How Long Should You Wait to Have Sex After a Yeast Infection?

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Yeast infections are common and can be uncomfortable. However, sex with an infected partner can prolong the symptoms and cause more damage.

It’s best to wait until yeast infection symptoms clear up and you’ve finished treatment. It’s also important to practice good hygiene in the genital area. Yeast infections are caused by an overgrowth of the fungus Candida.

Symptoms

While yeast infections aren’t technically considered sexually transmitted diseases, sex while having one can prolong symptoms like itchiness and inflammation, make it harder for treatment to work, and increase the risk that a person will pass the infection on to his or her partner. It’s best to wait until all over-the-counter yeast infection remedies like Monistat or Gyno-Daktarin have worked and symptoms are gone before getting intimate.

A yeast infection is a fungus that overgrows in the mucus membranes of the vagina and vulva. It’s normal for a small amount of the yeast to live in these membranes; but when that balance is disrupted, it can lead to a fungal infection that causes painful itchiness and itchy, cottage cheese-like discharge.

Symptoms include a stinging sensation when you pee, burning during urination, pain during sexual intercourse, and a whitish or yellowish odorless vaginal discharge that can be thick or watery and feel clumpy or lumpy. Yeast infections can also cause the labia and vulva to swell, making skin-to-skin contact during intercourse a uncomfortable or even painful experience. Penetration can aggravate inflamed tissue and introduce new bacteria, which can make the yeast infection worse.

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Yeast infections can be hard to self-diagnose, but most antifungal over-the-counter medications work pretty quickly, and should provide relief in seven days or less, says Dr. Morton. So, if you’ve already started your treatment and are feeling better, it’s usually safe to go back to the bedroom.

Diagnosis

A yeast infection is a fungus that can cause painful sex, burning during urination, itching in the vagina and vulva, or soreness around the area. The infection can also be accompanied by a thick, white, odorless discharge that may have an unpleasant odor.

Women who suspect a yeast infection should see their doctor to confirm the diagnosis and determine the best treatment. The condition can be treated at home with an over-the-counter antifungal medication such as clotrimazole or Monistat 3. However, many cases of yeast infections require a short course of oral antibiotics, such as fluconazole (Diflucan).

While it is not considered a sexually transmitted disease (STD), yeast infection can be contagious. Infections can spread during unprotected sex because the friction during sex can irritate the genitals, making them more susceptible to fungus and increasing itching and discomfort. It is recommended to avoid sex until symptoms clear and the antifungal medication has cleared up for both partners.

A person should wait until her doctor advises resuming sexual activity before getting intimate, because some treatments can take four to seven days or more to work. Also, certain types of oral antifungal medicines, such as clotrimazole and terconazole, are oil-based and can weaken latex or polyisoprene condoms. This makes them less effective at preventing pregnancy or STIs. The person should also pay attention to her symptoms and how she feels after she finishes the medication.

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Treatment

Yeast infections are caused by an overgrowth of yeast (Candidia) in the genital area, and they can affect people of all genders. They can be uncomfortable, but they’re not usually harmful. Symptoms include itching, vaginal discharge, pain and swelling of the vulva or vagina.

If you’re using an antifungal medication to treat your yeast infection, such as Monistat (miconazole-antifungal), it’s important to wait until all symptoms are gone before having sex. This can take anywhere from 1 to 7 days, depending on the potency and duration of the medicine.

Sexual activity can make the yeast infection worse, and sex could also spread it to your partner. This is especially likely if you’re uncircumcised or have diabetes, which can increase the likelihood of an overgrowth of the yeast because it can thrive in moist, dark environments, Amy Roskin, ob-gyn and chief medical officer of The Pill Club, tells SELF.

It’s also worth noting that sex can interrupt your treatment and cause the fungus to return more quickly. Plus, having penetrative sex can push creams or suppositories out of your vagina and can damage some condoms and diaphragms because of the oil they contain. This can lead to recurrent yeast infections and other health issues. For all of these reasons, it’s best to avoid sex until your yeast infection is fully treated.

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Prevention

Yeast infections are caused by an overgrowth of yeast, Candida, in the vagina and vulva. It’s normal to have a little Candida in the genitals, but when the balance is disrupted—such as with antibiotics or pregnancy—it can grow out of control and cause symptoms like itching and pain during urination and sexual activity.

When you have a yeast infection, it’s best to avoid sex until your symptoms clear up. In addition to being uncomfortable, having sex can worsen your symptoms or spread the infection to your partner.

During sex, friction can irritate inflamed tissue and aggravate the yeast, making itching and pain much more severe. Penetration can also cause abrasions in the vaginal tissues, which can lead to a heightened risk of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) and increase the chance of condom breakage.

You can prevent yeast infections by using barrier methods, such as condoms, during sex. You should also talk to your doctor if you have a yeast infection that won’t go away with at-home treatment. They can help you figure out what’s causing the infection and recommend an appropriate course of action. In some cases, your doctor may order a lab test to check for a yeast overgrowth. These tests may include a pelvic exam and a sample of your vaginal discharge. The test results can show whether you have a yeast infection or another condition that could be causing your symptoms.

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