Not only does oral sex feel good for many people, but the lubrication it provides can help combat vaginal dryness that can make sex painful! But, alas, like any other sexual activity, unprotected oral sex poses some risk to your vaginal microbiome.
The mixing of microbiomes (both oral and genital) can introduce new pathogens into your vaginal microbiome. Like penetrative sex, oral sex is also considered to be a risk factor for bacterial vaginosis.
The mouth is home to literally billions of bacteria and fungi. In fact, after the gut, the oral microbiome is the second-largest and most diverse microbiota in your body! So, naturally, oral sex may enable microbes from a partner’s mouth to make their way into your vaginal microbiome. In a 2019 study of people with vulvas having sex with other vulva owners, 85% reported receiving oral sex from their partner. Findings showed that those who engaged in oral sex (and used sex toys) were more likely to have a vaginal microbiome with disruptive bacteria.