can I give my partner my staph infection during sex?

I currently have a staph infection and it has spread to my genital area. Can I give this to my partner during sex?

A: Staph infections are really common. They often live on the skin near the mouth, genitals and anus. 

If one person has genital staph infection, it can be passed to a partner during sex, especially if the other person has a cut or sore on their skin. Using a condom can help reduce your risk, but because condoms don’t cover all the skin that might be infected, they can’t eliminate it.

A lot of staph infections can be treated with antibiotics, so it is really important to see your doctor and find out what kind you have.  If you are prescribed antibiotics, make sure you take them exactly as directed and finish the entire bottle, even if you feel better. Your doctor may or may not recommend that you hold off on sex until you are better.

If you think think that your boyfriend might have been exposed to your staph,  it would be really wise for him to see a doctor, as well.

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Posted in: Ask an Expert, Health, Sex & Relationships