Is it safe for couples to have sex during Covid-19 pandemic? Malaysian expert weighs in

Couples are advised to use condoms during sex and minimise foreplay activities that involves kidding or oral sex. — Picture from
Couples are advised to use condoms during sex and minimise foreplay activities that involves kidding or oral sex. — Picture from

KUALA LUMPUR, March 27 — With Malaysia on lockdown and millions having to stay home for another 18 days due to the Covid-19 situation, many couples may wonder what social distancing means for their sex lives.

To help clear the air about the possible risks associated with sexual activities in the time of the pandemic, Malay Mail asked consultant urologist Professor Dr George Lee Eng Geap for his opinion on some pressing questions.

According to Dr Lee, it’s not necessary for couples living under one roof to halt their household routine, including sex.

“For couples who are usually active in the bedroom, the fear of Covid-19 transmission should not be a deterrent to avoid sex.

“Having sex with your partner, who is someone living with you is considered safe as the person is your close contact in your household anyway,” he added.

Dr Lee also pointed out that it would be almost impossible for couples to avoid sexual contact during the lockdown as there were limited activities to enjoy outside the house compound.

Citing latest statistics from China, the original source of the outbreak, Dr Lee said the figures seem to reflect an increase in sexual activities as condom sales reported a significant increase in the country.

Dr Lee also reminded people that the deadly virus can spread from an individual to another within approximately 1.8 metres when an infected person coughs or sneezes.

“As the virus is also transmissible with saliva and mucus, kissing and oral sex can potentially transmit the disease.”

Citing various studies, Dr Lee said there was no evidence that Covid-19 exists in semen or vaginal fluid.

“Technically, chances are very low for the virus to spread through vaginal sex, but anal intercourse may be of higher risks,” he added.

To reduce possible transmission risks, Dr Lee advised couples to temporarily halt foreplay activities that involve kissing and oral sex, or alternatively use condoms and dental dams.

“At this point, direct vaginal penetrative sex is considered to be least risky, however, as the disease is still at its infancy, the scientific evidence of transmission risks may not be robust.”

He also warned people to avoid having sex with strangers or sex workers during the pandemic.

“The safest way to avoid transmission is abstinence or rely on masturbation.”

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