Many Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs) can be easily spread from one person to another just via oral sex. Now oral sex here, means both giving and receiving oral sex which can result in the transmission of the bacteria from the infected area to your mouth. Oral STDs are identified by symptoms that exhibit around the mouth and the oral cavity (lips, tongue, and tonsils). In this article, we explain in detail the names of Oral STDs, STDs that cause sore throat, treatment, and more. Following is the table of content for your reference.
- What is an Oral STD?
- Oral STD Signs and Symptoms
- What STDs Cause Sore Throat?
- What STDs Cause Oral Sores?
- What STDs Cause White Spots on Tonsils?
- How Long Does Oral STD Symptom Take to Appear?
- Types of STDs That Cause Oral Symptoms
- Can HIV Cause Oral Symptoms?
- Can Trichomoniasis STD Cause Oral Symptoms?
- Treatment for Oral STDs
- How to Get Tested for Oral STDs?
- Is there an Oral STD Home Test Kit Available?
- Does Walgreens Provide Oral STD Test Kit?
- How much Does it Cost for Oral STD Testing?
- Multiple STD Testing Combo
- Are there any Preparations Required Before the Oral STD Test?
- Providers Locations
What is an Oral STD?
Oral sex involves using the mouth, lips, or tongue to the partner’s genitals (penis, vagina, or anus). The penis and testicles and the vagina and area around the vagina are also called the genitals or genital area.
Giving oral sex to a partner having an infected penis/vagina or rectum might result in getting the oral STD infection. Similarly, receiving oral sex from a partner having an infected penis/vagina or rectum might result in getting the oral STD infection. This is due to the infection is said to be present in more than one area at the same time, for example in the throat and the genitals. Oral STDs can result in oral symptoms of STDs like mouth sores and sore throat.
According to a survey conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than 85% of sexually-active adults who fall between the age group of 18-44 years reported having had oral sex at least once with a partner of the opposite sex. Another study from 2011 to 2015 finds that 41% of teenagers between the age group of 15-19 years reported having had oral sex with a partner of the opposite sex.
Oral STD Signs and Symptoms
Oral STD symptoms tend to exhibit late than early. Most people do not know they are STD transmitters as they do not have any active symptoms. This is one of the reasons for the widespread of STDs across the globe. If you are sexually active and having multiple partners, beware of the deadly STDs as they are silent killers.
When an STD sore on the penis/vagina or rectum gets in contact with a partner’s mouth during oral sex, he/she will also get affected. Research says that it is highly possible to have an STD in more than one area at the same time, for example in the throat and the genitals.
Oral STDs can be spread from a sex partner even when if the infected partner has no signs or symptoms, as the bacteria keeps a low profile and manipulating rapidly.
What STDs Cause Sore Throat?
If you are experiencing a sore throat after unprotected oral sex typically indicates some form of STD bacteria got transmitted from your sex partner who may be exposed to a Sexually Transmitted Disease. Sex partners unintentionally transmit oral STDs as they have no symptoms in the initial stages. Chlamydia, Gonorrhea, Syphilis, Oral Herpes, HIV, HPV, and Mononucleosis are the types of STDs that have a sore throat as one of their symptoms.
Know more about STDs and sore throat here.
What STDs Cause Oral Sores?
Some believe that oral sex is safer than vaginal or anal sex. This is a misconception. There are small open cuts in the mouth and the lips that are exposed and the bacteria can easily enter your mouth during oral sex. Thus, both oral sex and vaginal/anal sex are equally infectious. If you are sexually active and seeing mouth sores, then get tested for STDs as quickly as possible. Most people tend to ignore it as the sores look similar to a pimple and think of it as a skin-related infection. Chlamydia, Gonorrhea, Syphilis, Oral Herpes, HIV, and HPV are the types of STDs that cause oral sores symptoms.
Know more about STDs and mouth sores here.
What STDs Cause White Spots on Tonsils?
Among the oral sores and sore throat as an oral STD symptom, another most common sign on your mouth is white spots in the back of the throat and swollen tonsils. Chlamydia and Gonorrhea are the two types of STDs that can cause white spots on the throat and white spots on the upper mouth and on the tongue. HIV also joins this list, but the symptom is seen only during the advanced stage.
