“It’s important to clarify first and foremost that COVID-19 (like other Coronviruses) is a respiratory virus,” he tells Women’s Health.
“As such, it’s primarily spread through airway, nasal and oral secretions – like those expelled when we sneeze or from droplets left on surfaces that might transmit from hands to eyes, nose and mouth. Spread of the virus by respiratory droplets is thus the major source of transmission, and why close contact with those outside the home needs to be limited right now.”
Despite this, however, having sex won’t necessarily increase your risk of contracting coronavirus.
“There’s no evidence that COVID-19 is spread in semen, vaginal fluid or other sexual fluids,” Dr. Kieran explains. “The virus is not a sexually transmitted disease, and so intercourse itself (at least in terms of the most basic mechanics) doesn’t appear to offer risk of transmitting the virus genitally.”
It’s the close contact factor that’s the real cause for concern – and, to put it delicately, the act of swapping spit.
“Saliva or airway secretions left on objects or other parts of the body that then might come into contact with the mouth, nose or eyes (by way of a then touching the face for example) is another means of spread – this means that oral sex could also potentially lead to spread,” Dr Kieran says.
Bottom line? Couples who are already shacked up – and aren’t showing symptoms – are OK to keep doing the deed. That said, now is not the time to seek out new sexual partners (coz, pandemic.)
“Get creative with dating and other forms of getting intimate that don’t involve actual physical contact,” Dr Kieran says. “If we live with a partner and both are feeling well, have no symptoms and don’t have risks for infection (like travel or contact with a known case) then it’s of course ok to keep having sex. If one partner in a household was in isolation for possible or suspected COVID however, then close contact within the house should be avoided as much as possible and this would (of course) make sex a no go unless results are back as negative.”
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