Are Yeast Infections Contagious?

Are Yeast Infections Contagious?

A yeast infection, even though they are not an STI can be passed from one person to another quite easily and not just through the sexual activity! Yeast infections can be passed from person to person without any physical contract as they can live on things like damp towels that could be used by more than one person. That is just one of the ways it can potentially spread from one person to another therefore it’s important to make sure that you are not contributing to your infection by practising good hygiene and knowing what else you can do to limit your risks of spreading the infection onto others. They can be treated with medication within 7 days (depending on the severity of the infection) so this is not something that will take up too much time to clear up. However, it does need to be treated thoroughly and then prevention is also another crucial part of the follow-up care process. You need to know what might have caused your infection, to ensure you do not make the same choice (unknowingly) again otherwise your yeast infection could end up being the beginning of a long cycle. 

How easy is it to spread a yeast infection?

Even though a yeast infection is not classified as a sexually transmitted infection (or STI) that does not mean that it is not impossible to pass to your partner during sexual activity. If your sexual partner is a man then their risk of infection is very low if they have unprotected sex with a woman who has a yeast infection. The reason why yeast infection is not classed as an STI is that it can be transmitted or potentially passed onto a partner without sexual activity. It can be spread in other ways that are not related to sexual activity at all. You could be passing a yeast infection through the mouth by kissing which is not sexually transmitted. One of the ways you might not have thought that yeast could transfer from one person to another is through towels; as damp towels are an ideal environment for microbial growth including bacteria and yeast. 

How long are yeast infections contagious?

It is advised that if you do have a yeast infection, you refrain from sexual activity for a while whilst you take your treatment to clear up your symptoms as well as your infection. A yeast infection can clear up pretty quickly once you begin your treatment. It’s likely like an over-the-counter medication or treatment is all you need for treating and clearing up an infection of this nature. Although, you might to ensure that you are aware of what you need to do or stop doing to ensure that a new infection does not return once again within quick succession. You do not want to be passing back and forth yeast or ‘harmful’ bacteria as this can make your infection appear to be constant! Therefore to avoid spreading or possibly passing it onto anyone through direct or passive contact, it is advised that you wait at least 7 days for the infection to clear up before resuming sexual activity. This time might also help your vaginal health improve overall, which includes rebalancing your intimate bacteria and your pH; both are important to keep healthy! 

What not to do when you have a yeast infection?

If you do have a yeast infection then it is vital that you are not allowing the bacteria to spread, grow or get out of hand as this could make your infection more severe and therefore any viable treatment could take considerably longer to clear up! Below, we have included a list of things that you will not want to do if you have a yeast infection; the biggest reason being that they can all contribute to your infection getting more prominent. If the ‘state’ of your vagina allows for more bacterial cells to thrive then you are increasing your risk of recurring infections as well as contributing to them getting more overwhelming for the health of your vagina. So, if you have a yeast infection, here is what not to do: 

  • Do not wear a nylon or other fabric clothing (including underwear) that holds in your body heat and moisture too close to the skin. You will want breathable fabric like cotton! 
  • Avoid scratching the area if it feels itchy as this can disrupt your vaginal bacteria even more and spread the infection. Try to relieve itching with an ice pack instead.
  • Don’t skip on hygiene! It is still important to still shower daily and brush your teeth and keep up with daily hygiene as poor hygiene can stop the cycle of yeast infections from recurring. 
  • Douching is not as good as it may sound as it can cause yeast infections to recur again frequently. Avoid it if you can it’s both harmful and unnecessary. 
  • Not wearing protection during sexual activity is not advised even though it's not an STI, it is still advised that you wear condoms or dental dams to avoid passing it back and forth. 

If you can remember these few ‘what not to dos’ then they might help you to ensure that you do not get a yeast infection on a chronic or regular basis. These things might not seem like a big deal at first but they can be the most common reasons for yeast infections to worsen or become a long-standing issue. Avoiding these things can help increase your chances of not contracting a yeast infection (or as often) as well as help support your intimate health long-term!

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