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Yeast infections suck. They’re not only itchy, painful, and gross, but they can also be a total bedtime buzzkill. Here’s why you should think twice before having sex with a yeast infection.

Why can’t yeast just stay in the bread factory? *sigh* If you’ve already had a yeast infection you know the drill. Most cases can be nipped in the bud if given appropriate care, but you should avoid sex until your vajayjay strikes back.

Reason 1: Sex may worsen your symptoms and cause actual pain

Having sex with a yeast infection can be incredibly uncomfortable if not downright painful.

First of all, your vulva and labia may be swollen and hyper sensitive. Sticking anything up in there (e.g. an appendage, tongue, or toy) can make your infection worse.

You don’t want new bacteria near your infected lady parts. Penetration can also put you at risk of:

  • chafing your inflamed hoo-ha
  • rubbing your skin raw
  • increasing itchiness

Reason 2: You could pass it on

Whether your partner has a vagina or penis, you can pass on your yeast infection.

According to the Office on Women’s Health, approximately 15 percent of people with a penis who have unprotected sex get a yeast infection when their partner has one. Uncircumcised peens are an at even higher risk.

If your partner has a vagina, it’s possible you can pass it to them. But there’s a lack of scientific evidence that can point to a definitive answer.

Reason 3: Sex may prolong your infection

Sex can worsen yeast infection symptoms. That means it can also delay your recovery. That means you’ll have to go even longer without sex.

And if you pass your yeast infection onto your partner, they can pass it right back to you. Next thing you know you’re engaged in the worst game of ping pong ever.

Go see your doctor if this is your first foray into yeast infections. Some vaginal infections have similar symptoms and it may not be obvious what kind of infection is causing your symptoms. It’s best to know what you’re dealing with.

If it does turn out to be a yeast infection, your doctor may recommend an over-the-counter (OTC) antifungal medicine. They’ll write a prescription for something stronger if the infection is severe.

Yeast infections are generally treated with OTC antifungal medication. These usually take about 4 to 7 days to clear up. Mild cases can sometimes be helped with home remedies. Stubborn infections may require a prescription from your doctor.

Medical treatments

OTC options

Most yeast infections can be cleared up with an OTC option. If these don’t do the trick your doctor may prescribe something stronger.

Antifungal drugs

Azoles are popular antifungal meds. The usually clear up most yeast infections in about 4 to 7 days.

These medications come as:

  • suppositories
  • tablets
  • ointments
  • creams

Prescription medicine

If your yeast infection isn’t going away with home remedies or OTC treatments, you may need something stronger.

Prescription antifungals are widely used to clear up more intense infections. They’re usually the same as OTC options, but stronger. Your doctor will likely prescribe you a week or 2-week course of treatment.

Prescription-strength azoles are also available as:

  • suppositories
  • tablets
  • ointments
  • creams

It may mess with your birth control

Your normal birth control methods may not be effective if you’re taking antifungal medications. Most antifungal medications are oil-based. Oil can break town polyisoprene and latex, the materials used in condoms. They also can weaken diaphragms. Have a backup plan.

Natural ways to ease symptoms

1. Probiotics

Probiotics can be an effective treatment against C. albicans (aka Candidiasis, aka the bacteria making your vagina feel like it’s on fire). They help balance the yeast-bacteria levels in your body.

If yogurt isn’t your thing, oral supplements and suppositories work well. too. Oral probiotics can take up 10 days to work. Vaginal suppositories tend to work a bit quicker.

2. Boric acid

Boric acid is a powerful antiseptic. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends it as a yeast infection treatment. Boric acid vaginal suppositories are sometimes used alongside other medications in the quest to banish yeast infections.

3. Apple cider vinegar

An apple cider vinegar (ACV) bath can help kill unwanted microorganisms like yeast. Add half a cup to a lukewarm bath. Soak for at least 20 minutes.

Adding a splash of ACV to your diet can also help ward off yeast infections. Try it in your salads or mix a tablespoon in a glass of water once a day.

4. Vitamin C

Vitamin C (aka ascorbic acid) may not cure yeast infections. But it can be a good proactive plan. It boosts your immune system. That might help your body fight off excess Candida.

Try increasing your daily vitamin C. Eat more foods with the nutrient or take a supplement.

5. Cotton underwear

According to many OB/GYNs, your vagina will be happiest in 100 percent cotton. They let a girl breathe “down there.”

The same goes for workout clothes. If you’re gonna sweat, wear cotton down there. Moisture-wicking leggings are also a good idea.

It’s recommended you wait around 7 days before having sex again. But only if all symptoms are gone.

Can you have sex with a yeast infection? Yes. Should you? No. Lady Vajonna is itchy, swollen, discharging, painful, and possibly contagious. She doesn’t need to be agitated further. Wait to do the deed until you’re symptom-free.