Does Sex Help When You’re Sick?

While sex triggers endorphins that can provide relief from symptoms, it isn’t a cure and can also pass germs to your partner. Respiratory illnesses such as the common cold and flu are spread through droplets and saliva.

Kissing, breathing close to each other and sneezing during sex can quickly send those germs to your partner’s face, nose and mouth.


Endorphins are feel-good chemicals that can alleviate pain, reduce stress and anxiety and promote overall well-being. They are produced in the brain and act as neurotransmitters that send messages between nerve cells. They also attach to opioid receptors in the brain and help to relieve pain and promote pleasure. The word “endorphin” comes from two Greek words: endon, meaning inside or natural, and morphine, which is an opioid pain reliever.

You can boost your endorphin levels naturally by exercising, participating in pleasurable activities such as dancing and listening to music, getting a good laugh with friends or family members and by practicing meditation or mindfulness. Acupuncture is another technique that can naturally increase your endorphins.

Having sex also increases your levels of endorphins. However, it’s best to hold off on sex until you are feeling better and have no fever or other signs of contagiousness.

Do you ever feel like all your stress melts away after a fun night out with friends or when you’re spending quality time with loved ones? That’s because your body is releasing endorphins, which are natural pain and stress relievers. They are produced in the body through physical activity, sex and exercise and can also be released during orgasms. This makes them a natural alternative to drugs that can cause addiction and side effects such as nausea, dizziness, fatigue and vomiting.

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While the idea of sweating out a fever may seem tempting, it’s not true. Sweat doesn’t remove a virus or bacteria from our bodies, it only lowers our core temperature. This makes us feel better in the short term, but it doesn’t make us less contagious or cure our illness.

Several couples have the couch policy when one of them gets sick, which is a great way to prevent sex from making either partner feel worse and spread germs. Sexual activity is a stressful experience for healthy people, and it’s even more stressful when someone is already sick. The resulting tension can trigger headaches, and orgasms in particular can trigger migraines in certain people.

Erectile problems are a common side-effect of being sick, and it’s much harder to get and keep an erection when you’re not feeling well. This can have a negative effect on sexual performance, but many couples find that they are still able to connect in other ways during times of intimacy, such as spooning or doggy style.

It’s also important to consider whether or not you’ll be able to engage in masturbation while sick. While viruses like colds and flu cannot be spread through saliva or body fluids, they can be spread through kissing, breathing close to each other’s faces, coughing or sneezing. Talk to your doctor about how your medication will affect your ability to masturbate safely while sick.

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Although the words contagious and infectious have a large overlap in usage, they are not interchangeable. In technical medical terms, the word contagious means “to be contaminated with pathogenic microbial agents (like bacteria or viruses) that cause disease.”

Infectious diseases spread directly from one person to another through contact with their bodily discharges or something they touched (like a kleenex or a tissue). A person is usually contagious for a day or so before their symptoms appear and until their immune system fights off the infection.

Colds and strep throat are common examples of infectious diseases, which also include influenza, measles, mumps, and chicken pox. The bacteria or virus hijacks the body’s cells and causes unpleasant symptoms, like a runny nose, congestion, coughing fits, body aches, and fatigue.

Most infectious diseases are spread by direct physical contact, such as shaking hands or sharing a drink. But some infections are spread through indirect contact, such as breathing in a germy airway, or by ticks that transmit Lyme disease, for example. Other infectious diseases are transmitted by mosquitoes, such as malaria, and by other animals, including wolves (rabies). Sexually transmitted infections, or STIs, are spread through all types of sex, whether oral, anal, or vaginal. These include chlamydia, genital herpes, gonorrhea, syphilis, HIV/AIDS, and others. They can lead to serious health complications, including infertility, pregnancy problems, and a variety of cancers.


Having sex when you’re sick could spread the cold or flu to your partner, and may make their symptoms worse. The viruses that cause the common cold and flu spread through saliva and droplets, like those from coughing or sneezing. This can happen during sexual activity, especially with anal sex or with the close contact of oral sex or dry humping.

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Respiratory infections also pass through the nose and mouth, so kissing, breathing close to each other, or even holding hands can transmit them. It’s possible to get a virus from someone’s fecal matter or vomit as well, but these are only contagious for about 10 days after the illness starts.

If you are sick and have a partner, it’s important to talk about the risk of germ transmission and agree on how you’ll minimize the risks, such as mutually masturbating, using lubricants that reduce friction and skin-to-skin contact, hand-washing, and using sanitizer. In addition, if you’re not feeling up to physical intimacy, phone or video sex may be safe and satisfying. The oxytocin released during sex may help your partner feel more connected to you, and the adrenaline may provide a temporary boost in energy. Whether or not these benefits are worth the risk is up to you and your partner. Make sure to test regularly for STDs.

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