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Can you get Bacterial Vaginosis from Oral Sex?

Can you get Bacterial Vaginosis from Oral Sex?

Causes of Bacterial Vaginosis (BV)

Bacterial vaginosis (BV) is commonly attributed to the microorganism Garnerella vaginalis. It is the most virulent of the BV-associated anaerobic organisms[1]. However, it has been found that Gardnerella vaginalis is present in only 40-50% of the vaginas of women with BV.

It is also found in the vagina of women that have been cured of BV. Other causes of BV are mycoplasma, and anaerobic organisms such as bacteroides, Peptostreptococcus fusobacteria, and those of genus Mobiluncus[2].

BV is a dysbiosis, or imbalance, of normal vaginal microbes. The normal, healthy vagina contains many Lactobacilli species. Being colonized by the normal vaginal microbes such as Lactobacillus crispatus and Lactobacillus jensenii is associated with a lower risk of BV[3]. These and other hydrogen-peroxide producing Lactobacilli help defend the vagina by making the environment more acidic and hostile against pathogenic organisms.

Could having receptive oral cunnilingus disrupt the normal vaginal flora by introducing microbes that are likely to cause BV? Possibly. Studies do show that females that receive oral cunnilingus have a higher chance of BV in both women that have sex with men as well as women that have sex with women[4].

Can Normal Oral Flora Cause BV?

The normal flora of the oral cavity consists of many organisms including fusobacterium[5] which can cause BV. Anaerobic organisms are also associated with BV and can reside in the mouth.

Anaerobic organisms break down proteins and other organic matter and release sulfurous, malodorous compounds called volatile sulfur compounds.[6] An overgrowth of anaerobic organisms in the mouth can cause bad breath or halitosis.

Peridontal disease and gingivitis, caused by an overgrowth of microorganisms along the gums, can also cause halitosis. Therefore, receiving oral cunnilingus from a person with dental disease could increase your risk of BV more than from someone without dental disease.

Concerned about bacterial vaginosis? Read about BV Home Remedies and Prevention here.  

Probiotics in Vaginal Infections

Probiotics for Vaginal Health







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