STD Symptoms in Receptive Oral Sex

Illustration by Édouard-Henri Avril of fellatio scene

Illustration by Édouard-Henri Avril of fellatio scene

This article will focus on the possible STD symptoms you can get if you use your mouth on your partner’s genitals.

This applies to both men and women and also if you partner was a man or a woman.

Click here for STD symptoms in Men – i.e. the possible STD symptoms Men can get when they insert their penis into their partner’s mouth, vagina or anus

Click here for STD symptoms in Receptive Anal Sex – i.e. the possible STD symptoms in men or women who allow their partner to insert his penis into their anus

Click here for STD symptoms in Women

First of all let’s get rid of the big elephant in the room: HIV.

Is it possible to get HIV from oral sex? Click here for a detailed article I wrote on this topic.

In a nutshell, it is theoretically possible but highly unlikely. I personally think it is not possible. The only estimated risk ever given for this is 0.04%. This only applies for a person who uses his/her mouth on the partner’s penis and allows him to ejaculate in the mouth (assuming he is HIV +ve). Even then, it is maybe 0.04% possible.

As for the other STDs, you can classify the possible symptoms as follows:

1. Throat Symptoms – Sore throat, painful throat, pus on the tonsils etc

2. Skin symptoms – Ulcers, Blisters etc around the mouth

3. General symptoms – Fever, Swollen lymph nodes etc

1. Throat Symptoms

These symptoms are very much like any other sore throats you have had in the past. It is more suggestive of an STD if the pain is very severe or there is yellow pus on the tonsils. Most people think the tonsil is the teardrop shaped thing that hangs down in the middle at the back of the mouth. This is the uvula, it is not the tonsils. The tonsils are the 2 spongy round things you see on the sides.

Since the sore throats caused by STDs like Gonorrhea or Chlamydia can be no different from your usual sore throat, the only way to know if you have caught an STD in the throat or not is to get a throat swab.

Very painful ulcers in the throat especially if the lymph nodes in the neck are swollen and tender, is very likely to be caused by Herpes.

Although not common, you can also see warts in the mouth caused by HPV. These look like red colored growths in the mouth most commonly found on the inner lining of the cheek.

Who are the culprits?





When do symptoms usually appear?

Most commonly within the first 2 weeks of infection but can also take months to appear. Some infections do not even show any symptoms at all.

2. Skin Symptoms

– Ulcers/Blisters. This applies mainly to Herpes. This appears as painful blisters and/or ulcers usually on the line where the lips and the skin meet (vermilion border). However, these ulcers and blisters can also happen anywhere on the face. Ulcers are breaks in the skin. They are usually wet. If the area of skin surrounding it is red, this is more suggestive of Herpes. Blisters are fluid filled sacs like bubbles on the skin. Herpes ulcers are usually painful.

If you have a single painless ulcer that is slightly bigger (> 8mm), it may be a symptom of Syphilis. This is rare in oral sex but still possible.

– Growths. As discussed above, HPV can cause growths inside the mouth. These same growths can also appear around the mouth and lips although this is rare. This will look like skin colored lumps which have an uneven surface like a cauliflower.

Who are the culprits?




When do these symptoms usually appear?

Syphilis ulcers can take 9 to 90 days to appear. Herpes ulcers can appear as quickly as within a week or may take months. This also applies to HPV.

3. General Symptoms

– Swollen lymph nodes. Swelling of the lymph nodes is a normal and natural way the body fights off an infection. When an area is infected, the lymph nodes close to it will swell to help fight off the infection. So if there is an infection in the throat, the lymph nodes in the neck will swell. This is a very general symptom and can be caused by STDs or non-STD infections.

– Fever. This is an extremely rare symptom for STDs affecting the throat and mouth. If you have a fever, chances are that it has absolutely nothing to do with your oral sex encounter.

Who are the culprits?




When do these symptoms usually appear?

Swollen lymph nodes on their own are not a symptom of STDs. However, if you have ulcers in the throat or a bad sore throat AND swollen lymph nodes in the neck, this is more suggestive of STDs.

So the time of onset is related to when the primary symptoms (ulcer, sore throat etc) appear.

What do you do now?

Not everyone who is infected with an STD will develop symptoms. Of course if you do have any of the above symptoms, please see us as soon as you can.

