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Is it safe for Covid+people to have sex?

Follow docs' advice on isolation before you are sexually active again
Last Updated 17 August 2021, 07:06 IST

As people continue to understand the dos and don’ts during the pandemic even after a year of its arrival, an important subject of discussion is sex in the time of Covid-19.

Doctors have varied opinions, though a majority of them agree that after the recovery period, sexual activity is considered safe.

If a partner is infected and isolated, the other partner must wait for the former’s recovery, says Dr Neha Mishra, consultant-infectious disease, adding that there is no data of Covid-19 spreading via sexual intercourse.

“Once the patient is deemed non-infective from their doctors, he/she is alright. After he/she has completed 17 days of isolation (basic minimum), it is safe to have sex,” she says.

If both the partners are Covid-19 positive, then it is okay for them to have sex, says Dr Neha. “If they are up to it physically, then there is no problem. In hospitals, infected individuals were treated together and they cannot worsen each other’s condition. They cannot reinfect the other as well,” she explains.

If in the couple, one is on the path of recovery, he/she will not be infected again by the other immediately. “There are no such reports. We presume that the patient stays protected from any type of such infection, till at least three months,” she says.

Data for beyond three months is yet to be achieved, Dr Neha adds.

‘Stay away from different strains’

Dr Subrata Das, senior consultant - internal medicine and diabetology, points out the dangers of physical intimacy when one is infected.

“Covid-19 doesn’t transmit through sex, but it can spread through proximity,” he says.

Apart from fatigue and tiredness, there would be no contraindications in case both partners are positive.

“But if one of the partners travelled abroad and is infected by a new strain, then it is best not to get intimate,” he says.

Isolation of almost three weeks is the time suggested, adds Dr Subrata. After the infectivity period, there is no waiting period established scientifically.

“Multiple studies say that a Covid-19 positive individual is not infective after a three-week period. Dead virus shedding might happen but they won’t contribute to spreading,” he explains.

‘Protected sex important’

Dr Sowmya Sangamesh, IVF specialist and gynecologist, says sex is fine among infected couples but they must be wary of pregnancy. “It’s best that the couple take protection, as the impact of Covid-19 on pregnancy is still not clear.” According to her, if one of them is infected, then it is best for the couple to wait for two months before indulging in sex. “One might not be infective but the viral component will still be in his/her body. Sex is not advised, as the long-term effects have not been determined yet. That is why even after the recovery period; patients are told to isolate for 15 more days with a separate restroom facility,” she says.

‘No test to show negative’

As per the government rules, repeat RT-PCR tests in mild or moderate positive cases are not done, says Dr Subrata Das, senior consultant - internal medicine.

“It is only done for severe cases. This is why, a minimum of three weeks of isolation is considered safe,” he adds.

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(Published 27 February 2021, 05:25 IST)

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