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Have The Flu? Should You Still Celebrate Valentine's Day With a Romp In The Hay? Safe For Both Of You?

You have the perfect Valentine’s Day evening planned for next Wednesday — snuggling up, getting in-between the sheets with your significant other. Come Monday, you find out your partner has the flu, does that mean you cancel plans? The influenza virus is at it's peak for the month of February, and this year's strain came back with a vengeance. 

Can you have sex when you have the flu?

The simple answer is yes you can, however with sniffles, a runny nose, cough and fatigue you may not feel up to it. Although sniffles, runny nose, cough, fatigue would leave most not up to it, Dr. Segun Ishmael, Chicago-based Chief Medical Officer of besafemeds, gives his input on being sexually active while having the flu.

The issues with influenza is that it is transmitted by droplets in the air, so cough and breathing heavily may transmit it. You can find the influenza virus in saliva and nasal secretions, not in genital secretions. It also lives on surfaces for up to 24 hours. This year the strain is said to be more virulent than previous years.

If you feel up to having sex – the goal is to avoid contact with the secretions – so avoid kissing and any exchange of oral secretions. Less face to face time the better. Avoid situations where coughing may occur into each other’s face.

Positions may be the most important thing about sex when you have the flu. The furthest away from each other’s face the better.

Oral sex is one of the safest – flu is not transmitted in genital fluids or through the genitals.

The classic missionary is the highest risk of flu transmission.

This year is expected to be a bad flu season – more virulent strain and a less effective vaccine.

General Flu Facts:

  • 1 - 4 days is the average time it takes for symptoms to show up after being infected
  • 3 - 7 days – is the average duration of the flu
  • 2 weeks after exposure or vaccination to build antibodies
  • December to February is the peak flu season in the U.S. but can range from as early as October/November to as late as May.
  • CDC estimates that the flu has resulted in between 140,000 and 710,000 hospitalizations annually
  • 3,000 to 56,000 is the range of people who die each year from flu-related causes in the U.S.