Can yeast infections affect your sex life? Can sex cause yeast infections?

Vaginal yeast infections can ruin your sex life. Sex can ruin your chances of recovering from vaginal yeast infections.

In short, sex and yeast infections have a complicated relationship. Let's explore this relationship in detail. Here are the 13 things you should know about how yeast infections and a person's sex life intertwine.

1. Vaginal yeast infections make sex painful

Pain during sex candida yeast infections

Irritation, inflammation and itching are some of the most common vaginal yeast infection symptoms. These symptoms make the vaginal lining very sensitive. Adding the friction that comes from sexual contact will only serve to aggravate an already-sensitive area. This makes sexual intercourse very painful.

2. Candida yeast infections ruin your vagina's lubrication

sex and yeast

A yeast overgrowth affects the natural balance in the vagina. There's also the abnormal discharge that results from a yeast infection. Both of these things can end up messing with your vagina's ability to lubricate. This then makes sex uncomfortable. It may also be a contributing factor as far as painful sex is concerned.

3. Sex worsens yeast infection symptoms

If you feel itchy, have reddened vaginal walls and have swelling in your genital area, having sex will simply make these symptoms worse. The irritation will get worse. You may experience more swelling. And your vagina's walls may become even more reddened.

Symptoms of vaginal yeast infections

4. Candida-related symptoms increase the risk of contracting an STI or STD

Vaginal yeast infection symptoms causes

The irritation that results from a candida attack causes the skin around the genital area to break. It creates small tears that then serve as a window through which bacteria and other organisms can enter. According to Doctor Hilda Hutcherson, M.D., professor of obstetrics and gynecology at Columbia University Medical Center in New York ( in an interview with Women's Health) this increases your risks of getting other infections. This includes sexually transmitted diseases and infections.

5. It can be transmitted to your mouth during oral sex

The yeast that causes a vaginal yeast infection is candida. This yeast can affect other parts of the body. When transferred to the mouth during oral sex, it can grow causing you to have oral thrush.

Candida yeast infection in mouth

6. A woman can pass the candida yeast infection to a man during sex

Candida yeast infections in men and women sex

Yeast infections can also affect men. If a woman with a vaginal yeast infection has unprotected sex with a man, he can get it too. This is according to the Office on Women's Health. It estimates the population of men who get yeast-related symptoms after sex to be at about 15%.

7. A vaginal yeast infection is not a sexually transmitted infection

candida infections in women yeast

According to WebMD, a vaginal yeast infection is not classified as a sexually transmitted infection. This is in spite of it being capable of being passed from one person to the next during sex.

This is the case because yeast cells exist naturally in the vagina. Someone who has never had sex can have them. Since they already exist, they can overgrow without sexual contact. And since it is only when these yeast cells overgrow that a person is said to have a vaginal yeast infection, medical professionals are reluctant to classify it as a sexually transmitted infection.

8. If you are having recurrent vaginal yeast infections, seek treatment with your sexual partner

treatment of recurring yeast infections

Sex might be to blame for recurring candida vaginal infections. This is because even though you may seek treatment and have it cleared, if you previously had unprotected sex with your partner, they may pass it back to you. That is even if it is a male partner. You should therefore hold off sex while getting treated if you want to get candida vaginal yeast infections out of your sex life.

In a Women's Health Mag interview, Danielle Cooper, a board-certified ob-gyn based in Louisiana confirms this. She is quoted saying: "I've seen patients with recurrent yeast infections that I couldn't get resolved until the partner was treated as well."

9. Yeast infections can affect your sex drive

vaginal thrush

Mayo clinic lists psychological factors as one of the main causes of low libido in women. Psychology today also lists being self-conscious as one of the leading causes of a lack of sex drive.

One of the most common symptoms of a vaginal yeast infection is an abnormal vaginal discharge. Having a cottage-cheese-like discharge can make you self conscious. Therefore, it can take you off the mood. And it will definitely affect the chances of you getting an orgasm.

10. Treating sexually transmitted infections can cause yeast infections

Some sexually transmitted infections are caused by bacteria. Treating these infections requires using antibiotics.

Unfortunately, antibiotics tend to kill both useful and harmful bacteria. This includes bacteria that help to control the growth of candida yeast. Killing these bacteria gives the yeast enough leeway to grow and overrun the vaginal area. A yeast infection then occurs as a result of this overgrowth.

antibiotics cause vaginal thrush

11. Sex compromises treatment of vaginal yeast infections

treatment of candida yeast infections

One of the ways through which you can treat a candida infection is by applying antifungal medication on the vagina. For this medication to work, it must stay there. Sex simply pushes it up your vagina and off the affected area. It therefore reduces the effectiveness with which the topical medication kills off the vaginal yeast infection.

12. Some sexually transmitted diseases can cause it

Sexually transmitted diseases, like HIV, weaken the immune system. This makes it impossible for the body to fight off infections. It makes it harder for it to maintain a healthy vagina environment. Yeast cells may then thrive in this environment, causing a vaginal yeast infection.

13. Vaginal yeast infection symptoms mimic those of common sexually transmitted diseases / infections

yeast infection symptoms versus

It is possible to confuse the symptoms of candida yeast infections with those of chlamydia, bacterial vaginosis, herpes (hepatitis) and other infections and diseases that are transmitted sexually. Itching, an abnormal vaginal discharge, a burning sensation, redness of the skin around the vagina -- a number of STIs and STDs have these symptoms.