer as well.

    So the sensible approach might be to look at all of the possible contributors and reduce whatever we can.

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