Can You Get an Infection From Fingering or Oral Sex?

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Can You Get an Infection From Fingering or Oral Sex?

I'm 14 and still a virgin, but my boyfriend fingers me and gives me oral sex. For a couple of weeks, my vagina has been itchy and red, and it hurts when I touch it. I don't feel comfortable talking to my mom about this. What should I do?
- Ellie*

Friction and pressure from fingering or oral sex can cause irritation in the sensitive genital area. But itching and redness that lasts for a couple of weeks could also be a sign of an infection that could get worse if it isn’t treated. So you should get checked out by a doctor or nurse practitioner.

Don't want to get into details with your mom? Just tell her you're having itching and discomfort "down there" and would like to get checked out. Girls can some vaginal infections for all sorts of reasons that have nothing to do with sexual contact — such as stress, for example.

Even if you're not having intercourse, fingering and oral sex can lead to infection. Ask your boyfriend to wash his hands before touching your genitals. And, if either of you has a cold sore, don't have oral sex. The virus that causes cold sores can transfer to the genitals and become genital herpes.

Because other sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) also can be passed by oral sex, use a dental dam when a girl is receiving oral sex or condom when a guy is receiving oral sex to protect against infection.

Reviewed by: Larissa Hirsch, MD
Date reviewed: April 2011

*Names have been changed to protect user privacy.

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Note: All information is for educational purposes only. For specific medical advice, diagnoses, and treatment, consult your doctor.
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