Some infections and diseases get transmitted through means like sneezing on someone or touching an object contaminated with germs. Other infections, known as sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), are transmitted by sexual contact with another person.
If you’re diagnosed with an STD, you can transmit it to another person by engaging in sexual contact again too quickly.
Keep reading to learn from Anita Gondy, MD, Saovaros V. Michaels, MD, and Ankita Raman, MD, from Women's Health Associates of Southern Nevada, Northwest in Las Vegas, Nevada, about when you can have sex again after getting diagnosed with an STD.
What are STDs?
Sexually transmitted diseases are infections you can get through sexual intimacy with your partner. This means you can get an STD after any type of contact with your partner’s genitals, including oral and digital contact, as well as sexual intercourse or anal sex. STD infections can be viral, bacterial, or parasitic.
Symptoms vary depending on the STD, but may include:
- Genital or anal bumps, sores, or rashes
- Burning or pain when you pee
- Vaginal or penile discharge
- Painful sexual intercourse
You won’t always have symptoms when you contract an STD, so you should always get tested if your partner contracts an STD or you have multiple sexual partners.
A guide to having sex again after an STD diagnosis
Once you suspect you may have an STD or have been diagnosed with one, it’s important to abstain from sexual contact until you have medical clearance.
If you have STD symptoms or have been informed by a sexual partner that they were diagnosed with an STD, refrain from any sexual activity until you’ve undergone a full STD screening.
Once your STD screening comes back negative, you can resume sexual activity. If you have an STD, you’ll need to wait until after treatment to have sex again.
As a general rule, here’s when you can have sex again after being diagnosed with an STD.
Sex after a bacterial STD infection
Bacterial STD infections include chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis. After being diagnosed with a bacterial STD, you need to undergo a course of antibiotics to treat it.
Once you finish your antibiotics, wait an additional seven days before engaging in any sexual contact.
Sex after a parasitic STD infection
Trichomoniasis is one of the most common STDs caused by parasites. Our team treats this STD by administering oral anti-infective medications.
Similar to getting treatment for bacterial STDs, you should wait a week after treatment is complete before resuming sexual contact.
Sex after a viral STD infection
It’s more complicated to have a healthy sex life after a diagnosis of a viral STD infection, like HIV or herpes, but with the right precautions, you can eventually resume sexual activity after acquiring a viral STD.
If you have genital herpes, wait until your initial outbreak has cleared and our team gives you the go-ahead to have sex again. We recommend you always use a condom to reduce the risk of transmitting herpes to your partner, and you’ll need to abstain from sex any time you start having signs of another outbreak.
If you have HIV, our team recommends you wait to have sex until treatment causes you to have an undetectable viral load, which can take up to six months after diagnosis. It’s important to stay on top of your HIV medication, use condoms, and have yourself and your sexual partners regularly tested for STDs.
By waiting to have sex after getting an STD infection, you ensure you fully heal your body and reduce the risk of passing on the STD to other sexual partners. Contact us for STD screening, treatment, and management support. Call our office or book an appointment online today.