Otorhinolaryngology manifestations secondary to oral sex

Acta Otorrinolaringol Esp (Engl Ed). 2017 May-Jun;68(3):169-180. doi: 10.1016/j.otorri.2016.04.003. Epub 2016 Oct 25.
[Article in English, Spanish]


Introduction: Over the last few years, oral and pharyngeal signs and symptoms due to oral sex have increased significantly. However, no review articles related to this subject have been found in the medical literature. The objective of our study was to identify otorhinolaryngological manifestations associated with orogenital/oroanal contact, both in adults and children, in the context of consensual sex or sexual abuse.

Methods: We performed a review of the medical literature on otorhinolaryngological pathology associated with oral sex published in the last 20 years in the PubMed database.

Results: Otorhinolaryngological manifestations secondary to oral sex practice in adults can be infectious, tumoral or secondary to trauma. The more common signs and symptoms found in the literature were human papillomavirus infection (above all, condyloma acuminata and papilloma/condyloma), oral or pharyngeal syphilis, gonococcal pharyngitis, herpes simplex virus infection and pharyngitis from Chlamydia trachomatis. The incidence of human papillomavirus -induced oropharyngeal carcinoma has dramatically increased. In children past the neonatal period, the presence of condyloma acuminatus, syphilis, gonorrhoea or palatal ecchymosis (the last one, unless justified by other causes) should make us suspect sexual abuse.

Conclusions: Sexual habits have changed in the last decades, resulting in the appearance of otorhinolaryngological pathology that was rarely seen previously. For this reason, it is important for primary care physicians to have knowledge about the subject to perform correct diagnosis and posterior treatment. Some sexual abuse cases in children may also be suspected based on the knowledge of the characteristic oropharyngeal manifestations secondary to them.

Keywords: Abusos sexuales; Boca; Cavidad nasal; Cavidad oral; Enfermedades de transmisión sexual; Faringe; Hearing loss; Hipoacusia; Laringe; Laryngeal papillomatosis; Larynx; Mouth; Nasal cavity; Oral cavity; Otolaryngology; Otorrinolaringología; Papilomatosis laríngea; Pharynx; Sexual abuse; Sexually transmitted diseases.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Carcinoma, Squamous Cell / etiology
  • Child
  • Child Abuse, Sexual
  • Head and Neck Neoplasms / etiology
  • Humans
  • Mouth Diseases / epidemiology
  • Mouth Diseases / etiology*
  • Palate / injuries
  • Papillomavirus Infections / epidemiology
  • Papillomavirus Infections / transmission
  • Pharyngeal Diseases / epidemiology
  • Pharyngeal Diseases / etiology*
  • Rape
  • Sexual Behavior*
  • Sexually Transmitted Diseases / epidemiology
  • Sexually Transmitted Diseases / etiology*