These white spots on your oral cavity are generally painless. It is vital to know the cause of the white spots on the tonsils, you may not have a fever or any flu-like symptoms and you shouldn’t ignore and wait for the symptoms to go away. If you are an avid sex player and experiencing white spots on your mouth, get tested for STDs.
How Long Does Oral STD Symptom Take to Appear?
The timeline for the oral STDs to exhibit symptoms after the initial exposure differs widely according to the type of the STD. Some people may experience oral STD signs within the first week after the initial exposure and some may experience after 6-8 weeks. There are chances of the signs to come for a few days and go away, however, this doesn’t mean you are cured completely. The symptoms will come back with more severeness after some period of time. It is important to get treated and to terminate the entered bacteria with antibiotics.
We have listed the following on how long does it take for oral STDs symptoms to appear after the initial exposure –
- Oral Chlamydia – symptoms can appear anywhere between 7-21 days.
- Oral Gonorrhea – symptoms can appear anywhere between 2-30 days.
- Oral Syphilis – symptoms can appear anywhere between 10-90 days.
- Oral Herpes – symptoms can appear anywhere between 2-20 days.
- Oral HPV – symptoms can appear anywhere between 30 days to 8 months.
The only way to avoid getting oral STDs is to abstain from have vaginal, anal, or oral sex.
Types of STDs That Cause Oral Symptoms
There are more than 20 different types of Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs). However, not all STDs have the tendency to cause oral symptoms. Following are the 5 types of STDs that cause oral signs and symptoms in both men and women –
STD That Cause Oral Symptoms: Chlamydia
Chlamydia is one of the most commonly reported STDs in the US. Chlamydia is caused by Chlamydia Trachomatis bacteria that causes symptoms like discharge from the vagina or penis (discharge from the vagina may be bloody), burning feeling when urinating, painful or swollen testicles, rectal pain.
Chlamydia not only causes symptoms in the genitals but also in the oral cavity. When the symptoms are exhibited only around the mouth, then it is known as Oral Chlamydia. Oral Chlamydia symptoms include –
- Painless oral sores around the mouth
- Sore throat, sometimes difficulty in swallowing
- White spots on tongue, upper mouth tissue, and tonsils
STD That Cause Oral Symptoms: Gonorrhea
Gonorrhea is the second-highest reported STD in the US. Gonorrhea is caused by Neisseria Gonorrhea bacteria that infect the throat, genitals, urinary tract, and rectum. Symptoms of Gonorrhea around the mouth like oral sores which are generally painless, sore throat, and white spots back of the throat and inside the mouth, are known as Oral Gonorrhea.
Gonorrhea symptoms also include discharge from the vagina or penis (discharge from the vagina may be bloody), burning feeling when urinating, painful or swollen testicles, and rectal pain.
STD That Cause Oral Symptoms: Syphilis
Syphilis is caused by Treponema Pallidum bacteria. The most common Syphilis symptoms are rash on the body, fever, and other flu-like symptoms like nausea and cough. Syphilis can affect the lips, mouth, throat, genitals, and rectum.
Oral syphilis symptoms include chancres (ulcers), small and round sores which are generally painless and sore throat. The sores are highly contagious and can spread from one person to another by coming into contact with a sore.
STD That Cause Oral Symptoms: Herpes
Unlike Chlamydia or Gonorrhea which are bacterial infections, Herpes is caused by a virus known as Herpes Simplex Virus (HSV). Areas of infection for Herpes STD include lips, mouth, throat, genitals, rectum, and buttocks.
Herpes around the mouth is called Oral Herpes. The symptoms of Oral Herpes include –
- Painful and itching oral sores around the mouth
- Sore throat, sometimes difficulty in swallowing
Other symptoms of Herpes are headache, fever, mood swings, and body aches.
STD That Cause Oral Symptoms: HPV
HPV is also a viral infection caused by Human Papillomavirus. Areas of infection for the HPV STD can be seen around the mouth, throat, genitals, cervix, and rectum.
The most commonly reported symptom of HPV is warts around the genitals and the groin area – in women the HPV warts appear around the vagina, cervix, or anus and in men, penile, scrotum, or anus. Other symptoms include genital itching and lumps in the genitals.
