Should COVID-19 affect your sex life? Plus, 6 other times when your well-being and intercourse are at odds

Should you have sex at a time when the new Coronavirus has caused COVID-19 infection in over one lakh people across 127 countries and territories?

Myupchar March 13, 2020 12:59:35 IST
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Should COVID-19 affect your sex life? Plus, 6 other times when your well-being and intercourse are at odds

Sexual intercourse can be extremely beneficial for health, given it is practised safely. And safe sex doesn’t just involve using protection - it’s also about keeping a check on your sexual health, getting screened regularly and many other small things that many of us might not think about before having sex. And while there may not be any right time to have sex, there definitely are some instances when you should not engage in sexual activity. Here are some of those:  

Should COVID19 affect your sex life Plus 6 other times when your wellbeing and intercourse are at odds

Representational image.
Image by StockSnap from Pixabay.

1. If you have an infection

Should you have sex at a time when the new coronavirus — SARS-CoV-2 — has caused COVID-19 infection in over one lakh people across 127 countries and territories? If you have pondered this question many times since the beginning of this month, the short answer is: avoid it, if you can.

Here's why: COVID-19 symptoms can take 2-14 days to appear after infection. The infection spreads through bodily fluids (including semen). So, if you do have the infection and don't know it yet, you risk transmitting it to your partner(s).

If you have developed any symptoms, like fever, cough, breathing trouble, it is obviously best not to have sex. In addition to this, you should also avoid all kinds of contact with other people. You should also use a face mask in such a case, so you don’t end up spreading the infection to your loved ones. Reach out to a medical professional immediately.

If you are suffering from other infections, like a vaginal or urinary tract infection, or a sexually transmitted disease, you should also avoid sexual intercourse. You wouldn’t need to quarantine yourself but post-treatment, you should give it another two weeks till you’re symptom-free to have sex.

2. If you’ve just given birth

No matter what the delivery method is, giving birth takes a huge toll on the body and it needs time to heal. To be specific, at least six weeks of time. So don’t rush yourself (or your partner) and take your time getting back to that part of your relationship. If you still have doubts, speak to your doctor about your situation, provide all the details and they’ll be able to guide you better.

3. If there are complications in your pregnancy

Sex during pregnancy is generally considered safe - but every individual case is different. There are some situations in which you should avoid sex as well as consult a doctor, such as if you’re having twins or more babies, if you’re at an increased risk of miscarriage or preterm labour, if you have a weak cervix, if you’re leaking amniotic fluid, if you have placenta previa or if you have unusual vaginal bleeding. Such situations can be made unsafe or worse by sexual intercourse. Speak to your partner as well as your doctor to understand what the best course of action is for you.

4. If you have any doubts 

You should be 100% sure and willing each and every time you have sex. It doesn’t matter if you’re in a relationship or if you’re the one who initiated it - if you have any doubts about going through with it, you should stop immediately. Also, if your partner seems to have doubts or they aren’t being able to give enthusiastic consent for any reason (like being really drunk or high), you should not have sex right then.

5. If you just got waxed or lasered

Particularly, if you got the area around your genitals waxed or lasered, you should avoid having sex for about 24 hours. The skin is sensitive after these treatments and needs some time to recover. If after 24 hours, the skin still feels sensitive, you might even want to wait a bit longer.

6. If you have an appointment for a pap smear 

A pap smear is a screening test for cervical cancer. If you’re a woman over 21 years of age, you should have already gotten your first one. It is recommended that you get the first one after turning 21 and then once every three years. There are a few things you’ll need to keep in mind for before your appointment, like avoiding sex and tampons for 48 hours before, not douching or soaking in the bathtub and a few more that you can discuss with your doctor when you fix the appointment. 

7. If the doctor tells you not to 

If, for whatever reason, your doctor recommends that you avoid sex - you should avoid having sex. You shouldn’t challenge your doctor on this - unless you get a second opinion from another doctor. They do want what’s best for you and your partner’s health. And after all, it’s only temporary. 

For more tips, read our article on Sex During Pregnancy.

Health articles in Firstpost are written by myUpchar.com, India’s first and biggest resource for verified medical information. At myUpchar, researchers and journalists work with doctors to bring you information on all things health.

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