Although sexual health experts recommend that protection be used for oral sex, the majority of us continue to ignore their words.
This advice may now be crucial after unprotected oral sex appears to have led to a super STI.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) has announced that an untreatable form of gonorrhoea has been seen in several cases around the world including in Japan, France and Spain.
After analysing 77 countries, they believe that the outbreak is down to a decline in condom use – especially in the case of oral sex.
Around 78 million people contract gonorrhoea every year. The reported new strain is becoming more and more resistant to antibiotics and there’s a simple reason why.
Unprotected oral sex can lead to gonorrhoea bacteria in the throat. The throat is the place that most comes into contact with antibiotics, encouraging the gonorrhoea to resist the treatment.
“The bacteria that cause gonorrhoea are particularly smart. Every time we use a new class of antibiotics to treat the infection, the bacteria evolve to resist them,” said WHO Medical Officer Dr Teodora Wi.
‘Super gonorrhoea’ – as it’s being dubbed – can lead to serious problems including pain in the pelvis, testicles and prostate gland for men. For women, the disease can spread to the reproductive organs, potentially damaging fertility.
The WHO is urging the development of new drugs to treat gonorrhoea, noting that a vaccine would be the best option.
Symptoms of gonorrhoea can go unnoticed for months. However, if you notice any of the following, it’s best to visit your nearest sexual health clinic as soon as possible:
- Unusual vaginal discharge
- A burning sensation when passing urine
- Bleeding between periods, heavier periods and bleeding after sex
- Unusual discharge from the tip of the penis
- Inflammation of the foreskin
- Pain in the testicles
Note that gonorrhoea in the throat usually carries no symptoms. So it’s best to use a condom for any future oral sex.
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