Is Lyme Sexually Transmitted?

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bipolardude73
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Date Joined Jan 2009
Total Posts : 24
   Posted 1/23/2009 11:07 PM (GMT -7)   
Does anyone know where I can find more info as to whether or not Lyme Disease is sexually transmitted? I am really worried that I have it. You see, back in 1998-1999 I was living with what was my fiancee at the time and she had Lyme Disease. According to her doctors she had it for many years before being diagnosed. When we were together she was on tons of meds because she had mental as well as physical manifestations of the illness. We had unprotected sex many times because she assured me that it couldn't be spread through sex. Since then we have broken up and have gone our separate ways, but in the last year or so I have been having alot of the same symptoms that she had. If I go to my doctor and ask to have a Lyme Test done and explain to him my fears, he will think I am a moron won't he? Has anyone on here ever heard of Lyme being passed through sex? PLEASE HELP!
Diagnosed with Mixed Bipolar Disorder with hallucinations, PTSD, OCD and Major Depression since 1994.

Always feel free to email me- sometimes an email just to say Hello is the highlight of my day.


SickInCT
Regular Member


Date Joined Nov 2008
Total Posts : 157
   Posted 1/24/2009 4:43 AM (GMT -7)   
djf2005 said...
yes, it is.

just like syphillis, look it up.

youll find oodles of info on syphillis, why lyme is so screwed up i dont know.

whatever syphillis can do, lyme can also (ie sexual transmission)

btw, my wife now has lyme thanks to me.... :)

dont worry, remission is possible.

do a lot of reading, drs are not going to help u much.

get to a good llmd and startb treating RIGHT AWAY



EXCELLENT INFORMATION!!

A+++ wink

Lyme is very similar to late stage syphilis and CAN be sexually transmitted. Early treatment is essential!!

Maureen21
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Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 1599
   Posted 1/24/2009 1:16 PM (GMT -7)   
Although sexual transmission is not 100% proven, it is possible. Another big possibility in your case is that you also got bit by one of those teeny, tiny ticks that you rarely notice! Especially since your symptoms go back to 1994, which seems to be before you were having unprotected sex with your ex lymie fiance.

Your symptoms may not have been as bad back then because your immune system could have been fighting it to some degree and now it can't. I believe I got this 8 or 9 years ago and my symptoms got so much worse about 7 years into it. But the good thing, is that I am 95% better now, even going undiagnosed all that time! I was on oral abx for 17 months and am now just rifing and using light therapy. Only thing bothering me now is my left ear feels full and sciatic pain (probably both not even lyme related, although the ear could be fungal related from being on abx for so long- trying to figure it out still- it is slowly getting better).

nefferdun
Veteran Member


Date Joined Feb 2008
Total Posts : 900
   Posted 1/24/2009 5:11 PM (GMT -7)   
There is a lot of controversy about this question but from what I read in Cure Unknow, it may be able to transmit from male to female partner but not the other way around.

Maureen21
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Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 1599
   Posted 1/25/2009 7:56 AM (GMT -7)   
yes, it is very controversial. some llmds think yes, some think no, some say they don't know... there just isn't enough research about this (or enough research on anything concerning lyme). it is tough because most of us don't remember a tick bite anyway, so it is possible that the other person got one too. they are all over the place.

sojourner
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Date Joined Apr 2006
Total Posts : 1173
   Posted 1/26/2009 1:07 AM (GMT -7)   
http://www.ilads.org/files/harvey.pdf. Premise 9. See references cited.
http://linkinghub.elsevier.com/retrieve/pii/S0306987703000604

I fully support Maureen's comments.

Peer reviewed published studies need to be documented before it can be 'officially' claimed as such.

If you are suspicious of symptoms and have seen your doctor to rule out other possibilities; have had a solid differential diagnosis, if Lyme is a consideration - you will need to find a physician who is trained to help you rule it in or rule it out appropriately.

Take care. Print the above hypothesis to address your concern when seeing your physician.

Take care,
Sojourner

SickInCT
Regular Member


Date Joined Nov 2008
Total Posts : 157
   Posted 1/26/2009 6:58 AM (GMT -7)   
There has been at least one case where a doctor has actually found Bb bacteria in semen.

abanana07
Regular Member


Date Joined Oct 2008
Total Posts : 47
   Posted 1/26/2009 10:23 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi everyone -

Something that I've been thinking about, as to whether lyme can be transmitted sexually - since there is no "proven" statement on this theory, I have been thinking if two partners both get LD maybe it's possible that it's more like their lifestyle and environment that contribute to both of them getting it. Like if a couple has gone camping together they both could have gotten it - or if they are living in the same area (an area where lyme is common) they could have each gotten infected at a different time - not necessarily from each other. This is a really scary thought, that it could be sexually transmitted and I am hoping it is not true.

