The fun stuff
NSW Government
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With COVID-19 still circulating across Australia, the pandemic is far from over here. Which means we need to continue to be vigilant; especially when it comes to having sex. One question we’ve been asked a lot here at Play Safe is–can you get COVID-19 from sex?

Although one study from China did find traces of COVID-19 in semen, there is currently no evidence to suggest that COVID-19 can be passed on through semen or vaginal fluids.

What we do know for sure is that COVID-19 is transmitted via respiratory droplets (saliva, snot…basically anything that sprays out of your mouth or nose). And having sex without sharing respiratory droplets is pretty hard (and probably not that much fun!)

So, can you catch COVID-19 from sex?

The answer is yes, just not in the way you might have been thinking.

The safest form of sex during COVID-19 is solo sex. If you’re living with your partner sex is probably okay, as you are already sharing space and being in close quarters. Sadly, sex with someone outside of your household or bubble still carries risk and is not recommended due to the 1.5 metre physical distancing in place.

If you are still having sex with others, there are a few precautions you should be taking to reduce your risk of COVID-19.

  • Speak about it. Ask your sexual partner/s if they have any symptoms and avoid contact if they do
  • Follow your instincts–if you’re unsure of someone’s COVID-19 status avoid sexual contact
  • Minimise the number of sexual partners you have
  • Avoid kissing
  • Use condoms and dental dams during all types of sex including oral
  • Wear a three-layer mask to cover your nose and mouth if you can
  • Wash your hands before and after sex
  • Wash sex toys before and after use, especially if sharing
  • Wear condoms during anal sex as COVID-19 can also be transmitted via faecal-oral transmission

Do you have any COVID-19 related sexual health questions? Ask Nurse Nettie–it’s free and confidential.

Confused about the do’s and don’ts during COVID-19? Here’s all you need to know on dating, safe sex, STI testing and wellbeing.