Why Oral Sex Can Lead to Bacterial Vaginosis
Scientific research has proven that sexual partners who practice oral sex have a greater risk of bacterial vaginosis (BV). Bacterial vaginosis results when the balance of healthy bacteria in the vagina becomes disrupted. Types of bacteria that normally exist in small amounts begin to multiply causing foul smells, discharge, and irritations that become a daily frustration.
It is possible to get BV without having sex. However, both vaginal intercourse and oral sex can increase your risk of BV.
How Can Oral Sex Contribute to BV?
Any condition that changes the balance of bacteria in the vagina can cause BV. Sources of bacteria that could potentially upset the harmony of the vagina include:
- The mouth
- The throat
- Gum disease
- The anus (bacteria resides both internally and externally in the anus, and is easy to transfer unwittingly while performing oral sex)
- Beer (which contains yeast)
It's always a good idea to floss, brush, and rinse any foods and beverages from your mouth before having oral sex.
Avoiding douching and bubble baths can help lower your risk for bacterial vaginosis. Other ways to help prevent BV are having sex with only one partner, using condoms, and taking birth control (the estrogen leads to more good bacteria).
Many cases of BV will go away with time. If it seems mild, try adding lactobacillus to your diet, either in the form of capsules or cultured yogurt. Many have theorized that eating probiotics can help stabilize your body's bacteria, although studies have been inconclusive.
If it does not go away with time, there are several prescription antibiotics that can help. Metronidazole and clindamycin treat BV and can be taken orally (as pills) or vaginally. Tinidazole, only available as a pill, is another drug that can treat BV. See your doctor for his or her advice.