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Sexual health and unplanned pregnancy during the COVID-19 pandemic

There is no evidence that COVID-19 (coronavirus) can be sexually transmitted. But it can be passed on through close contact with someone who has the virus.

Reducing your risk of catching COVID-19

You may not know if someone has COVID-19. Being sexually active with another person involves some risk of getting the virus.

You can reduce this risk by:

  • only being sexually active with a partner that you live with who does not have the virus or symptoms of the virus
  • avoiding kissing anyone outside of your household and anyone with symptoms - it is easy to pass on COVID-19 by kissing
  • washing your hands properly before and after sex

If you decide to be sexually active with someone living outside of your household, limit it to as few partners as possible, preferably one regular partner.

Read more about sex and COVID-19 on sexualwellbeing.ie

Read more about how COVID-19 is spread

STI service restrictions

Many public STI services are restricted at this time because of COVID-19. Some services have phone support available.

Find out more about sexual health service restrictions on HIV Ireland's website

Contraception

Pharmacies are open as normal and can give you your usual contraception prescription.

If your hormonal contraception prescription is due for renewal, your pharmacist may be able to provide you with additional supplies if it is safe and appropriate to do so.

Emergency contraception

You can get emergency (hormonal) contraception without a prescription from your local pharmacy.

Call your pharmacist to see if they can do the consultation over the phone. This reduces the amount of time you need to spend in the pharmacy.

Emergency hormonal contraception can be taken up to 5 days after unprotected sex. The sooner you take it, the more effective it is.

Read more about emergency contraception on sexualwellbeing.ie

Unplanned pregnancy support

My Options provides information and support for unplanned pregnancy. This service is operating as normal.

Freephone: 1800 82 80 10

HSE-funded, face-to-face unplanned pregnancy counselling services have moved their services to phone or remote support.

Find contact details for face-to-face unplanned pregnancy counselling services

Abortion services continue to be provided. During the current COVID-19 pandemic, you can have your pre-abortion consultation by phone or video link with a doctor.

Related topics

Symptoms of COVID-19

Protect yourself and others from COVID-19

Minding your mental health during the COVID-19 pandemic

page last reviewed: 01/09/2020
next review due: 01/09/2023