4 reasons to put sex on hold when dealing with a yeast infection

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4 reasons to put sex on hold when dealing with a yeast infection

For women with a yeast infection, the thought of having sex is probably the last thing on her mind.  Yeast infections, a fungal infection resulting in inflammation of the vagina and vulva, can be pure misery from the burning, itching, discharge, and swelling it brings.  Vaginal yeast infections – also called vaginal candidiasis – affects up to 3 out of 4 women at some point in their lifetime with many women experiencing at least two episodes.

Although a vaginal yeast infection is not considered a sexually transmitted infection, it can spread the fungus through mouth to genital contact.  For this reason alone, it makes it best to avoid having vaginal sex, receive oral sex, or put anything into the vagina until the infection goes away. 

To prevent possible reinfection or extending healing time, a woman should consult with her doctor on when it is safe to have sex again. Generally it is best to resume intercourse after treatment is completed and the infection has gone away. But here are four other reasons not to engage in sex until after it has cleared up:

1.  Sex can be very painful

Yeast infections can cause inflammation, irritation, and itching of the vaginal tissues.  Even when a woman does not have a yeast infection, these tissues are already sensitive so sex will only further irritate and aggravate symptoms.  Plus a man’s penis may make having sex feel extremely uncomfortable resulting in increasing healing time for the infection.

2.  Men can catch it also

Although yeast infections are generally not contagious and are not considered a sexually transmitted disease, it is possible to pass yeast infections from one person to another during sex.  About 15 percent of men who have unprotected sexual intercourse with a woman who has a vaginal yeast infection, can get an itchy rash and redness on their penis along with a cottage cheese-like discharge.  Men must always wear a condom to prevent contracting a yeast infection from a partner with this condition. 

3.  Having sex can make the yeast infection last longer

Since women with vaginal yeast infections will already have inflamed tissue, having sex will only delay healing by causing further damage.  This is especially true if the vulva is affected.  There can be tiny “cuts” around the clitoris, vaginal opening or vulva that will be further irritated from sex making the healing process last that much longer.  If a woman is using an over-the-counter cream to clear up the yeast infection, having sex may push the medication out of the vagina, slowing down healing. 

4.  Be sure the “yeast” infection is not actually an STD

Any woman suspecting she may have a vaginal yeast infection needs to see her physician for an accurate diagnosis. Some of the symptoms of vaginal yeast infections such as vaginal itching, burning, and discharge, are also symptoms of STDs.  Any woman who has these symptoms should not self-diagnosis. Self-treatment with anti-fungal creams or tablets will delay a woman’s diagnosis if what she really has is a form of a STD.  Yeast is only one of the causes of infection in the vagina and no woman would want an STD to go undiagnosed because of self-treating without first getting a proper diagnosis from a doctor.  If woman has sex and did have an STD and not a vaginal yeast infection, she will be transmitting the STD to whatever partner she is with.