Coronavirus And Sex: What You Need To Know
We are already aware that the new coronavirus can be contacted in spit and mucus, and now it has been discovered in semen, showing a link between coronavirus and sex. Patients in China who donated samples several days after virus symptoms had faded were discovered to show evidence of Covid-19 study in JAMA Open Network.
And 38 patients at Shangqiu Municipal Hospital in China who donated samples several days after virus symptoms had faded were found to show evidence of Covid-19.
In fact, one in six had traces of the coronavirus in their semen – including those who were no longer sick, and 8.7 per cent of the those who had recovered had traces in their semen.
Because of the study’s small sample size and short followup, it’s difficult to draw any conclusions. Researchers say much more study is needed to understand things like whether the virus can replicate in the male reproductive system and how long the virus may survive in semen.
Also, a new study, published in the Journal of the American Medicine Association, discover the coronavirus in semen, too. Particles were detected in the semen of both men who had active infections and those who had recovered.
Interestingly, the research have left scientists worried that the deadly disease could be sexually transmitted, as such, men who have recovered from coronavirus are advised to abstain from sex in order to avoid passing the virus on via their semen, a new study suggests.
And the authors of the paper, led by Dr Diangeng Li, of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army General Hospital, Beijing, says the coronavirus may one day be found to be sexually transmissible.
So, this is their comment: ‘If it could be proved that SARS-CoV-2 can be transmitted sexually in future studies, sexual transmission might be a critical part of the prevention of transmission, especially considering the fact that SARS-CoV-2 was detected in the semen of recovering patients.
‘Even if the virus cannot replicate in the male reproductive system, it may persist.
‘Abstinence or condom use might be considered as preventive means for these patients.
‘To avoid contact with the patient’s saliva and blood may not be enough, since the survival of SARS-CoV-2 in a recovering patient’s semen maintains the likelihood to infect others.’
And this study leaves ‘many key questions unanswered’, such as how long after infection can the virus be found in semen for.
So, can you contract the coronavirus from having sex? What about kissing? How about oral? The short answer is that experts really don’t know.
“What we know thus far is that COVID-19 is present in respiratory secretions,” Kristin Englund, MD, of the department of infectious disease at the Cleveland Clinic, tells Health. Respiratory secretions include droplets that exit a person’s mouth from coughing or sneezing.
So, the coronavirus isn’t a sexually transmitted disease: But it spreads through such things as coughing, sneezing and saliva.
“Both semen and vaginal secretions have tested negative for COVID-19,” says Renee Sorrentino, medical director at the Institute for Sexual Wellness in Massachusetts and an assistant professor in psychiatry at Harvard Medical School. “But since sex requires less than six feet of distance, it’s impossible to navigate without the likelihood of droplet transmission.”
And as such, we must abstain from sexual intimacy with relative strangers. “If you’re close enough to have sexual contact, you’re close enough to have aerosol exposure,” Zagone says.
Because these secretions from an infected person can carry the virus, some countries (like France) are discouraging people from greeting one another with a cheek kiss, reported The Washington Post.
But kissing a partner, of course, is far more intimate than a random peck on the cheek. While it makes sense that kissing someone infected with COVID-19 could leave you infected, “at this point in time, we don’t know these specific details,” says Dr. Englund.
And what we do know is that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says that the virus can spread from “close contact” with someone, with close contact generally defined as being within six feet of a person. If you’re kissing or having sex, well, you’re well within this limit…and potentially at risk if your partner carries the virus.
Can The Coronavirus Spread Via Feces?
We have some evidence that COVID-19 infection may cause intestinal infection and be present in faeces. Although, to date only one study has cultured the COVID-19 virus from a single stool specimen. And there have been no reports of faecal−oral transmission of the COVID-19 virus to date.
Can I Have Sex During The COVID-19 Pandemic?
One of the ways of combating coronavirus is through social distancing. And this lead us the question: how do you have sex in the era of COVID-19 self-isolation? Is it even safe to have sex during the pandemic?
COVID-19 which the disease caused by the novel coronavirus, is spread by person-to-person contact or by people who are close to (within six feet) of each other—as it’s believed that the virus is expelled in respiratory droplets from a cough or sneeze, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), which you can then inhale.
And you can also contact it from contaminated surfaces if you then touch your face without washing your hands properly first and therefore introduce the pathogen into your body.
Invariably, sex can contribute to spreading the coronavirus, as you’re in actually close contact with your partner, and you are also probably kissing, or at least breathing heavily.
However, it’s not contracted directly from sex, according to Mark Surrey, MD, a clinical professor in the department of obstetrics and gynecology at UCLA’s David Geffen School of Medicine, “The coronavirus is a respiratory virus. It can be transmitted through your saliva and intimate contact, but it is not directly transmitted genitally.”
So you can‘t know for sure if someone has COVID–19 based on how they look or feel. And that distinction is key, because safe sex during the pandemic depends on your current relationship situation and, well, why you’re having sex in the first place.
And the New York City Health Department has issue guidelines on COVID-19 safe sex practices, in which they recommend against having sex with anyone outside of your household. The idea of having a “sex buddy”, where you and they only have sex with each other during the pandemic, is not recommended, wrote ob-gyn Jen Gunter in The New York Times.
Of course, the idea goes against social distancing, and you don’t actually know how closely (if at all) they’re staying away from other people, she warned.
So, the mixed prescription about sex during the pandemic says partners in long-term relationships who are living together and aren’t sick can indulge in all the mattress dancing they want – in fact, doctors say it’s good for them.
Because, sex is a stress reliever and who can think of a more stressful time than being cooped up indefinitely in fear of a killer virus and economic ruin?
If You’re Having Sex To Have A Baby
Is it safe to have sex while in COVID-19 quarantine? we know that the idea of putting women’s dreams of having a baby on hold is agonizing. “There is the question of whether or not women should be getting pregnant right now,” says Dr. Surrey, who is the associate director at the Southern California Reproductive Center in Beverly Hills.
So, is it safe to have sex during COVID-19 to have a baby? Presently, we don’t have evidence that suggests vertical transmission—or mom-to-baby transmission of the virus during pregnancy or delivery—is possible. (But, more research on this needs to be done, as this is not definitive.)
Also, there’s a lot of premonition that we’re in for a baby boom at the end of the year because of the lockdown during this coronavirus pandemic.
But it does not appear that the virus is transmitted via sperm or eggs, so the resulting embryo shouldn’t be affected, says Dr. Surrey.
Also, this new coronavirus way of spreading continues to change. “For couples trying to procreate right now, I suggest being more vigilant about avoiding social contact and hand hygiene, but it’s tricky to come up with clear parameters,” says Dr. Surrey.
So, apart from the small study from China, only little is known about coronavirus in semen, COVID-19 is not a sexually transmitted infection and it remains unclear whether the virus can be transmitted through sex.
And the same goes for vaginal secretions. “We really can’t make any statements about safety [of sexual activity] when we don’t have any data on it,” says Dr. Englund.