Skip directly to search Skip directly to A to Z list Skip directly to navigation Skip directly to page options Skip directly to site content

Protect Yourself During Sex

illustration of a man with his hand on his wife's pregnant stomach

How Zika is spread through sex

  • Zika can be passed through sex from a person with Zika to his or her partners. 
    • Sex includes vaginal, anal, and oral sex and the sharing of sex toys.
  • Zika can be passed through sex, even if the infected person does not have symptoms at the time.
    • It can be passed from a person with Zika before their symptoms start, while they have symptoms, and after their symptoms end.
    • The virus may also be passed by a person who has been infected with the virus but never develops symptoms.

How to protect yourself during sex

  • Condoms can reduce the chance of getting Zika from sex.
    • Condoms include male and female condoms.
    • To be effective, condoms should be used from start to finish, every time during vaginal, anal, and oral sex and the sharing of sex toys
    • Dental dams (latex or polyurethane sheets) may also be used for certain types of oral sex (mouth to vagina or mouth to anus).
  • Not sharing sex toys can also reduce the risk of spreading Zika to sex partners.
  • Not having sex eliminates the risk of getting Zika from sex.

How long to use condoms or not have sex

For People Who Have Traveled to an Area with Zika
If you are pregnant Pregnant women should not travel to areas with Zika. If you must travel to an area with Zika, talk to your healthcare provider. Learn more.
If your partner is pregnant Use condoms correctly, every time you have vaginal, anal, or oral sex or do not have sex for the entire pregnancy.
If you and your partner are planning a pregnancy Discuss your plans for pregnancy with a healthcare provider to determine your risk and the options available. See suggested timeframes for waiting to get pregnant after possible exposure to Zika.
If you or your partner are not pregnant and are not planning a pregnancy

Men - consider using condoms or not having sex for at least 6 months after travel (if you don’t have symptoms) or for at least 6 months from the start of symptoms (or Zika diagnosis) if you develop Zika.

Women- consider using condoms or not having sex for at least 8 weeks after travel (if you don’t have symptoms) or for at least 8 weeks from the start of symptoms (or Zika diagnosis) if you develop Zika.


For People Living in an Area with Zika
If you or your partner are pregnant

Use condoms from start to finish, every time you have vaginal, anal, or oral sex or do not have sex for the entire pregnancy.

It is also very important to see a healthcare provider to discuss your options during pregnancy. Learn more.

If you and your partner are planning a pregnancy Discuss your plans for pregnancy with a healthcare provider to determine your risk and the options available. See suggested timeframes for waiting to get pregnant after possible exposure to Zika.
If you or your partner are not pregnant and are not planning a pregnancy Consider using condoms or not having sex as long as there is Zika in the area.  If either you or your partner develop symptoms of Zika or have concerns, talk to a healthcare provider and follow the guidelines on the left.

Related Resources

Related Resources

	Zika and sexual transmission - What we know and what we dont know factsheet thumbnail

Basics of Zika virus and sex

	How to Protect yourself from getting zika from Sex Information for people living in areas with zika fact sheet thumbnail

Zika and Sexual Transmission: For People Living in an Area with Zika

	How to Protect Yourself from Getting Zika from Sex Information for People whose Partner Traveled to an Area with Zika factsheet thumbnail

Zika and Sexual Transmission: For People Whose Partner Traveled to an Area with Zika


Fact Sheets

Learn more about Zika with our fact sheets and posters.

More

Top