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» LymeNet Flash » Questions and Discussion » Medical Questions » How likely is Lyme disease sexually transmitted?

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Author Topic: How likely is Lyme disease sexually transmitted?
packypacky
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The doctor I saw confirmed that yes lyme disease can be sexually transmitted.

If so, since this is a disese almost has no cure, not like other STDs, basically it's like AIDS? can't get married and can't have kids?

How big is the chance of contracting lyme disease by one unprotected sex??

How many people got lyme not by tick bite but by having unprotected sex??

It's unbelivabable there is no warning about this virulent disease!!!

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Keebler
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Not like AIDS in all respects but, yes, while lyme not a sexually transmitted disease, rather, a disease that MIGHT be transmitted sexually (among other ways).

(That sounds the same but it is not. In fact, some diseases that may be thought of as sexually transmitted are not really that but so much more complex. HIV is often transmitted in other ways. My mother contracted it from blood transfusions. Lyme / TBD can also travel that way. And that's why someone who has ever had lyme / TBD should never, ever, donate blood or organs.)

And someone with HIV &/or AIDS can certainly get married and even have children if they have excellent medical guidance.

So can those with lyme, with excellent medical guidance.
-

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TF
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Not all lyme doctors are in agreement that lyme can be sexually transmitted. And, probably most non-lyme doctors don't think that it can be. So, the answer to the question is not yet certain.

My lyme doctor believes that it can be sexually transmitted, but that it happens rarely. He told me it is more easily transmitted from male to female rather than the other way around due to the greater exchange of bodily fluids.

I asked about this because I had lyme undiagnosed for at least 10 years (plus babesiosis and bartonella). I was happily married that entire time, so I was worried that I may have given the disease to my husband.

Because of my concern, my lyme doctor sent his blood to Igenex to test for lyme (Western Blot). He had no symptoms whatsoever. His Western Blot was all negative except a + for band 41, which can be caused by other diseases.

So, the doc said he didn't have lyme. It has now been over 9 years since hubby was tested for lyme and he is still totally well.

So, I believe my doctor is correct in what he said. Another lyme doctor that I send people to said that she sees couples who both have lyme. Now, if she is treating one member of a couple, she asks that the other person come in also to be tested or even treated. She found that if she just treats one member of the couple, they often don't get well. She said that they just keep passing the disease back and forth to one another and it is a waste of time.

So, you will get doctors' opinions varying quite a bit regarding this question. There are old posts about it that you can look up using the Search function and see all of the prior responses.

My guess is that if your sex partner is healthy, meaning has a strong (normal) immune system, the chance of you giving it to them in one encounter is rare.

However, if you are part of a couple, then you can be having sex when they are both healthy and rather unhealthy, and that will likely increase the chances that the other person could get the disease from you.

If I were you, I would not have unprotected sex now that you know you have lyme disease. That is what many lyme patients have decided to do so that they can have a clear conscience.

Perhaps your doctor can advise you further. For example, if he is treating you for "the big 3" (lyme, babs, and bart) simultaneously, does he believe that the treatment makes transmission through sex impossible?

In my case, I was so sick with lyme that we didn't have much sex for a while, but when I was getting better (still in treatment), we did not use protection. And, everything turned out fine. My husband has always been very healthy, so we didn't think we were taking any risk (after 10 years of unknowing risk!!).

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Keebler
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(TF posted good reply above while I was composing this and one below. so, if the flow seem a bit out of step, that's why.)

Chances are that previous tick, mosquito or flea bites not noticed are more likely to infect someone, I think, than one intimate encounter. It's not highly contagious but infectious. And that matters.

But, ratios, chances, bets, are all off. I do think everyone should be aware (but not just about lyme) . . . and anyone in an intimate relationship should ask their LL doctor about their partner. Some LL doctors sometimes treat both parties.

Still, even if both partners have lyme, it may not be from passing between themselves. Both could have been infected by a vector bite that went unnoticed.

There are some "lyme couples" but also many relationships in which only one partner has lyme. As with most matters relating to lyme, there is no 100% "always" "every time" conclusion upon which to hang one's hat.

Since there is a chance, though, with knowledge comes protective alterations in behavior.
-

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Keebler
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Most important of all, is that either man or woman can pass lyme (&/or other tick-borne disease to offspring. Before conceiving a child, it's important to talk to one's LL doctor.

It's best to have one's treatment behind before conceiving (but still be monitored), however . . .

If a woman finds herself pregnant, there are treatment protocols that are safe for the fetus. and assessment for the child when born and in early years. But it's vital to find the LL doctors who are most knowledgeable in this area.

Many healthy babies have been born with the right kind of LL medical guidance.
-

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packypacky
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Thanks Keebler and TF.

