8:10 pm - 07/27/2007

Oral sex and strep/sickness?

Hi all--one more question:

I've noticed that several times, after giving my fwb oral sex (he's a guy, I'm a girl), I tend to get throat problems. This hasn't happened every time, but at least two or three times I've gotten throat issues, especially symptoms of strep, almost immediately (like, the next morning) after giving him head. One time I recall I got a sore throat, ending up with me being sick with a kind of flu for about two weeks; the other, most recently, I got a sore throat again, which resulted in me going preemptively on antibiotics and now posting with a bad headcold. What could this be?

I figure it's one of four things:
1) I just get sick a hell of a lot and it's unrelated to oral sex (unfortunately a likely answer--and the headcold is starting to make me think I have allergies I don't know about)
2) He has chlamydia or gonorrhea that he doesn't know about that's arsing up my throat (both of us have only had one partner before and had enough hubris to not get tested before each other (I know, I know)--but when I went to the doctor this week I requested testing for both, so we'll see... better late than never I suppose)
3) I'm somehow allergic to semen, and it makes my throat act up when he comes in my mouth (I have no idea about this one--I'm only including it since we haven't had PIV sex without a condom, so I wouldn't know from other activities)
4) I'm a bit too, uh, energetic when I go down on him, and thus make my throat vulnerable to infections somehow

For reference, I have a for-shit throat and get strep fairly often (probably about twice a year), likely due to my gigantic goddamn tonsils. I recently had an infection of strep-like bacteria that weren't technically strep, as well. I just wonder about the STDs since I believe the same medication for strep (azithromicyn) is also used for treatment of chlamydia or gonorrhea, I can't remember which.

Any ideas? It doesn't happen every time, but two or three times of getting legitimately sick right after oral sex is enough for me to be concerned. Could we be passing something back and forth somehow? Or do I just have a lazy immune system?
archangelbeth 28th-Jul-2007 12:42 am (UTC)
While possible to have an allergic reaction to semen, this site says "we've not had many women experience anaphylaxis or have localized vaginal symptoms after oral contact typically. It may be that many of these proteins are neutralized by something in the gastrointestinal tract."

I'd get him and yourself tested for STIs (for you, oral and vaginal both) as a first order of "ruling out stuff." (Possibly including yeast infections.) Which, heh, you've already started the ball rolling on!

Then, I'd talk to an allergist -- both about a possible semen allergy, and about any other allergies you might have. If you can get rid of this by taking, for example, Claritin (or the generic)... It'd be useful. After that, I'd suggest washing him thoroughly with at least a washcloth and water (and maybe a mild soap) and seeing if that gives you problems.

You may want to talk to a doctor to make sure that your tonsils aren't harboring some long-standing infection that hasn't been going away, and is waiting for the slightest opportunity to let loose the dogs of war plague upon you.

It could be a combination of two or more things, too -- allergic reaction to something, general sensitivity, roughness...

Good luck!
freakin_lj 28th-Jul-2007 01:17 am (UTC)
Thanks! :)
hold_fast 28th-Jul-2007 12:50 am (UTC)
I recently made a similar post.


Hope it helps!
freakin_lj 28th-Jul-2007 01:18 am (UTC)
Oh, perfect! Thanks, strep buddy :)
(Hope yours gets better soon!)
freakin_lj 28th-Jul-2007 11:01 pm (UTC)
Oh, and did you ever find a solution? I'd be curious to hear how you fixed it, if you have already or whenever you do...
5ampunkrock 28th-Jul-2007 01:49 am (UTC)
Not related to your question exactly, but I wonder why you haven't had a tonsillectomy... I'd never had any throat problems until this year, then I got the tonsillitis from hell that wouldn't go away, my left tonsil was MASSIVE, kept abscessing, etc,m until he finally took them out in May... they were both abscessed again, I was about a week away from getting seriously ill again. The surgery was SO worth it to not have those vile monsters in my head anymore!

