Talking to your kids about the risks of oral sex

Learn about: Talking to your kids about the risks of oral sex from Diane Tanaka, MD,...
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Talking to your kids about the risks of oral sex

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There is a few STIs you can get through oral sex - one is Herpes. Any type of bodily fluid exchange makes it easy to contract herpes especially if there is open source or blisters on one of the partner's genitals. The other infection that's pretty easy to get through oral sex is Human Papillomavirus or HPV. We are now diagnosing throat cancer in adults that's directly linked to having been exposed to HPV through oral sex practices and then the third infection that you can get through oral sex is Gonorrhea. And that's pretty easily passed from partner to partner while engaging in oral sex. That's another one that we want to educate our teens about and to be cautious. Which brings up the issue about when should you or should you even talk about oral sex with your son or daughter, or an adolescent that's part of your life. And I think it is important to talk about oral sex because a lot of teens are very aware of oral sex, they know what it is. It's very commonly referenced in popular media, comedians like to use it as a source material for a lot of their jokes. So it's not like they've never heard of oral sex. And a lot of teens inaccurately think it's a safer form of sex. It is a safer form of sex with regards to pregnancy. Can't get pregnant through engaging in oral sex. However, as I just mentioned you could contract some of these infections including Gonorrhea, HPV and Herpes through oral sex. So I think it's important to parents to address it with their child and bring up the fact that may be somebody is going to suggest to them Why not just have oral sex,? You don't have to worry about getting pregnant, I don't have to wear a condom. You don't have to use birth control, there would be no worries baby, let's go ahead and do that. And I think it's important to bring it up and say You know, you still can get infections and there are risks that are associated with it and so you either need to engage in safer oral sex, which means utilizing a condom. Or some other barrier method or wait untill you are really ready and may be not engage at all.

Learn about: Talking to your kids about the risks of oral sex from Diane Tanaka, MD,...

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Diane Tanaka, MD

Adolescent Medicine Physician

Dr. Tanaka is an assistant professor of clinical pediatrics and the medical director of the Homeless Adolescent and Young Adult Wellness Center and the MyVOICE Adolescent Transition Program, both at Children's Hospital Los Angeles. Dr. Tanaka went to University of California, Davis for medical school and did her residency at Cedars Sinai Medical Center. Dr. Tanaka's primary speciality is Adolescent Medicine, and her clinical interests include: menstrual disorders, substance use and abuse, and the treatment of sexually transmitted infections. She currently serves at Children's Hospital Los Angeles, and was awarded the Barbara Korsch Medical Education Award at CHLA in 2008 and listed in Castle Connely’s directory of top physicians in 2009.

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