According to a study by scientists at Johns Hopkins University, men with a high number of partners are more at risk of serious illness if they engage in oral sex.
The study, published in Annals of Oncology examined the health data of over 13,000 people aged 20-69, between the years 2009 and 2014.
It investigated the rise in Human papillomavirus (HPV), and related neck and mouth cancers, and sought to discover which groups were more at risk.
The results showed that while risk of these oral cancers is low among people in the 20-69 age bracket (3.5 per cent of people detect it within a lifetime), it was more than double for men with multiple oral sex partners.
According to the paper, at 'medium risk' were men who had five of more oral sexual partners during their lifetime (7.3 per cent).
Sex and cigarettes
This risk doubled again if the men were also smokers (14.9 per cent).
HPV was found to be low among all participants, men and women, regardless of factors such as smoking, when the participant had one or fewer lifetime oral sex partners.
However, Men aged 20-59 with 10 or more oral sex partners had a 14.4 per cent chance of getting oncogenic (something that causes tumours to develop) oral HPV.
According to lead author Dr Amber D'Souza, men were much more likely than women to contract the virus than women.
Most people perform oral sex in their lives, and we found that oral infection with cancer-causing HPV was rare among women regardless of how many oral sex partners they had. Among men who did not smoke, cancer-causing oral HPV was rare among everyone who had less [sp] than five oral sex partners, although the chances of having oral HPV infection did increase with number of oral sexual partners, and with smoking.
HT IFL Science