Recently I've been beaten down by the thought that I contracted lyme disease from an ex bf. I also test positive for CMV virus. Together they fortified the thought that I contracted these diseases from that guy.

The relationship didn't last long and we had long been broken apart. He had been and was living on Long Island for 6 years. We had an unprotected oral sex and I was the giver.

At that time he seemed healthy except complained about hair loss, otherwise his life was quite smooth.

I don't think lyme disease will not have any effect one one's life and work. Is it possible he's been a carrier without full break out?


For me, before I got into the relationship with this guy, I had an long epidode of bird mites/collembola infestation mimetic to morgellons disease, which resolved almost completely by pest control and disinfection and moving after half a year.

And half a year before this bird mites/collembola infestation I had a long episode of mysterious severe stomache pain diagnosed as endometriosis and later IBS which resolved finally by antibiotics, controceptive pills, Wobenzymes, and probiotics.

After that one sex concat, I got an shot episode of flu like symptoms the other day with headache, mascle ache, sore throat, fever...I was scared so went to check HIV and other STDs and asked him to check as well. Soon I got negative results and he got negative results and my symptoms were gone and we broke up.

After about half a year I developed chronic headache, head pressure, stiffy neck, multiple chemical sensitivities,light sensitivities, sinus/eye pain/pressure, memory loss, concentraion problem so severe that later was diagnosed as ADD, bain fog, and anger/irritability/agitation/anxiety/, chronic insormnia,, but not depression!!! I know what depression is, my feeling this time is not like depression, it is cause by the declination of my cognitive functions and energy levels and the pains that severely affect my study/work/life.


After about three years from the beginning of all these messes, and aftering being mistreated by psychologists and psychiatrists, finally I got lyme test results from Stony Brook and IgeneX:

Stony Brook WB results:
IGM: Negative
IGG: IND
28 kDa
41 kDa
45 kDa

IgeneX-IGM-Result:
**41 kDa IND
IgeneX-IGG-Result:
**31 kDa IND
**39 kDa IND
**41 kDa +++
45 kDa +
58 kDa +

In addition to that, I tested Hormones and other biomarkers with results showing elevated C4a, lowered MSH, VEGF, testosterone, free T3, and HLA-QR showing mold susceptibility and low MSH, etc, etc.


I'm still looking for a LLMD who can precisely diagnose me and treat me. The one I've been seeing told me it's Morgellons, and then neurolyme, and then mold and then don't know what it is.


I'm sorry for typing in such a long post which is basically my story. Thank everyone who has the patience to read through and welcome to give any input.

--still in the figuring out phase.

quote:
Originally posted by Keebler:
-
Not like AIDS in all respects but, yes, while lyme not a sexually transmitted disease, rather, a disease that can be transmitted sexually (among other ways). (That sounds the same but it is not. In fact, some diseases that may be thought of as sexually transmitted are not really that but so much more complex.)

And someone with HIV &/or AIDS can certainly get married and even have children if they have excellent medical guidance.

So can those with lyme, with excellent medical guidance.
-


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packypacky
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Thanks, I edited it. I think it's ok now.
I don't want to disclose privacy and guess it might help to get proper diagnosis to tell the experience?

Anyway, thanks.

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Keebler
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I just saw that you had done that and I deleted my post but now see you've "reprinted" that.

It is not necessary to copy & paste the entire previous post to reply to it. We'll figure out that you are responding to a previous post.

If you want to copy & paste a specific quote, that's quite possible, though.
-

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packypacky
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ok thanks Keebler.

I just can't let go the fact that:

1.
- Doctor's often ask me: have you been in Long Island?
- NO I haven't.
- Then did you go hiking somewehre?
- NO I didn't
- Did you got rash or bitten by a tick?
- No I didn't noticed.
- Then it's not likely you have lyme disease.

2.
Ex bf lived in Long Island.

3.
After the sex encouter I got sick.

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Keebler
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1. Long Island is JUST ONE hotspot. Any state in the county, just about every continent has been shown to carry ticks that carry infections.

Since you are in NY, they might ask about LI just as a matter of tracking.

Same about the rash. Question is just a tracking question for those who did or did not notice a rash. Standard question. Most do not get or notice rash.

You've been going to the wrong doctors if you keep hearing "no rash, no lyme" - by now you know that is wrong.

2. Lots of people live on LI and lots live in NY state, NJ, all of New England -- all endemic.

3. While it could be likely, you would likely not see symptoms of lyme immediately after intimate contact if that were the mode of transmission.

However, other infections are to be considered, too. And, if that were to have been a player, it could have triggered a past lyme exposure to blossom.

