Coronavirus update: Couples ‘should wear masks while having sex’ warn experts

Coronavirus lockdown measures in the UK have been eased allowing people to meet in groups of up to six and two different households to meet up outdoors. But while restrictions have been eased, a new study has suggested couples take precautions when having sex, otherwise it could lead to unwanted spread of the virus.


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The study carried out by Harvard University found having sex could spread coronavirus and advised people avoid kissing, showering before and after sex, and even wearing face masks while having sex.

Researchers working on the study ranked different sexual scenarios based on how likely people are to catch the virus,

Abstinence and masturbation were ranked as ‘low risk’, while sex with people within a household and sex with people from different households were ranked as ‘high risk’.

The researchers admitted abstinence isn’t possible for many people, so have instead urged people to take certain measurer to reduce the risk of coronavirus spreading.

In the study which has been published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, study lead Dr Jack Turban wrote: “For some patients, complete abstinence from in-person sexual activity is not an achievable goal.

“In these situations, having sex with persons with whom they are self-quarantining is the safest approach.

“Those unable to take this approach may benefit from risk reduction counselling, which has proven effective in other realms of sexual health.

“Patients should also be provided with information about how to reduce the risk for other sexually transmitted infections as well as the importance of continued use of contraceptives during this time to prevent unwanted pregnancy.”

The findings of this study emerge shortly after another expert claimed recovered coronavirus parents should avoid sex for 30 days.

Veerawat Manosutthi, a senior medical expert at the Thai Disease Control Department, advised patients who have overcome the virus to avoid this – even kissing.

Speaking to Khaosod English, Manosutthi said: “Those who believe themselves to be free of the virus should use condoms when having sex.

“Kissing should also be avoided as it is also known that it can spread through the mouth.”


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Manosutthi’s advice came in light of a study which found some men have traces of the virus in their semen.

The study carried out by researchers from Shangqiu Municipal Hospital took semen samples from 38 male coronavirus patients in China’s Henan province.

The samples were then analysed on January 26 and again on February 16.

It was found 16 percent of the men has traces of the virus in their semen.

The researchers wrote as part of the study published in JAMA: “The presence of viruses in semen may be more common than currently understood, and traditional nonsexually transmitted viruses should not be assumed to be totally absent in genital secretions.”

The NHS notes a person can spread the virus even if they don’t have symptoms.

To avoid spreading the infection it advises the following:

  • Stay at least 2 metres (3 steps) away from anyone you do not live with when outside your home
  • Wash your hands with soap and water often – do this for at least 20 seconds
  • Use hand sanitiser gel if soap and water are not available
  • Wash your hands as soon as you get home
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when you cough or sneeze
  • Put used tissues in the bin immediately and wash your hands afterwards
  • If you can, wear something that covers your nose and mouth when it’s hard to stay away from people, such as in shops or on public transport

You should avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth if your hands are not clean.

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