We often wonder whether a yeast infection is contagious or not? Yes, in some cases yeast infection can become contagious as the vaginal yeast infection can be passed onto a men’s penis through sexual intercourse, but in could also be passed from men to women as well. Yeast infection spreads mainly due to sexual contact as the men are most of the time not aware if they have developed any yeast infection and it is presumed that yeast infections only take place in women. But the situation is not that, if either of the partners have yeast infection, the other may catch it too through sexual intercourse.
A yeast infection can also be passed on from mother to baby during the birth process. This occurs when the foetus contracts with oral yeast infection during the birth, from the mother’s vaginal infection, then there is a possibility that the yeast infection may become contagious.
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So, Is a Yeast Infection Contagious?
The answer is yes if the person has sex with another infected partner, then there is a chance to contract this infection. So, the doctors recommend abstaining from having sexual intercourse till the person is fully cured.
Sometimes it is also possible that a yeast infection becomes contagious even if a man or woman abstains from sexual intercourse, and this happens if he or she already has had intercourse before realising that they have a yeast infection, and their partner may not realise that they have caught the infection.
A study was conducted on the vaginal carriage for Group B Streptococci (GBS) and E. coli and to understand the risk of it occurring. 430 women of different country were studied cross sectionally. To assess the vaginal carriage of GBS and E. coli molecular, techniques were used and multivariable logistic analysis were conducted to understand the risk factor. Vaginal carriage rate of women from Kenya and South Africa was found to be 20.2% and 23 %. GBS was most prevalent for all the women. For cases of both GBS and E. coli bacteria, the associated disease was Candida albicans which was common for women who had recent vaginal intercourse, cervical ectopy and sex workers. It was concluded that the abstinence from sexual intercourse should be practiced until one has been fully cured, otherwise genital infections can very easily be contracted from partner to partner.
In a recent study to understand the risk of getting yeast infection from oral sex, 148 women and 78 of their male sex partners were studied. It was found that the women who received oral sex also had a risk in developing vaginal yeast infection and vulvovaginal Candidiasis. A 27.8% recurrence rate was seen in women who received oral sex from their past 1 month and a 11.6 % recurrence rate for women who received oral sex a few months ago. Candida also affected men at the same time. Men who masturbated with saliva also had a close chance of developing penile yeast infection. Overall, the findings from this study clearly answer the question of ‘is a yeast infection contagious?’, and the answer is definitely ‘Yes’. So, it becomes vital to abstain from sexual intercourse and oral sex when one is diagnosed with some form of yeast infection.
Causes of Vaginal Yeast Infection
A Yeast infection contagious is not always true, as the fungal infection can occur for a number of reasons and not only due to contact or after sexual intercourse with your infected partner. Stress, pregnancy, diabetes, and illness are just a few other factors which lower the fighting ability of the immune system. Our body’s natural ability to fight against yeast and fungi becomes suppressed during such periods of illness, and when a yeast overgrowth does occur, the chances for vaginal infections become very high. The use of steroids, birth control pills and antibiotics can kill the good bacteria in our body, and it is the beneficial bacteria that help keep the number of Candida yeast cells under check and in control. If diabetes is also not kept under check, then the high blood sugar can also increase the level of harmful Candida in the body, developing into oral and genital yeast infections. Hormonal changes brought over by menstrual cycle can also cause imbalance in the pH level of the vagina and causes yeast infections as well.
Symptoms of Contagious Yeast Infection
After getting to know that is a yeast infection contagious or not we should look into the signs and symptoms through which we can find out if one really does have yeast infection or not. Cases of yeast infection often show severe irritation and itching in the vagina or penis accompanied by swelling and redness. In women, when the yeast overgrowth takes place the vaginal discharge gets a consistency of whitish cottage cheese, moreover a sensation of burning while urinating and intercourse also indicate fungal infection. Due to the contagious nature and overabundance of yeast, the male partner after sexual intercourse can develop a rash on his penis and it may lead to itching, and redness.
Tests and Diagnosis of a Contagious Yeast Infection
A gynaecologist can help one to diagnose a yeast infection and it can be also be diagnosed by home tests. Having a lab test can also analyse vaginal discharge under a microscope to detect Candida yeast easily, and find out if there is any overabundance of yeast growing or not. A pelvic examinations can also be used to diagnose yeast infections. If there is any irritation and inflammation in the cervix, skin of the vagina or vulva, then it is also an indication of fungal infection. The walls of the vagina may also contain white plagues of yeast. A doctor can also examine urine samples to find out whether there is any underlying disease present in the body contributing to the infection. Also, the doctor will be able to say that if there is any fungal infection and if it is a yeast infection contagious or not.
Patient should also opt to take probiotics which will help top-up your body’s friendly bacteria and not let the yeast infection grow uncontrollably. Moreover a healthy diet should be maintained that should have low sugar and contain more vegetables, fruits, meats, lentils, cereals and grains. We should try to avoid processed and canned foods during such infection. A contagiousyeast infection can also be prevented from spreading if other factors like properly controlling one’s diabetes and keeping the sugar levels in check.
Cross-Sectional Study of Vaginal Carriage of Streptococci – PLoS One Journal – 2016 -By Cools P, Jespers V and Hardy L
Fungal infections in Algeria – Journal De Mycologie Medicale – 2017 – By Chekiri-Talbi M and Denning DW
Broad description of yeast infection – Book by Bob Franklin – 2015
A woman’s guide to yeast infection – Book by Naomi Baumslag and Dia L. Michels – 1992
Fungal Infection in Compromised Patients – Book by David W. Warnock and Malcolm D. Richardson – 1982
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