It can often take weeks or months (or years) for full blown case of lyme to come to light.

The intimate encounter is just one of many variables. At this point, it can be like trying to nail Jell-O to the wall to pinpoint time / place of infection transfer.

Often we may have a flare of symptoms after a stressful incident or chain of stressful times when the body's defenses are compromised.

At this point, it does not matter HOW or WHEN (could be multiple exposures, even, going back decades) but that you know what you are dealing with and have a good LL doctor, ILADS-educated.

Wiser now, move on with the matters at hand: treatment; support; getting better. Look forward.
-

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packypacky
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Thanks, Keebler.
I just can't help blaiming myself and hating the guy and feeling ashamed and guilty and punished and doomed.
Your words helped a lot.
Thanks.

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Keebler
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Oh, please (said in loving, understanding but also, let-it-go tone of voice).

That nonsense about blame and shame needs to be set free to the wind.

And "hating the guy" is just not something that should come from this, either. It's not sure if lyme was passed. Still, if so, he would have been as unaware as you. It is unfair to harbor negativity.

Look, many of us may not have made the wisest choices all the time. Loneliness (or, okay, even just plain lust) can trip us up. Hormones can surprise us. It can take quite some time to learn how to respond in these kinds of situations, to learn who we are, what we want, what OTHERS want and on and on.

We could all probably benefited from more detail in sex education, especially where infections - AND EMOTIONS were concerned. So, now carry on in a new awareness of self.

But, geez, there is no room (and most certainly no need or help) in blame or shame.

My guess is that, usually, we have all done the best we could with information and maturity at the place and time.

Look at it as experience of shared love, however compartmentalized that might have been. It was shared tenderness (&/or excitement) and take that as a gift in your memory bank.

Anything less loving in your mind is just self-abuse that you don't have to shackle yourself with in the light of day.

If you "feel punished and doomed" I suggest seeking out a therapist to discuss this matter.

Rather, hold a fond memory of two hearts having shared something of value, even if limited. Move on in a more grounded wisdom.
-

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surprise
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If it makes you feel any better, I'm trying to live with the fact that I passed these infections down to my daughter

while pregnant and breastfeeding, and we can't seem to get her well.

So, the negative blame game gets us no where. I try to stay in today- just today, make myself think of things in life to be grateful for,

and today, work on our health the best we can. Forgive others, forgive ourselves. If you believe in God, we don't get to know the Plan.

--------------------
Lyme positive PCR blood, and
positive Bartonella henselae Igenex, 2011.
low positive Fry biofilm test, 2012.
Update 7/16- After extensive treatments,
doing okay!

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surprise
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Keebler- posted at the same time. Thanks- good stuff for me too.

--------------------
Lyme positive PCR blood, and
positive Bartonella henselae Igenex, 2011.
low positive Fry biofilm test, 2012.
Update 7/16- After extensive treatments,
doing okay!

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Keebler
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Surprise,

Sorry to hear your situation. Still, we did the best we could with what we knew at the time.

It is a shame that gestational transmission has not come to light, just as the truth about so much about lyme has been hidden.

Yet, with what you now know, your child is blessed to be in your arms. If not from parent, a baby / child can just as easily get lyme from other ways, too. So, it is luck of the draw, most often.

I've been ill since childhood and have had many pivotal illnesses over time. I used to wonder which one might have been the deciding time? But it does no good to spend too much time wondering about the past.

We move ahead as best we can & work to help others avoid what has tripped us up along the way. Hold compassion for ourselves and loved ones who face TBD, of course. Also look forward for a future that can most certainly hold some brightness & joy.
-

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CherylSue
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TF posted, "My lyme doctor believes that it can be sexually transmitted, but that it happens rarely. He told me it is more easily transmitted from male to female rather than the other way around due to the greater exchange of bodily fluids."

My former LLMD told me the same.

Anyway, I suspect my Lyme Disease came from mosquitoes as I never saw a tick. However, having O type blood, I am a mosquito magnet. They come flying from 100 miles to track me down.

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Carmen
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Surprise, you have my sympathy for your situation. I can't imagine how hard it is to be in your shoes. Thank you for fighting the good fight for both yourself and your child. Ones passion for life and one's determination in the face of obsticals is the measure of our character.
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Judie
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" Doctor's often ask me: have you been in Long Island?
- NO I haven't.
- Then did you go hiking somewehre?
- NO I didn't
- Did you got rash or bitten by a tick?
- No I didn't noticed.
- Then it's not likely you have lyme disease."

My friend lives in Brooklyn and rarely leaves her house.

She would answer "no" to all those questions and just got diagnosed with Lyme disease.

Even birds and Christmas trees can carry ticks.

