There are a host of different vulvar-vaginal infections that a woman might face in her lifetime. It’s just a part of life and it’s no big deal. A yeast infection is one of the most common of these vaginal infections and is easily treatable with either an anti-fungal cream such as Monistat, or an oral anti-fungal pill like Diflucan.
Yeast infections occur when there is a disruption in the vaginal flora, the balance of certain yeasts and bacteria that make your vagina and vulva a happy, healthy place. When the yeast outgrows the other bacteria, an infection occurs within the vagina. It can be painful, itchy, and produce a thick discharge. Again, it happens to pretty much every woman at some point(s) in her life.
It seems odd we’d even have to say this, but sometimes you just have to provide the information so all can be well: Don’t have sex when you have a yeast infection. Don’t have sex when you have any vulvar-vaginal infection. Just don’t. Here’s why.
It will be gross and it might even hurt
You know how we don’t shame period sex because period sex is natural and healthy? Yeah, this isn’t like that. A little menstrual blood does not affect sex and is a normal part of a woman’s monthly cycle. If anything, it just adds a little extra lube. Throw down a towel and go.
A yeast infection is actually gross. It is just objectively disgusting. It’s an infection, not a headache. Having sex with one is like hardcore making out with someone while you’re in the throes of strep throat. Yuck.
There is a think, cottage-cheese like discharge that comes out of the vagina. It does smell kind of sweet—literally like yeast—but it is highly unpleasant. When you have a yeast infection, your vaginal flora is running amuck. The skin and mucous membrane are highly sensitive. Sexual activity will only aggravate the symptoms.
It will take longer to clear the infection
It’s very possible that sex will not only be painful during the act, but will make your infection even more ferocious afterwards. That’s right, if you have sex you’ll take longer to heal. Even if you’re mid-treatment, having sex will likely disrupt the anti-fungals.
Additionally, with the introduction of semen (while normally OK) only adds another imbalanced factor to an already discombobulated pH balance during a yeast infection. The infection will persist and you will be miserable.
You can spread it to your partner
Whether your partner is male or female, you are at risk of spreading the infection. This is especially true with female partners. If you’re having sex with your female partner with a yeast infection, you’ll probably both end up with raging, double yeast infections. Hard pass, right?
While it’s less likely you’ll give it to a male partner, it is possible. He may experience itching and redness after sex. If he’s uncircumcised, the likeness of his getting the yeast infection only increase. Male yeast infections are rare, but they happen.
Treat the infection first
Don’t have sex. Go to the pharmacy or the doctor. Monistat is available at your local drugstore and can clear a yeast infection in about one to three days.
If your symptoms feel unbearable, or creams are just not your thing, your OB/GYN or general practitioner can prescribe an oral anti-fungal, which you’ll need to pick up from your pharmacist. They may be able to oblige over the phone, or might want you to come in for diagnosis.
If the symptoms persist after treatment, make an appointment with your OB/GYN to get checked out.
There are plenty of times we’ll tell you to stop listening to social morays and go forth and go forth and do your thing. This is not one of those times. Do not have sex until the yeast infection is completely cleared up. It’s just not worth it.