Go to Content Go to Navigation Go to Navigation Go to Site Search Homepage

Molluscum contagiosum is easily spread through skin-to-skin contact during sex, even if you use condoms. The best way to avoid it is to not have sex with someone who has molluscum contagiosum.

Want to get tested for molluscum contagiosum?

Find a Health Center

How do I avoid getting molluscum contagiosum?

Molluscum contagiosum is contracted through skin-to-skin touching. So the best way to prevent it is to avoid sex or skin-to-skin contact with the growths on someone who has molluscum contagiosum.

If you notice growths on yourself or your partner, don’t have sex until you get treated or until the growths go away on their own. (When it comes to growths on genitals, treatment is usually the best way to go, since the bumps can take a long time to clear up.) Also avoid touching or sharing clothes and other objects with people you know are infected, until they finish their treatment.

Condoms are super great at preventing other STDs (like HIV), but they don’t really protect you from molluscum contagiosum because the virus may be on parts of the body that condoms don’t cover. But it’s still important to have safer sex by using condoms and getting tested regularly, so you can avoid other STDs.  

Molluscum contagiosum may seem kind of scary, especially because it’s so easy to spread. But try not to stress out too much about getting it. The good news is it’s easy to treat and doesn’t cause serious health problems.

How can I avoid spreading molluscum contagiosum?

If you have molluscum contagiosum, don’t have sex until your bumps are gone. You may want to visit a doctor to have the bumps treated so they go away faster. And don’t share clothes or anything that may have touched your bumps until after your bumps are totally gone.

Don’t scratch or rub the growths, because that can help pass the virus to other people or other parts of your body. Be sure to wash your hands if you touch your bumps so you can stop them from spreading. You can also cover your sores completely with bandages or clothing to lower your chances of spreading molluscum contagiosum.  

Was this page helpful?
You’re the best! Thanks for your feedback.
Thanks for your feedback.

This website uses cookies

Planned Parenthood cares about your data privacy. We and our third-party vendors use cookies and other tools to collect, store, monitor, and analyze information about your interaction with our site to improve performance, analyze your use of our sites and assist in our marketing efforts. You may opt out of the use of these cookies and other tools at any time by visiting Cookie Settings. By clicking “Allow All Cookies” you consent to our collection and use of such data, and our Terms of Use. For more information, see our Privacy Notice.

Cookie Settings

Planned Parenthood cares about your data privacy. We and our third-party vendors, use cookies, pixels, and other tracking technologies to collect, store, monitor, and process certain information about you when you access and use our services, read our emails, or otherwise engage with us. The information collected might relate to you, your preferences, or your device. We use that information to make the site work, analyze performance and traffic on our website, to provide a more personalized web experience, and assist in our marketing efforts. We also share information with our social media, advertising, and analytics partners. You can change your default settings according to your preference. You cannot opt-out of required cookies when utilizing our site; this includes necessary cookies that help our site to function (such as remembering your cookie preference settings). For more information, please see our Privacy Notice.



We use online advertising to promote our mission and help constituents find our services. Marketing pixels help us measure the success of our campaigns.



We use qualitative data, including session replay, to learn about your user experience and improve our products and services.



We use web analytics to help us understand user engagement with our website, trends, and overall reach of our products.