STDs Expert Forum
Question about the crabs
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The STD Forum is intended only for questions and support pertaining to sexually transmitted diseases other than HIV/AIDS, including chlamydia, gonorrhea, syphilis, human papillomavirus, genital warts, trichomonas, other vaginal infections, nongonoccal urethritis (NGU), cervicitis, molluscum contagiosum, chancroid, and pelvic inflammatory disease (PID). All questions will be answered by H. Hunter Handsfield, M.D. or Edward W Hook, MD.

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Question about the crabs

I didn't see anyone ask this so I thought I would:

If someone had protected sex with a person known to have multiple sex partners and was later worried about pubic lice, would you be able to take any after-the-fact measures to stop a potential problem from developing?

Or would you have to wait for symptoms to develop before you could successfully treat it.
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Lice (pubic and head) are spread through contact, both direct and indirect.  Thus persons can get lice through sexual exposure or by sharing clothes, blankets, etc.  

I would not recommend preventative measures, for several reasons.
1.  Louse infections are not very common.
2.  Treatment of louse infections involves far more than medication.  A person must either wash all of their clothes/bedclothes/etc in HOT water or have them dry cleaned.  This can be a lot of work and a nuisance.
3.  To be honest, while no one wants to have them, lice are not a serious infection.  They do not cause complications of the sort that worry us for other STDs.
4.  Since lice are basically insects, their treatmetn involves taking or applying insecticides.  If you do not need to be exposed to medications, including insecticides, you should not be.

If you have lice, you will be able to see them in your pubic area. If this is the case, then that is the time to be treated.  GOod luck.  EWH
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