Why Oral Sex Can Lead to Bacterial Vaginosis
Bacterial vaginosis is caused by a disruption in the balance of healthy bacteria in the vagina. Types of bacteria that normally exist in small amounts begin to multiply, causing foul smells, discharge, and irritations that can become a daily frustration.
Scientific research has proven that sexual partners who practice oral sex have a greater risk of bacterial vaginosis (BV). It is possible to get BV without having sex. However, both vaginal intercourse and oral sex can increase your risk of BV.
How Can Oral Sex Contribute to BV?
Studies have shown that there is a strong association between receptive cunnilingus and bacterial vaginosis. Research is still being conducted to determine the extent of the connection, but this article about the association between oral sex and BV hypothesizes that the organisms that comprise the mouth's natural flora may contribute to a disruption of the balance of bacteria in the vagina.
Dr. Bryan Tran, D.O., and co-founder of the health supplement store DrFormulas, said anaerobic organisms that are commonly found in the mouth can be associated with BV. An overgrowth of these organisms can result in halitosis, periodontal disease, or gingivitis. "Therefore, receiving oral cunnilingus from a person with dental disease could increase your risk of BV more than from someone without dental disease," Dr. Tran said.
Some claims have been made that sexual partners can act as a carrier of bacterial vaginosis, i.e. a man who performs oral sex on one woman with BV can then transfer it to another. However, this theory has not yet been supported by substantial scientific evidence.