TonyDewitt
New Member


Date Joined Jul 2012
Total Posts : 6
   Posted 7/12/2012 4:29 PM (GMT -7)   
abanana07,

The poster who said that Lyme is in the same family as syphilis hit the nail on the head - we negatively attribute syphilis as an STD, but don't expect Lyme to be transmitted the same way? That type of thinking is a bit absurd, that's like saying HIV-2 isn't transmitted the same way as HIV-1. I'll give you the out of saying that *maybe* Lyme isn't as infectious as Syphilis, but I'd expect any blood to blood contact and/or sexual fluid exchange with a Lyme infected person to be a potential transmission for Lyme.

Considering the general apathy of the medical and government people towards Lyme, I doubt that anyone would scientifically and seriously pursue culturing Lyme from penile or vaginal fluids for the "proven" statement you desire. But using common sense, if I had unprotected sex with a pre or post menstrual woman (or even a woman who is spotting), I'd be coming in contact with Lyme infected blood. Would you really expose your sex organ to Lyme infected blood and not expect to get infected?

Lizalu
New Member


Date Joined Jul 2012
Total Posts : 14
   Posted 7/14/2012 1:26 PM (GMT -7)   
I believe more people have lyme than realize it. In fact two of my partners in the last 10 years had many debilitating lyme symptoms but wouldn't get checked. I have lyme and know that they had it before me...i question if i got it sexually but just think it's so raging here that it's purely coincidence.

Wish there was more research out there on this...it would be a game changer for sure.

Traveler
Forum Moderator


Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 15352
   Posted 7/14/2012 3:17 PM (GMT -7)   
Lyme spirochetes have been found in semen, although it's been proven to be in breast milk and can pass through the placenta to an unborn baby. Since there is relatively little money being devoted to Lyme Disease research, a study has not been done to find out just how often the spirochetes can be found in semen. I still wouldn't risk giving this disease even one more patient if I had a choice!

To see more about this subject, use "Google Scholar" and type in the search terms "Lyme, Semen".
Treating with Acupuncture, Traditional & Modern Chinese Medicine & Western Herbs. Before tx, I had all but 20 of the symptoms on the "Master Symptom List"

"Absence of proof is not proof of absence" - Dr. Edwin Masters, great LLMD & researcher -RIP

Questions about what I've posted or just have questions? Please email me!!! Click on the blue envelope under my screen name!

tickssuk
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2012
Total Posts : 64
   Posted 7/15/2012 2:05 AM (GMT -7)   
My LLnurse prac. thinks it can be transmitted sexually. Both me & my hubby have it. When I found out I had it(6 weeks ago), I said "thanks for the Lyme, honey".  Now,our dr. thinks my Lyme goes  back further than my hubby's--probably at least 8 yrs ago, b/c of some major mental symptoms I had then. So, maybe I gave it to my hubby---who knows...
Also, we used to camp,&  we  now have a cabin on a lake in the woods, so when couples "travel in the same circles", it's not uncommon for both to get it.

flowergal
Regular Member


Date Joined Sep 2011
Total Posts : 395
   Posted 7/15/2012 7:50 AM (GMT -7)   
I really wonder about this too. My husband never gets bitten by anything...it is always me. He does not exhibit any outward signs of Lyme and we have been together for 35 years and I may have had this for over 30 years. So if he carries it, but does not show signs could he re-infect me? I just don't know what to think...testing is so expensive but maybe he should be tested. What do others think?
Late Lyme, few tick bites. Treatment started July 2011, Doxy 9 days, Amoxcillian a month, cipro/zithromax 3 mnths, Mepron/zithromax now Doxy and Mepron, Vit D, B 12, Vit C, garlic and Artemenisin. . Muscle spasms, brain fog, heart palpitations. Taking cortisol for low adrenal function. Hypothyroidism.

TonyDewitt
New Member


Date Joined Jul 2012
Total Posts : 6
   Posted 7/24/2012 3:21 PM (GMT -7)   
FlowerGal,

Continuing on my parallel to syphilis, if Lyme can be sexually transmitted, either

(a) your husband has it but is asymptomatic, or
(b) the amount of Lyme in your vaginal secretions is low - so low chance of infecting him, or
(c) he doesn't have it because STD's are less likely to pass from female to male, or
(d) he has a great immune system, or
(e) any combination of b,c, and d.

Also keep in mind that syphilis can be transmitter orally (which is the reason it's on the rise again).

