Sex during covid-19: Dr Tlaleng Mofokeng on what couples should know
With coronavirus (Covid-19) infected numbers rapidly increasing in South Africa it’s natural for couples to start wondering if having sex is a good idea.
Couples and singles looking for romance will be doubtful about whether kissing and intercourse is even a greater risk to your health.
Speaking to The Guardian newspaper, Dr Carlos Rodríguez-Díaz; a professor at George Washington University’s Milken Institute School of Public Health said that currently there is no evidence that the Covid-19 virus can be transmitted via either vaginal or anal intercourse.
However, kissing is a higher risk and could mean the transmission of the virus via saliva. And worryingly there is also evidence of oral-faecal transmission of the Covid-19 and that implies that analingus may represent a risk for infection.
Dr Tlaleng Mofokeng commonly known as Dr T says that when it comes to intimacy with your partner, the assumption is that you are having sex with people you know, and when health officials say you should be in quarantine, you would be in quarantine with your partner.
“The advice for sexual intimacy would be very much dependent on the individual's risk of the person. If a person is diabetic, is on TB and cancer treatment, taking immunosuppressants or HIV positive you should avoid having sex if your partner has a high chance of having Covid-19. So, if the partner has been travelling from high-risk countries and they are uncertain of their virus, best avoid it”, says Dr T
If you are diagnosed with Covid-19, the virus will affect you and your whole body. So you would not be able to engage in sex activity because of the flu symptoms your body would be fighting.
For those who are worried about intimacy, there is currently no data or research that suggests that Covid-19 should affect intimacy whether its desire or sexual pleasure.
However, Dr T says a sex worker who continues to work during the pandemic is high risk because statistically they would have multiple sexual partners and increase the risk of transmission from person to person.
Dr Dustin Costescu, an associate Professor at McMaster Universit shares his knowledge via his twitter account and as a practicising sex doctor says: “ It's my duty to remind you that Covid-19 does not appear to be present in semen or vaginal fluid.”
“We don't know for sure, but, as mentioned, semen and vaginal fluid doesn't transmit the virus. Facial secretions do, hence why kissing with a sore throat or cold is never in fashion. Also, stool may contain virus so watch the bum,” says Costescu.
He adds that more data is needed to know whether the virus can be transmitted through receptive oral sex, unlikely though.
He reminds his followers says that people should not forget that lots of things count as sex. Sexting, voice, video (with consent and don't save it), emailing or co-creating erotic stories, streaming pornography at the same time, toys, the options are endless. A small amount of thought and creativity can go a long way in satisfying a sexual appetite.
Mehmet Oz, better known as Dr Oz, is prescribing sex for couples quarantining together as the world works to flatten the curve of the coronavirus pandemic.
“The best solution if you’re holed up with your significant other is having sex,” Oz, 59, told TMZ earlier this week. “You’ll live longer, get rid of the tension. Certainly, get some stories. Maybe you’ll make some babies. It’s certainly better than staring at each other and getting on each other’s nerves.”
“If you’re both quarantined — you both have the virus, you’re both healthy — go ahead. You know, there’s no harm in having sex,” he laughed. “It’s probably better for you than not having sex,” he adds.
Phone the National Institute for Communicable Diseases on 0800029999 for directions on where to be tested. You can also use the official WhatsApp platform for information and advice, by sending “hi” to 0600123456.