Q&A: Can My Wife Catch My Cold From Oral Sex?

Can my wife catch a cold from me if she gives me oral sex while I have a cold?

Your wife could potentially catch a cold from any close contact with you or with your germs that may be lying around your house, on your telephone, in the bathroom, on your hands or wherever else. She could skip kissing you altogether in an effort to steer clear of your germs and only touch her luscious lips to your rod of masculinity (to get all Harlequin on you for a sec) but then what if she got a stray hair in her teeth? She might pluck it, yes? Or what if her hair fell in her face? She might use her possibly germ-infested hands to move it aside or, even better, to grip your penis or touch your scrotum and stimulate it with her hands at the same time she’s going down on you. And you know what all that hand contact adds up to? Potential germs unless she has washed them well ahead of time.

My take on sex during colds is this: if you live together, she is already at risk of catching a cold from you. Might the close contact of oral sex up that risk? Yes. But so does using the same bathroom, touching the same water faucet, using the same phone or laptop and any number of other things you might do together.

So if you two want to have sex and are okay with risking a little common cold, enjoy. If she has a seriously compromised immune system or is pregnant or for some other reason you two want to avoid her getting sick at all costs, consider the possibility of her or you vacating the home for a few days or longer and check in with her healthcare provider for other risk reduction strategies. You can also learn more about reducing your risk for colds and flus at cdc.gov and webmd.com.

About Dr. Debby Herbenick

Dr. Debby Herbenick

Dr. Debby Herbenick is a sex researcher at Indiana University, sexual health educator at The Kinsey Institute, columnist, and author of five books about sex and love. Learn more about her work at www.sexualhealth.indiana.edu.