Here's a Manhattan doctor who talked about Lyme disease on CBS (it's a 5 minute segment):

http://www.cbsnews.com/video/watch/?id=50153314n

I know you want to blame your ex, but there's really no way to know where you got it.

My LLMD's office policy is that it's not a sexually transmitted disease.

I can understand hating an ex-boyfriend though. Who knows if he gave it to you, but I can understand wanting to direct your anger somewhere.

This illness makes us feel so powerless.

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GretaM
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Anywhere there are birds and mice-there is lyme disease.

Docs that try to pinpoint certain geographical areas as part of their diagnosis for patients are morons.
(the reason it took 12 years of suffering for my lyme dx)

It gives those who don't live on "the east coast" a false sense of safety...

And is complete rot.

Birds and mice=ticks with lyme all over north America.

And I understand your frustration with your ex, but statistically speaking, a one time unprotected oral incident doesn't seem very likely to have given you lyme.

If you're looking for somewhere to direct your anger, (and I get this, I completely do), birds and mice may be a more reasonable outlet for it.

Although I am always up for a good ex-bashing. Lord knows I've had a couple "winners" (read losers) so if you feel for bashing exes...PM me [Smile]

I had to edit my post. When I reread it I didn't like the way it came across. It seemed condescending. But that was not my intent.

Hope I didn't hurt your feelings with the tone of my first post.

[ 10-16-2013, 11:33 PM: Message edited by: GretaM ]

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Lymetoo
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The questions you were asked by that doctor show how ignorant he is.

Your test is plenty positive for ME.

--------------------
--Lymetutu--
Opinions, not medical advice!

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BuffyFan
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I think that most people are already have CMV if it's cytomegalovirus your're talking about. There's very few that don't have it. I think there's just one or two people at my husband's work(out of around 250) that don't have it.
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MattH
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I agree with TF's assessment. Also Dr K said more of his patient's partners are also infected. He believes it can be sexual transmitted and put the number over 50% of the time. Another LLMD that I follow and read about says it is about 30% of the time and more prevalent male to female.

My current LLMD says he is not sure.

All the Best, MattH

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packypacky
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Thank you everybody, your words are all very insightful and helpful.

I did had a bird/rodent mites infestation before I met the ex bf.
The infestation was very agonizing and virulent I believe, although I got rid of it finally the bugs must did some permanent damage to my body. Maybe I contracted Lyme at that time.
Maybe the ex has Lyme or maybe not, the symptoms came after that maybe because of a second exposure to lyme or coinfections or virus.

I guess even he does not have Lyme I have a high likelyhood to get Lyme from mites/bugs myself sooner or later as reading your posts. Its my fate.

I hate bugs and United States:(

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Lymedin2010
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I have heard from all my Lyme docs & even from my pedia Lyme doc that it is sexually transmitted. I have heard cases where the individual, even male gets sick in months to years.

I would say that Lyme is most definitely spread sexually & that it all depends on 2 factors.

1) The infection level of the sick individual & the location of the infection. Localized vs system wide spread.

2) The overall health of the person being infected. The bacteria may even be transmitted and suppressed/dormant and unnoticed for years.


I know of a local lady who got a tick bite & 2 years later developed all sorts of symptoms. It took her a while to realize it was Lyme. It had infected all her gums & roots. She had to have ALL OF HER TEETH pulled out. Her husband remains fine & unaffected years after her treatment.


I know of another young lady who was actively sick with Lyme & had a new boyfriend. She reported that they only kissed & that weeks later he developed Lyme symptoms.


Check out this video of a dentist who has easily seen spirochetes in the mouth of patience. Those with cavities and bad oral hygiene can easily carry it in the mouth.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OJuDCXgxUHI

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RBWvytTofF8

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rowingmom
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Lyme is a spirochete like syphilis. Why would there not be similarities in symptoms and transmission.

--------------------
13 yo DX PANS/Tourette's/Asperger's/ADHD treated for Igenex positive bartonella/IND lyme with 2 years of abx treatment. Weaned off abx April 2013 at 80% improvement. Continuing with Buhner bartonella/babesia protocols. Aug 2014 99% improvement.

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Tincup
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Here is the update January 2014

https://sites.google.com/site/marylandlyme/sexual-transmission

--------------------
www.TreatTheBite.com
www.DrJonesKids.org
www.MarylandLyme.org
www.LymeDoc.org

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Tbrown2
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So If Lyme is an std can confections be sexually transmitted as well?

[ 01-28-2014, 12:56 PM: Message edited by: Tbrown2 ]

--------------------
T. Brown

CDC Lyme Positive
Co infections? Who knows...
Bands 18+ 30+39+41+45+58+66+ IGG
23+39+41+IGM

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