We’re all adults here, so let’s be honest about this possibly pandemic swine flu. There is no need to run screaming through the streets, but we must use some common sense to keep healthy. That includes taking a few extra precautions when it comes to your sex life. For example, what’s a girl to do when that irresistible guy rubs up against her in the nightclub? Wearing a condom may prevent him from spreading HIV/AIDS, but it won’t do much good when it comes to the flu.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, (CDC) the swine flu – also known as the H1N1 virus – is spread from person to person mainly through coughing or sneezing of a sick person. It may also be spread when a person touches something that is contaminated with the virus and then touches his eyes, nose or mouth.
To make matters more difficult, people can spread the disease even before they feel flu-like symptoms – which reinforces the need for individuals keep their hands washed and their bodily fluids to themselves. My good friend and nurse practitioner Kathy says that common sense comes in especially handy when meeting someone in, say, a bar. “If they appear sick and have a runny nose, it’s probably not a good idea to sleep with them,” she says.
Let’s say you and your partner are both sick. Getting physical with each other won’t cause more harm, she says. However, don’t expect to feel very amorous when you are in the troughs of the swine flu. Aside from feeling overall crappy, the fatigue can be overwhelming.
And what about couples who are currently trying to conceive? The CDC says pregnant women are at higher risk for complications from the flu – especially the swine flu where there is no vaccine. I posed this to my gynecologist just yesterday. He rolled his eyes (or at least I think he did… it was hard to tell from my vantage point) and he replied with a resounding, “absolutely not.” My nurse practitioner friend Kathy agreed. “We don’t really know what will happen because of this outbreak,” she says.