Oral HPV is identified by warts in the throat which may cause changes in the voice, difficulty speaking, or shortness of breath.
Can HIV Cause Oral Symptoms?
When talking about STDs it is always HIV that comes to our mind. HIV is caused by the Human Immuno Deficiency Virus (HIV) that deteriorates the human immune system and leads to the final stage of AIDS (Acquired Immuno Deficiency Syndrome). HIV can be deadly if not addressed in the initial phase.
Some people have sore throat symptoms during the first stage of the infection, which is the only sign of oral symptoms. Other than sore throat no oral symptoms have been reported in the initial stages. Other symptoms of HIV include muscle and joint pain, night sweats, diarrhea, and fatigue.
In the advanced stage of HIV, white spots inside the mouth, and ulcers in the mouth & genitals are seen along with some neurological symptoms like memory loss, seizures, and changes in vision. Read more on HIV RNA early testing here.
However, there is little to no risk of getting or transmitting HIV from oral sex.
Can Trichomoniasis STD Cause Oral Symptoms?
Trichomoniasis or commonly knows as “Trich” is caused by a one-celled parasitic protozoan called Trichomonas Vaginalis. Some of the symptoms of trichomoniasis include pain during sex, genital discharge, itching, and frequent urination.
There is no risk of getting or transmitting Trichomoniasis STD from oral sex and the symptoms are not typically seen around the mouth.
Treatment for Oral STDs
People often ask “How to get rid of Oral STDs?” and “Can Oral STD go away without any treatment after a while?”. The answer is no, they won’t. The bacteria or virus that invaded orally needs to be terminated with the help of antibiotics and medications.
If you are symptom-free then it doesn’t mean that you are cured, the bacteria is still dormant and manipulating rapidly in silence, which leads to severe and extreme stages with outbreaks of symptoms like rash, mouth sores, high fever, diarrhea, and genital discharge.
Treatment for Oral Chlamydia
Oral Chlamydia can be cured with the right medicine and if diagnosed and treated at the right time. If you are diagnosed with oral STDs and detect that you are infected with Chlamydia, you will be prescribed antibiotics like azithromycin or taking doxycycline for a certain period of time as per the severity. It is important not to have oral sex or intercourse until 7 days after you have completed treatment for Oral Chlamydia.
If Oral Chlamydia is left untreated it can lead to severe health complications such as Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID). PID can result in infertility (not being able to get pregnant), and chronic pelvic pain.
Treatment for Oral Gonorrhea
As Oral Gonorrhea is caused by bacteria, it can be completely cured with antibiotics. However, Oral Gonorrhea which has an infection in the throat is harder to cure than genital or rectal infections – it takes a longer prescription treatment period than Gonorrhea in the genitals.
It is important not to have oral sex or intercourse until 7 days after you have completed treatment for Oral Gonorrhea.
Similar to Oral Chlamydia, untreated Oral Gonorrhea can lead to severe health complications such as Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID). PID can result in infertility (not being able to get pregnant), and chronic pelvic pain.
Treatment for Oral Syphilis
Oral Syphilis can be cured with the right medicine if addressed at the right time – early stages. Generally, antibiotic benzathine penicillin G is prescribed for syphilis in the mouth. You will be requested to retest for syphilis every 6 months for a year to confirm that you are cured fully.
If oral syphilis is left untreated can cause long-term severe damages to your organs, such as your heart and brain, resulting in neurological disorders. Ultimately, some people can even lose their lives against Syphilis.
Treatment for Oral Herpes
There is no cure for oral herpes as it is a virus causing STD, however, the symptoms can be reduced with the general treatment that includes anti-viral medications and taking plenty of fluids. Always wash your fingertips before touching your eyes, because the HSV virus can spread to the eyes and leads to scarring of the outer layer of the eye, learning, and pain.
Leaving Oral herpes undiagnosed and untreated can lead to more embarrassment than serious health concerns. If you are infected with oral herpes, then it is forever.
Treatment for Oral HPV
The HPV warts in the mouth and throat may disappear, remain unchanged, or grow in size or number. There is no permanent cure for oral HPV. In some cases, if warts grow large in size or at uncomfortable parts like the throat which can cause pain during swallowing may be removed with surgery.
