Experts WARN of sucking a woman's vagina

Experts have warned that having oral sex can expose women to risk of vaginal bacteria infection. 

A common type of bacteria found in the mouth could create an environment for a condition known as bacterial vaginosis to thrive.

Known as BV, the condition is an imbalance of the usual bacteria found in the vagina which can cause foul-smelling discharge.

It's not a sexually transmitted infection but if untreated it can make women more vulnerable to them, as well as getting urinary infections.

The vagina is normally acidic and tends to have plenty of "good" bacteria called lactobacillus.
But sometimes the natural pH balance can tip and other micro-organisms can thrive.

Researchers from the University of California wanted to discover how a common bacteria found in the mouth could upset the delicate balance.

They found that the mouth bacterium, Fusobacterium nucleatum, which is linked with gum disease and dental plaque, could encourage BV.

The study, published in PLoS Biology, looked at bacterial behaviour in mice and human vaginal specimens.

Dr Amanda Lewis, who led the research, said that their experiments showed that the mouth bacteria appeared to aid in the growth of other bacteria implicated in BV.

She suggested that her team's findings show how oral sex could contribute to some cases of BV.

Experts already know that the infection can be triggered by sex, including between women.

But they cautioned that this new research highlights an additional risk which is only very small.

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