Sorry I'm not really helpful, just wanted to commiserate on the crappy tonsils and wish you luck with your problem!
(no subject) - Anonymous
5ampunkrock 28th-Jul-2007 02:47 am (UTC)
That's weird... I'm 21, and let me just say, it didn't hurt NEARLY as badly as I thought! I was hesitant b/c I'd heard of horrible agony and pain for up to a month after, and really, after about a week I was eating pretty well (obviously some harder, drier things were just impossible to swallow). And that was after reacting really badly to the anesthesia and throwing up for 12 hours after the surgery (ouch!) I pretty much stayed asleep with lots of vicodin the first few days, so I missed most of it.

It just seems odd that no one will do it, you're really not that old and they do them for people in their 40s. I hope it gets better for you! Tonsil troubles are horrible, there was one month (before the surgery) where I swear all I could eat was yogurt because I couldn't get my mouth open any wider than the spoon! It's miserable!
freakin_lj 28th-Jul-2007 02:41 am (UTC)
No doctors will give me one :( They say I'm rather old for it, since it hurts more the older you get (I'm 19; I was going to get one when I was 13, but then they decided that it wasn't worth it... thanks a lot, guys) and that it's not worth "the three weeks of agony" (doctor's quote) that I'd have to deal with afterwards. They also say that it might not even stop the issues, just maybe decrease the severity of them a bit. I still wish I had gotten it earlier, but no matter who I go to, no doctors can be convinced. Sigh.

Thanks for the advice, though. Good to hear your problems got better afterwards :)
kimberlyann13 28th-Jul-2007 02:53 am (UTC)
Have you gotten a second opinion on that? Because I was like 17 or 18 when I got my tonsils taken out. Between being older and well...pretty overweight, they were very weary to take those suckers out. (I guess the older you are and the heavier you are the worse the recovery, the more likely you are to bleed, yada yada yada) - I got them taken out because I has throat/tonsil infections once a month for about 6 months strait. And it has been SOOOOOOOOO much better.

I was in bed for like 3 weeks after they took them out, but I had lots of ice cream and popcicles and pain killers, it wasnt that bad.

I would ask some other doctors about your tonsils.
freakin_lj 28th-Jul-2007 06:06 pm (UTC)
Second and third opinions, unfortunately. My GPs and my ENTs have always been really wary. I think my tonsils would have to explode before they even considered taking them out. And mine are goddamn HUGE. Whenever I get sick, my mom always refers to them as "the moldy strawberries." Euuuughh.

It's funny, because like 30 or 40 years ago they were taking them out left and right, but now I guess the pendulum has swung the other way.
kimberlyann13 28th-Jul-2007 11:59 pm (UTC)
Yeah...doctors are stupid? HAHA

Im sorry Im not one because otherwise I would just take them out for you :)
dayglow 28th-Jul-2007 05:09 am (UTC)
I think everyone's tonsil experience is different and assuming you'll be in agony is a bit harsh. Yeah, the first part will definitely be unpleasant for everyone but depending on your aftercare and pain tolerance, you might be fine. I was semi-worried about getting my wisdom teeth out (but mostly excited; they were causing me near-constant pain in the weeks leading up to their removal) because I'd heard so many horror stories from my friends, especially a handful who got dry socket. Me? I was completely under for the operation so I didn't get to hear them crunch my teeth. I took the heavy painkillers for the first day and half the next which only made me nauseous if I didn't remember to eat regularly, then switched to ibuprofen for the next few, then ibuprofen-as-needed until the holes were mostly gone. I did have a really gross taste coming from one of my holes for about a week, but the tooth was at a funny angle so the hole was huge and harder to clean. (It's still large enough to get food stuck in it and my surgery was June 12 - all my other holes are almost completely gone.) Overall? I've never been so happy to have 'elective' surgery in my life. I'm in so much less pain now.

So um, I think you should seek a second opinion on your tonsils.
cheredemoiselle 28th-Jul-2007 04:46 am (UTC)
It is possible that you aren't allergic to semen in general, but I have heard of women being allergic to certain men's semen. Unfortunately, you may be allergic to him.

I'm not quite sure how to test for that, but you're general practitioner or gynocologist probably would!

Good luck.
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