Antibiotics will be prescribed to suppress the symptoms. Even with the treatment medications, the HPV is still transferrable to other sex partners.
There is more than one type of oral HPV, for instance, a type of HPV affects the mouth and the throat but doesn’t cause any warts but it may develop into head or neck cancer.
If HPV is left untreated it may develop into cancer. Some women face cervical cancer due to untreated HPV.
Vaccine for Oral HPV
There is a vaccine available to prevent HPV from contracting. It prevents certain strains of HPV that cause genital warts and cervical cancer. However, it is unlikely to prevent oral HPV. It is highly recommended for all the boys and girls at ages 11-12, as well as for everyone through age 26 if not vaccinated already.
How to Get Tested for Oral STDs?
There are different types of tests to get diagnosed for Oral STDs. Firstly, you need to take an initial screening test for the STDs that you suspect of having exposed to (i.e. based on the medical and sexual history you have and the symptoms you experience). It may be any of the tests like using a cotton swab in the infected area such as mouth, throat, vagina, anus, or penis or may be asked to take a blood sample or a urine sample. If you are tested positive, an advanced test might be required to know the exact stage of your infection and to decide the treatment options accordingly.
You’ll also be asked to retest after a certain period of time, probably after the completion of your treatment course to know that you are completely cured. It is also recommended that not to involve in any sexual activities until you are retested again and tested negative.
Is there a Home Test Kit Available for Oral STD?
Absolutely. If you are feeling awkward walking into a clinic or talking to your doctor regarding your oral STD symptoms, an at-home STD test kit is just right for you. At-home STD test kits are preferred by people who do not have time to make an appointment and visit the lab.
You can order an STD home test kit through the following button. The test kit will be delivered to your home and the package doesn’t disclose where it comes from and what it contains – as we and our lab partner respect your privacy. All you need to do is to collect the sample as mentioned in the instructions with the oral swab collection, urine sample, or blood sample using the finger prick provided in the test kit and post it back to the mentioned address. The test results will be mailed to you within 2 to 5 business days.
If you are tested positive, you can get a follow-up online doctor consultation to help walk you through what to do next and treatment options.
Does Walgreens Provide Oral STD Test Kit?
No, Walgreens does not provide an STD kit for detecting oral STDs. They only provide an at-home test kit for HIV which can be bought over-the-counter. Moreover, walking into a Walgreens shop can also expose your identity, especially if you are living in a small town where anyone’s coming and going is easier to notice.
No worries, we have other best options listed under the following topic.
How much Does it Cost for Oral STD Testing?
There are many options available for oral STD testing, but we have identified the best and the affordable STD testing and at-home test kit providers and have listed them for you. No prior appointment is required. Compare the price, order your test online and visit the nearest lab during lab business hours or shop the STD home testing kit. Complete the procedure and get the results in your email in 2 to 3 business days.
The following table shows the STD home test kit and STD testing cost at 3 of our partner laboratories (CLIA – Certified) network located across the U.S.
Name of our Partner Labs
(Home Test Kit)
Are there any Preparations Required Before the Oral STD Test?
Generally, there are no special requirements like fasting is required before taking the Oral STD test. You can continue with your regular diet and physical activities. However, if you are taking an oral swab test, it is advised not to wipe the infected area before taking the sample – this helps in arriving at accurate results.
Oral STD testing can be done in any of the following states either by visiting the nearest provider or by ordering the STD home test kit.
- New Hampshire
- New Mexico
- North Carolina
- North Dakota
- Puerto Rico
- South Carolina
- South Dakota
- West Virginia
- New York
Frequently Asked Question
Will insurance cover my STD testing cost?
No. Generally providers do not accept the insurance in order to ensure your privacy. However, they will provide you a receipt for insurance reimbursement purposes.
How should I book my appointment for STD testing?
You can choose the most suitable provider from above and make an appointment by following the instructions mentioned by them.
Can I cancel my lab test order?
Yes, you can cancel your lab test order anytime before your testing. A refund will be initiated after deducting the cancellation fee. However, cancellation is at the discretion of the provider.
Do the providers offer result interpretations?
Yes, few providers may provide doctor consultation who will take you through the results and provide clarification if needed.
How do I receive my report?
In order to ensure your privacy, the test report will be mailed to you by the provider.
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