Tough but true: yeast infection and sex don't mix. If one partner has an infection, regular sex can pass the infection to the other.
Almost every woman has had a yeast infection at least once in her life. Yeast infection (candidiasis) is a common disease that, more often than not, tends to develop into a chronic form and brings a lot of inconveniences.
This is very common, with around 75 percent of women experiencing at least one yeast infection throughout their lives. (Men can also have a yeast infection, where the penis glans and foreskin are usually affected).
No doubt, candidiasis, like most vaginal infections, impacts our sexual activity. One of the common questions gynecologists hear is whether one with a yeast infection can have sex. There is no strict prohibition, but doctors strongly advise to avoid sex during therapy. If you or your partner have candidiasis, you should know why having sex is dangerous, and follow your treatment regimen.
To understand whether one with a yeast infection can have sex, read on to learn how this disease develops and routes of transmission.
It doesn’t come from having sex
Contrary to what most people think, a person can have a yeast infection even without having intercourse. That is because the infection symptoms are caused by the Candida albicans fungi that reside in our bodies naturally.
Usually, they don't cause any problems, because our bodies' friendly bacteria keep them in check and stop the fungus from growing and spreading through the body. But there are times when the numbers of your body's good bacteria are depleted to such an extent that there aren't enough to contain the fungus.
Factors provoking its excessive pathogenic activity mainly refer to the immune system and metabolism: obesity, diabetes, hypovitaminosis, the use of glucocorticoids, contraception, steroids, and stress are all risk factors.
In other words, a yeast infection occurs when our immune system is weak. Those that are overworked or tired can have a higher risk for developing a yeast infection.
If you have just recovered from being ill or using antibiotics, you may also be susceptible to developing it. Those that do not eat a proper diet, suffer from diabetes, or are pregnant, can also have an increased risk.
People commonly believe that having sex will cause women to develop a yeast infection, but this is not the case. Women that are not having sex can still develop a yeast infection.
A yeast infection is not a sexually transmitted disease, in spite of the symptoms being relatively similar. It is when our overall health is weaker that the Candida albicans “overgrows” into a yeast infection. This can happen in any part of the body, but the most common are the warm, moist and dark places, such as the vagina, penis, mouth, anus, etc.
Break the vicious circle
With a yeast infection, you will likely notice a great deal of itchiness around or in your vagina, accompanied by a swelling, burning or redness of the vulva or vagina, soreness, pain during sex or while urinating, or a rash on your vagina.
Men with penile yeast infection have similar symptoms. The discharge from the genitals under candidiasis is thick and white, somewhat resembling cottage cheese. Unlike discharges associated with sexually transmitted diseases, it should not have a foul odor.
Should you or your sexual partner begin to develop the signs of a yeast infection, you should visit a doctor to determine that yeast is the cause of your symptoms. Then you can begin proper treatment for the infection. Yeast infections do not pose a danger for most people, aside from the general discomfort associated with the condition.
You should be aware that drugs only address the symptoms, not the root causes of your infections. If you're like at least 50% of sufferers, you'll have become frustrated because the symptoms go away, only to keep returning, i.e. you get recurring yeast infections.
That is because it’s still in your system, and the next time you have sex with the partner, it will be transferred back to you, compounding the infection you already have. This is a vicious cycle that you need to break-out off. And the first step is to stop all sexual contact.
Adjust to the situation
Tough but true: yeast infection and sex don't mix. If one partner has an infection, regular sex can pass the infection to the other. No, it can't cause yeast infection – but it can transfer it, which will take some time to show up.
Another reason why they don't mix is that the symptoms can make sexual intercourse very uncomfortable, even painful. Very often, candidiasis is accompanied by burning or itching. Sex will unlikely be pleasurable, as you or your partner will only think about the disease.
Unfortunately, condoms aren't the answer, since some spermicides actually encourage the Candida albicans to grow. All this hinders your cure. Also, condoms or diaphragms are less effective when you are using suppositories or creams commonly prescribed to treat yeast infections.
If you are currently undergoing treatment for your yeast infection, you may need to hold off on having sex until this is completed. Still, you can adjust to the situation and protect yourselves with the help of the following rules:
- You can have sex during yeast infection only in the period of remission, if your partner does not have any painful sensations;
- It is very important to make sure that your partner will not get infected, so he or she should regularly undergo medical examinations and take lab tests. It is especially true for men, as they can have symptom-free yeast infection;
- Avoid sex if you have cold-related diseases, or if you have just experienced serious physical or emotional stress. It can provoke a relapse of yeast infection.