Clinical microbiologists have cautioned Nigerians against engaging in oral sex, noting that oral sex puts people engaging in it at risk of sexually transmitted diseases that can cause vision loss.
Oral sex, also known as orogenital sex, involves using the mouth, lips, or tongue to stimulate a partner’s genitals or anus.
According to the experts, cancers of the mouth and throat have also been linked to some types of the human papillomavirus which can be acquired through oral sex.
The scientists, who are clinical experts in the field of microorganisms, said ingesting bodily fluid during orogenital sex increases the risk of sexually transmitted diseases that can manifest in the mouth, oesophagus and skin, adding that in certain cases, the complications from the infections can also cause blindness.
Speaking with PUNCH HealthWise in separate interviews, the experts, Consultant Clinical Microbiologists, Dr.BamideleMutiu and Prof. Samuel Taiwo, stated that some of the conditions that can be transmitted through oral sex are gonorrhoea, chlamydia, and HIV.
According to Dr.Mutiu, the organisms that cause sexually transmitted diseases are usually alive in the saliva.
Mutiu, who is a consultant microbiologist at the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital, Ikeja said, “The fluid and secretion from the genitals can contain organisms that cause STDs, which are alive and are not killed by the saliva.
“The organisms can cause STDs in those involved in oral sex. The diseases the organisms can cause include gonococcal pharyngitis, which is gonorrhoea involving the throat; as well asherpes simplex virus type 2 that normally infects genital organs but can infect the lips, throat, tongue and the oesophagus.
“It can also cause syphilis which can be transmitted to the mouth and will be evidenced by sore in the mouth and tongue that is often painless.”
The microbiologist stated further that sperm infected with chlamydia trachomatis in particular could cause blindness if it enters the eyes of the woman.
“It is true that chlamydia trachomatis infection will cause conjunctivitis – infection of the conjunctiva and cornea.
“This can lead to blindness, if care is not taken, because of the symptoms which include itching, and scratching of the eyes may lead to wounds on the cornea that can also lead to corneal opacity and blindness.”