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Down There Care

Yeast Infections From Sex

By Lizzie De La Cruz

Yeast Infections From Sex

I get how embarrassing and uncomfortable yeast infections can be, especially if it seems like you always get one after having sex. But fact of the matter is that 75% of women will get a yeast infection at least once in their lives, and you can be sure that some of those cases happened after having sex. While yeast infections can be pretty annoying, they're definitely not the end of the word. And if you feel like you keep getting yeast infections after having sex, there are definitely some precautions you can take to keep them from coming back again. 

Can You Get Yeast Infections From Sex?

Yes, it's entirely possible to get yeast infections from sex, but that doesn't mean it's an STI. Yeast infections are caused by the Candida fungus. While Candida is a very normal part of any vaginal ecosystem, too much of this fungus can lead to a yeast infection, which is really more of an irritating and uncomfortable burden than anything else. 
Surprisingly, people with vaginas aren't the only ones who can get yeast infections. In some cases, a person with a penis can get a yeast infection if they have vaginal sex with a someone who has a yeast infection. It's also possible to spread a yeast infections between female partners, too. That's why it's usually best to put yourself out of commission until your infection clears up. 

Causes of Yeast Infections From Sex

Yeast infections happen when something throws your vagina's bacteria off course. Things like lube, a new partner, oral sex or antibiotics can cause your vagina to start producing too much Candida, which results in a yeast infection. In particular with oral sex, bacteria and any Candida from your partner's mouth can pass to the parts of your body they get close with. This is especially the case when your partner has oral thrush.
Sex toys can also increase the chances that bacteria will get really comfortable on (and in) your body. If you regularly use toys, always make sure to wash them with antibacterial soap after use, and store them in a clean, dry area. Give your toy a quick wash or wipe with a personal cleansing wipe right before you use it.

How To Prevent Yeast Infections After Sex

You shouldn't restrict your sexual life just because you think you might get a yeast infection. Here's what you should keep in mind:
  • Do not use fragrant cleansers on or around your vagina. Unscented soaps approved for sensitive skin prevent your vagina from getting too irritated, which can limit your chances of infection. Fragrant cleansers can easily throw off your vagina's normal pH, making it easier for bacteria to thrive.
  • Avoid douching. Your vagina is a self-cleaning machine. Douching can disrupt your natural flora and fauna, throwing your good bacteria through a loop.
  • Clean your genitals after sex. If bacteria has been introduced, doing a thorough cleaning can rinse a lot of it away, and it's definitely better than letting it sit there while you cuddle throughout the night.
  • Take probiotics. Antibiotics can suppress the good bacteria that hangs out in your body, which can cause Candida to grow out of control. If you're on an antibiotic or just finished a round, consider giving your good bacteria a little boost by taking a daily probiotic.
  • Try boric acid. If you're continually getting yeast infections after sex, it might be helpful to try out boric acid, which is an antifungal and antiseptic treatment. It's a vaginal suppository that you usually insert at night, so you can pop one in after you have sex and let the balancing take care of itself.
  • Urinate after sex. Always try to pee after sex, which can help flush out any bacteria that could encourage yeast infections. You can always give yourself a quick swipe with a cleansing wipe to be certain.
  • Wipe correctly. When you're cleaning yourself, and especially after peeing, always remember to wipe from front to back so that you aren't introducing even more bacteria into your vagina. 
  • Maybe... lay off sex for a while. Avoid any type of sex with a partner, or on your own with sex toys, until you and your partner are clear of the yeast infection. This can prevent a yeast infection that already exists from spreading to other parts of your body or to your partner.

Dealing With Constant Yeast Infections After Intercourse

If you notice that you're developing a yeast infection often after sex, you may not have allowed your body to go through the healing process. It's possible that your yeast infection wasn't completely cleared up, and sex is causing the infection to keep acting up. Even if you don't have intense yeast infection symptoms, sex can cause swelling in your labia and vulva, making the infection even more uncomfortable. 
If you were on antifungals to solve your yeast infection, you should always finish the full round of meds, even if your symptoms go away after a couple of days. Give your body plenty of time to clear out the infection once you start treating it. You should be good to go after one week, but a nasty infection could take up to two weeks to clear.

Can Lack of Sex Cause Yeast Infections?

No, you aren't going to get a yeast infection just because you aren't having sex. Your body won't turn on you because you're choosing not to be intimate with anyone. However, whether you're sexually active or sex isn't a priority currently, you can still get a yeast infection. It's a common occurrence that happens for a number of reasons completely unrelated to intercourse. Factors like stress, lack of sleep, hormonal imbalances and even diabetes can increase your chances of getting a yeast infection.
Even if you follow all the recommendations for avoiding and preventing yeast infections, they can still occur. Don't fret! Just contact the doctors as wisp to get the treatment you need so you can get back to the life you love.

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