Vaginal yeast infections are a quite common health condition. They can cause abnormal vaginal discharge, discomfort during urination, and itching and burning in the vaginal area. These symptoms can make it uncomfortable to have sex.
Having sex with a yeast infection can pose risks, even if it is not showing symptoms. Sexual activity could prolong the infection, allowing symptoms to return. These symptoms may be worse than they were before.
Sexual activity can also transmit the infection from you to your partner.
Sex can cause pain and aggravate other symptoms
Having sex with a yeast infection can be very painful or, at best, extremely uncomfortable.
If your lips or vulva are swollen, you can find skin-to-skin contact to be too rough. Friction can also rub rough skin.
Penetration can aggravate inflamed tissue as well as increase itching and irritation. And inserting nothing into the vagina – whether it’s a sex toy, finger, or tongue – can introduce new bacteria. This can make the infection more serious.
When you are aroused, your vagina can begin to self-lubricate. This can add more moisture to an already moist environment, making itching and discharge more pronounced.
Sex can transmit the yeast infection with your partner ?
Although it is possible to transmit a yeast infection to your partner through sexual activity, the likelihood of this depends on the anatomy of your partner.
If your sexual partner has a penis, they are less likely to get a yeast infection from you. About 15 percent of people with a penis who have unprotected sex with a partner who has a vaginal yeast infection will become infected. Those who have a circumcised penis are more likely to be affected.
If your sexual partner has a vagina, they may be more sensitive. However, the current medical literature is mixed on how uncommon or probably this is actually. Data collected shows that it can happen, but more clinical studies are needed to determine how and why this happens.
Sex can delay healing
Engaging in sexual activity during a yeast infection can also disrupt the healing process. And if it aggravates the symptoms, it may take longer to heal.
If your partner develops a yeast infection after engaging in sexual activity with you, they can switch back to you during your next sexual encounter. Abstention until you’ve both successfully healed is the only way to prevent this cycle from continuing.
How long does a yeast infection usually last?
If this is your first yeast infection, your doctor will probably prescribe a short cycle of over-the-counter or prescription antifungal medications. This should clear up the infection within four to seven days.
Most antifungal drugs are oil based. Oil can damage latex and polyisoprene condoms. This means that if you rely on condoms to prevent pregnancy or illness during intercourse, you and your partner may be at risk.
If you opt for alternative treatments, the yeast infection can last several weeks or more. Some women have yeast infections that seem to resolve but then reappear shortly thereafter. These yeast infections may not completely go away without a course of antibiotics and up to six months of maintenance treatments.
When need to consult the doctor
If this is the first time you have a yeast infection, consult your doctor and get an official diagnosis. Yeast infections may have symptoms similar to other vaginal infections.
Your doctor may recommend an antifungal medication, such as miconazole (Monistat), butoconazole (Gynazole), or terconazole (Terazol). Many of these creams can be used to treat vaginal yeast or penile infections.
If you have persistent symptoms after using an over-the-counter treatment, talk to your doctor about other treatment options.
You should also call your doctor about your yeast infection if:
- You have severe symptoms, like tears or redness cuts around your vagina and swollen and wide.
- You’ve had four or more yeast infections in the past year.
- You are pregnant or have diabetes, HIV, or any other condition that affects your immune system.