At myLAB Box, we understand just how unpredictable life can be, especially in the summer. The heat means lots of cooling off is needed. So the big question is: Can STDs and STIs survive in water? The answer, although complex, is yes. Even though you can’t catch them from sharing water cups or jumping into a pool, getting into a hot tub and engaging in any type of sexual activity will make you very susceptible to catching something from your partner.
Why You Should Be careful in a Hot tub or Pool
In most instances, chlorine from your pool does an excellent job of killing bacteria and viruses. That, and the fact that STIs and STDs need sexual interaction and sexual fluids or secretion to effectively spread makes swimming in pools much more on the safe side than many would imagine. Chances are you won’t catch anything from taking a dip wherever you normally do.
Nevertheless, having sex or sexual contact in a pool greatly increases the risk of UTIs and/or yeast infections. The amount of germs, regardless of chlorine, belongs outside of the body. Sexual contact could spread those germs to the delicate membranes within the vagina. This can cause irritation that would require a doctor’s examination. As always, whenever you are engaging in sexual activity, it’s important to stay smart.
However, hot tubs are a different story. Many hot tubs, especially residential ones, are rarely maintained to their full potential. That means that the amount of chlorine needed to kill the bacterias and viruses present in STDs and STIs may survive their initial contact with the water. Not only will they survive, but the high temperatures present in hot tubs and jacuzzis make the perfect breeding grounds for STDs and STIs to survive. Not only do the diseases breed, but their ability to pass in between the fibers of swimsuits make hot tubs a much more dangerous place to be than your normal pool.
Luckily, as long as sexual fluids remain in each person’s body’s you’ll be safe in and around hot tubs. The notion that the high temperatures within hot tubs will kill bacteria is false; in fact, this environment is the perfect breeding ground. That makes the risks higher when you factor in the higher likelihood of sexual exploration inside of hot tubs. For these reasons, it is more important than ever to practice safe sex, in or outside, or even around the pool.
At myLAB Box we want to give you peace of mind when it comes to any contact you might have had with STDs or STIs.
If you are worried you may have contracted an STD the best thing to do is get tested. We offer a wide variety of STD testing kits that you can take in the privacy of your own home.
An Important Note About Drinking Glasses
When it comes to STDs or STIs, what we typically see is that they have a hard time existing outside of the body. In order to spread, they need sexual contact and genital-to-genital friction. That means that catching them from doorknobs, sneezes, pencils, or high fives is close to impossible. However, sharing a glass of water with someone could still spread oral herpes. HSV-1 — a variation of the Herpes Simplex Virus — will live not in the water of a glass, but on the rim of the glass that your mouth touches. If you share the wrong glass, you may end up with cold sores in or around your mouth. Therefore, it is always important to stay aware of what you come in contact with.
- Brian J. Ward, MDCM, Pierre Plourde, MD. (2006). Travel and Sexually Transmitted Infections. Journal of Travel Medicine.
- Simon Chengo Masha, Elizabeth Wahome, Mario Vaneechoutte, Piet Cools, Tania Crucitti, Eduard J. Sanders. (2017). High prevalence of curable sexually transmitted infections among pregnant women in a rural county hospital in Kilifi, Kenya. PLOS ONE.
- Nicoletta Lanese. (2020). Chlamydia cousin discovered in deep Arctic Ocean. Live Science.