Sex it Smart

SAFER SEX DURING COVID-19

Consensual sex can be a way of dealing with anxiety or fulfilling and expressing our needs for intimacy. It can also be pleasurable and help pass the time when isolated indoors. But is it safe to have sex during COVID-19? This fact sheet will offer strategies to reduce the risk of spreading COVID-19 during sex.

Can I get COVID-19 from having sex?

Safer sexual practices may prevent unintended pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections, but it will not prevent infection from COVID-19. Coronavirus can spread through close physical contact.

The COVID-19 virus has been found in saliva, respiratory fluids, urine and feces. While the virus, hasn’t been detected in vaginal fluid, it has been detected in semen and more research is needed to determine if the virus can be transmitted sexually. (BC center for disease control)

Reduce the spread of COVID-19 and still enjoy sex

  • Your safest sex partner during the COVID-19 pandemic is yourself.
  • Try consensual sexting, virtual sex, video dating, or chat rooms.
  • Have a consensual partner that you are living with in the same household.
  • If you usually meet sex partners online, are polyamorous with people who are not living in the same house, or make a living having sex, consider video dates, sexting or chat rooms instead of meeting people in person.

Protect Yourself When Having Sex

  • Wash your hands before and after having sex, whether alone or with a partner.
  • Use a dental dam or condom cut open to reduce contact during oral or anal sex.
  • Use condoms to protect from sexually transmitted and blood borne infections.
  • Clean sex toys and consider covering them with a condom. Do not share sex toys with others.
  • Avoid kissing and having sex with a partner, if feeling unwell, or if you have COVID-19.
  • Avoid having sex if one partner has a health condition that can lead to more severe illness from COVID-19.

Prevent Unplanned Pregnancy and HIV

If you require emergency contraception, contact the Sexual Health Clinic or your health care provider.  Emergency contraception Plan B is also available at pharmacies without a prescription.

If you have symptoms of an STBBI, were notified as a contact to someone with a sexually transmitted infection, need to get started on HIV Pre Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) or have another reason to be seen urgently, contact the Sexual Health Clinic or your health care provider.

If you’ve had a high-risk exposure to HIV in the past three days and think you might need Post-Exposure Prophylaxis (PEP), contact the Sexual Health Clinic or visit the nearest emergency department.

For more information:

Sexual Health Centre

179 Clarence Street

Ottawa K1N 5P7

613-234-4641 TTY: 613-580-9656

www.OttawaPublicHealth.ca

Credit source: Toronto Public Health

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