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Yeast Infection After Sex: Causes, Treatment & Prevention

Vaginal yeast infection, also called vulvovaginal candidiasis occurs when the healthy yeast that lives in your vagina grows out of control and leads to an infection. It is not a sexually transmitted infection, however, develops after vaginal intercourse [1] .

Yeast infections are extremely uncomfortable and irritating and sexual activities increases the risk of infection developing, by introducing new bacteria to the vagina.

Commonly found in women, yeast infections are not serious and are treatable with over-the-counter medications. It is stated that almost all women will develop a yeast infection at some point in their life [2] [3] .

Causes Of Yeast Infections After Sex

The overgrowth of Candida fungus, a microscopic fungus growing in the vaginal environment is the cause of yeast infection after sex. The fungus is a normal part of the bacterial ecosystem in your vagina.

During intercourse, the bacteria from your partner's finger or penis will enter your vaginal ecosystem - resulting in the development of yeast infection. Bacteria can be introduced via sex toys too [4] .

This entrance of new bacteria causes a disruption which triggers a vaginal yeast infection.

Vaginal yeast infection can also develop when involved in intercourse with an individual who has a penile yeast infection. Chances of one contracting vaginal yeast infection after sex may be due to the factor that your partner will also be having a yeast infection. In the same line, you can pass the infection to your partner if you have sex after developing yeast infection [5] .

Oral sex increases the risk of vaginal yeast infections, studies assert. This is because while performing oral sex, Candida and bacteria from your partner's mouth, tongue, and gums can enter to your vulva.

Some of the other factors causing vaginal yeast infection are as follows [6] [7] :

  • Weak immune system
  • Pregnancy
  • High blood sugar
  • Untreated diabetes
  • Use of antibiotics
  • Douching
  • Using fragrant cleansers on your genitals
  • Irritation from wearing wet (or sweaty) clothes
  • Breastfeeding

Treatment For Yeast Infection After Sex

If you suspect that you have an infection, consult a doctor rather than self-diagnosing. Although you can easily understand if you have a yeast infection or not and get it treated with over-the-counter creams such as miconazole or butoconazole - going to a doctor can be beneficial because he or she can rule out the possibilities of severe infections [8] .

The most commonly prescribed medication for yeast infection is antifungal medications which can be brought without a prescription, as mentioned before.

The medicines are available in the form of creams, pills, ointments and suppositories [9] .

Note: If you are getting over-the-counter medication, ask the pharmacist about the dosage and possible side effects.

Prevention Of Yeast Infection After Sex

The first and foremost measure involved in preventing yeast infection after sex is by a condom. Having protected sex can help keep the infection from developing [10] .

The other method is the use of a dental dam, a latex or polyurethane sheet that can be used during vaginal oral sex or anal sex. It is also called an outside condom as it is placed on the outside.

These can help in minimising the spread of infection-causing bacteria during sexual activity.

Some of the other ways through which you can minimise the risk of developing vaginal yeast infection are as follows [11] :

  • Reduce your consumption of carbohydrate- and sugar-rich foods.
  • Use breathable cotton undergarments.
  • Avoid using perfumed soaps or other hygiene products on your genitals.
  • Consume more of Greek yoghurt as it contains good bacteria that can help fight yeast infection.
  • Avoid douching.
View Article References
  1. [1] Adolfsson, A., Hagander, A., Mahjoubipour, F., & Larsson, P. G. (2017). How Vaginal Infections Impact Women's Everyday Life: Women's Lived Experiences of Bacterial Vaginosis and Recurrent Vulvovaginal Candidiasis. Advances in Sexual Medicine, 7(1), 1-19.
  2. [2] Widerstrom-Noga, E., Govind, V., Adcock, J., Levin, B., & Maudsley, A. (2015). (228) Pain after TBI is associated with lower brain N-acetyl-aspartate concentrations. The Journal of Pain, 16(4), S33.
  3. [3] Severance, E. G., Gressitt, K. L., Stallings, C. R., Katsafanas, E., Schweinfurth, L. A., Savage, C. L., ... & Leweke, F. M. (2016). Candida albicans exposures, sex specificity and cognitive deficits in schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. NPJ schizophrenia, 2, 16018.
  4. [4] Hooton, T. M., & UpToDate, M. D. (2015). Patient education: Urinary tract infections in adolescents and adults (Beyond the Basics). Up to date. Updated May.
  5. [5] Kinuthia, J., Drake, A. L., Matemo, D., Richardson, B. A., Zeh, C., Osborn, L., ... & John-Stewart, G. (2015). HIV acquisition during pregnancy and postpartum is associated with genital infections and partnership characteristics: A cohort study. AIDS (London, England), 29(15), 2025.
  6. [6] Wang, J., Ding, G., Zhu, Z., Zhou, C., & Wang, N. (2015). Analysis of HIV correlated factors in Chinese and Vietnamese female sex workers in Hekou, Yunnan Province, a Chinese border region. PloS one, 10(6), e0129430.
  7. [7] Basson, R., Driscoll, M., & Correia, S. (2016). When sex is always painful: Provoked vestibulodynia. British Columbia Medical Journal, 58(2).
  8. [8] Pendharkar, S., Brandsborg, E., Hammarström, L., Marcotte, H., & Larsson, P. G. (2015). Vaginal colonisation by probiotic lactobacilli and clinical outcome in women conventionally treated for bacterial vaginosis and yeast infection. BMC infectious diseases, 15(1), 255.
  9. [9] Wood, J., Crann, S., Cunningham, S., Money, D., & O'Doherty, K. (2017). A cross-sectional survey of sex toy use, characteristics of sex toy use hygiene behaviours, and vulvovaginal health outcomes in Canada. The Canadian Journal of Human Sexuality, 26(3), 196-204.
  10. [10] Martinez, R. C. R., Franceschini, S. A., Patta, M. C., Quintana, S. M., Candido, R. C., Ferreira, J. C., ... & Reid, G. (2009). Improved treatment of vulvovaginal candidiasis with fluconazole plus probiotic Lactobacillus rhamnosus GR‐1 and Lactobacillus reuteri RC‐14. Letters in applied microbiology, 48(3), 269-274.
  11. [11] Boeckh, M., Nichols, W. G., Chemaly, R. F., Papanicolaou, G. A., Wingard, J. R., Xie, H., ... & Leisenring, W. (2015). Valganciclovir for the prevention of complications of late cytomegalovirus infection after allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation: a randomized controlled trial. Annals of internal medicine, 162(1), 1.
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