Best wishes.

tickssuk
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2012
Total Posts : 64
   Posted 7/24/2012 3:48 PM (GMT -7)   
This is very interesting, as I've wondered for years why some people get Lyme & some don't. My dad is a very active 65 yr old who has spent probably half his life in the woods, hunting, fishing, camping. He is rarely sick.
Maybe he just is "lucky" & is asymptomatic & has a great immune system...
Although, my husband & I have wondered about something for awhile: back in the day(not sure what year) my dad got the Lyme vaccine, before they pulled it. Any thoughts on if that could be what's keeping him well?? 
Instruction does much, but encouragement everything.

worrypot
Regular Member


Date Joined Jan 2011
Total Posts : 151
   Posted 7/25/2012 12:44 PM (GMT -7)   
I think it's worth remembering that the presence of lyme in semen does NOT automatically mean anything in terms of infection. Most infections that people have are found in all body tissues, for example the influenza virus is also found in semen but is not transmitted by sexual contact. The thing that counts is whether the lyme is still alive and also able to enter the body through a suitable pathway, which there is currently no evidence for through sex - is really needs blood to blood contact, and even then infection would be unlikely (but blood transfusion would probably be a very bad idea!)

Lyme is similar to syphilis, but again this does not mean it will be sexually transmitted too. Closely related bacteria can be entirely different in their reproduction and transmission pathways. A good example would be TB infections - different strains are transmitted in different ways e.g. genital TB can potentially be transmitted by sex but all other types of TB are not.
Sharing my adventures and travels with lyme at http://adventureswithlyme.wordpress.com/

TonyDewitt
New Member


Date Joined Jul 2012
Total Posts : 6
   Posted 8/27/2012 12:31 PM (GMT -7)   
WorryPot,

The only conclusive way to know if Lyme can be transmitting sexually is to do actual lab testing to that effect - expose lab animals' sexual tract to Lyme infected sexual fluids, and then test for Lyme infection. Then the whole "what if" would be put to bed for good. Personally, I'm betting that Lyme IS sexually transmitted, but again, scientific studies are required to conclusively rule that in or out.

Best wishes.

beachlover89
Regular Member


Date Joined Nov 2011
Total Posts : 265
   Posted 8/27/2012 2:23 PM (GMT -7)   
I specifically asked my LLMD this question as I am single although I have no plans of having sex but was curious since I had heard it could be a possibility...He said "Be on antibiotics for several months first"

I take 15 antibiotics a day now. I will never know how I got it but highly suspect I got it on a camping trip many years ago and it was in my head for several days before I discovered it engorged in my head as a kid.

I believe it laid dormant until I was in a rollover accident 4 years ago and after 6 surgeries my immune system was so compromised it came out and my LLMD agrees it is likely.
25+ dx and over 10+ specialists since Sept 2011 to determine I have Lymes Disease...Listen to your body....It SAVED my life! :)

Purplegirl
Regular Member


Date Joined Dec 2011
Total Posts : 327
   Posted 8/27/2012 7:13 PM (GMT -7)   
????? So if your with the same partner who you think infected you with lyme then wouldnt they keep re-infecting you every time you have sex ???????
~ Angie ~
Zithromax 500mg per day, Bactrium DS 500mg per day, Plaquenil 600mg per day , Omnicef 600mg per day , Vit B12 shots daily , IV Vit C drip every other week ..Not to mention all the Herbs and Supplements .... 6 months into Treatment and still going :)

IndiaBeth
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2012
Total Posts : 37
   Posted 9/2/2012 8:07 PM (GMT -7)   
I know of a couple married for 20+years and he was diagnosed and gone through hell since 1999, yet she doesn't have it.
35yrs. Female. Diagnosed with Lyme '09.

Traveler
Forum Moderator


Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 15352
   Posted 9/3/2012 12:29 PM (GMT -7)   
Unfortunately, there is plenty of evidence that shows not only sexual transmission, but transmission by breast milk and through the placenta - which is why it's suggest that women not "try" to become pregnant until after they have completed their treatments.

This in no way says that all who are exposed will get the infection - as has been said already - some just don't ever become symptomatic, and some never show any evidence of being infected.

Purplegirl, that's a hard one to answer unless the other person gets tested and the test comes back positive - then you go through testing as well. If the strains are the same and there's no way you were infected on your own, then some docs will say that you got it from your partner. Although..... we already know how the tests are just not accurate, and the infections can be acquired from mosquitoes, fleas, bed bugs, and many other insects, so that throws a couple of monkey wrenches into the whole thing as well. The best thing you can do is to take "precautions".
Treating with Acupuncture, Traditional & Modern Chinese Medicine & Western Herbs. Before tx, I had all but 20 of the symptoms on the "Master Symptom List"

"Absence of proof is not proof of absence" - Dr. Edwin Masters, great LLMD & researcher -RIP

Questions about what I've posted or just have questions? Please email me!!! Click on the blue envelope under my screen name!
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