If you do not have any of the symptoms, get a full STD screening at 1 month  post exposure to be 100% sure you are clear of everything.

For possible STD throat infections, we can swab the throat to test for Chlamydia, Gonorrhea, HPV and Herpes.

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Related Topics:

Cost of HIV/STD Screening at our Clinics

HIV Testing FAQ

STDs – General Info

STD Symptoms in Women

STD symptoms in Men

STD symptoms in receptive Anal Sex


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About Dr. Tan
Dr. Tan graduated from the National University of Singapore in 2001. His residency was in the two largest public hospitals in Singapore; Tan Tock Seng Hospital and Singapore General Hospital.

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  1. Bill jones

    Thank you for the response. I understand it can be difficult to speculate, but I have seen varying numbers and responses to these questions and was curious if you had any insight. In theory if I was orally infected, What are the chances that you can spread this:

    A) kissing someone
    B) deep kissing (tongue involved)
    C) performing cunnilingus

    • Bill jones

      Sorry. I also meant to ask, how common is it that someone would experience these symptoms 16 days after exposure? I have seen studies saying normally 2 to 5 days, up to 10 days, and the vague range of 2 days to a month.

  2. Bill jones


    I performed fellatio on a man about 4 weeks ago. I have had pain in my neck but not where I would usually get a soar throat. I am going to the doctor in a few days to get it checked, but I feel like I am making myself believe I am infected when my symptoms don’t necessarily match what others say. The pain is in my neck next to my Adam’s apple and not in the back of my throat. I have not seen any discoloration in the back of my throats and/or tonsils. It hurts sometimes when I swallow but not every time. Eating and drinking do not bother it either. Is it possible this is a muscular problem and not symptoms of an std?

    • I agree with you that since your pain is in the anterior neck, it does not fir the usual symptoms of an STD throat infection. That is not to say you do not have an STD. The only way to know is to test. I am happy you will be seeing your doctor. I also agree with you that anxiety can make you place an over-emphasis on “symptoms” that you would have normally ignored.

  3. Hi Doctor,
    I had oral sex about 3 weeks ago. Now I have a sore throat and it is difficult to study. Should I be concerned or see a doctor about it?

    • You should absolutely see a doctor. You need to find out what is causing your sore throat. It may or may not be related to your sexual exposure.

  4. Supernova

    I had protected oral sex worker two days ago. Today, I developed a single blister on my top groin area. In this case, does that sound like a herpes or any other std?

    What are the chances of std in the following scenario:
    1) Protected Oral Sex
    2) Using the same towel she uses to wipe her finger that touch her vagina, on my penis

  5. Supernova

    I had protected oral sex with a sex worker 2 days ago. During the process, she fingered herself and use a towel to wipe her fingers and then my penis.

    Under the two scenarios:
    1) Protected Oral Sex
    2) Using same towel for both her finger and my penis

  6. Hi doctor,

    if I have had possible exposure (giving blowjob) no ejaculation only precum, happened 3 months ago, do I have to be worried about any STD?

    one mouth ulcer (slight pain) underneath tongue and 2 very small white dots on lips (<1mm, slight pain), white patches only at the inner back half of tongue extending towards the epiglottis, some flu symptoms, no sore throat, mild fever..?

    thank you!

  7. Hi doc,

    Not sure i got std or not, had unprotected oral giving and receiving with a chat girl. About 2 weekslater, felt stinging pain sometimes on my left side of penis, bottom of ahaft near to testicle and tingling feeling at the tip of my penis. No sore, discharge, rashes. Peeing is normal, not pain at warts.
    1) could thia b sign of std?
    2) if i just do the urethris test, will this b conclusive for an oral receiving n giving? Or should i go for more test?
    3) Do you do penis check for men other than std?

  8. I am suck the breast nipple can possible to get hiv or std
    i am tested hiv test in 88 it ok

    • You cannot get HIV from sucking on a breast. You can get STDs but this is rare. Generally speaking HIV tests at 88 days is conclusive but that also depends on what kind of test was done.


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  5. STD Symptoms in Women | STD - […] Click here for STD symptoms in receptive Oral Sex – i.e. using her mouth on the partner’s genitals or…
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