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Date of last update: 10/12/2017.

Forum Name: Sexually Transmitted Diseases

Question: activities with STD risk?

 pepperk - Thu Jan 17, 2008 12:29 am

What is the risk of contracting any STD's from the following activities:

(1) Male fingering female vagina. I am asking because I understand that some STD's (herpes) can be transmitted by skin-to-skin contact with the genitals. If a male fingers the female there is skin contact, though not genital contact. What is the risk?

(2) Nipple Sucking: I heard mothers who breast feed can transmit some STD's to their child. Is there any risk of contract anything when sucking the nipples of woman who is not pregnant and hasnt recently had a child?

(3) Protected Oral Sex: If a male wears a condom when recieving oral sex does this elminate any risk of transmission? I know that condoms are entirely fool proof during vaginal or anal intercourse, but are they fool proof during oral sex?

Thank you.
 Dr. Chan Lowe - Mon Feb 04, 2008 1:04 am

User avatar Hello PepperK

These are good questions. I'll address each separately.
1) The risk of spread of STD's by hand to genital contact is very, very low. Often the one that is asked about is warts. Warts on the hand are not transmitted to the genital tract because the strain of virus that infects the hands is not the same as the one that infects the genital tract.

2) Similarly, the risk of transmitting STD's from mouth to nipple contact is also very low. Mothers and babies can be coinfected with a yeast infection where the baby can get a yeast infection of the mouth that can be spread to the nipples of the mother. This really is about the only infection that transmits this way. I should point out that some STD's can be spread from the genital tract to the mouth and vice versa, in particular, gonorrhea and chlamydia can infect both regions.

3) Using a condom for oral sex does decrease the risk of spreading STD's. However, it is NOT 100% effective. The condom covers the skin of the penis but does not cover all the skin of the genital region so some infectious contact may still occur. Similarly, using condoms during vaginal or anal sex is NOT 100% effective at preventing pregnancy or STD's. Condoms can break or slip off and, again, do not cover the entire genital region so some STD's can still be transmitted. Condoms do cut down dramatically (nearly 100% but not quite) on the risk of pregnancy and STD's, though, and are probably the best protection against both pregnancy and STD's available.

Best wishes.

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