I’M A GUY, AND MY GIRLFRIEND HAS A YEAST INFECTION. COULD I GET IT FROM HER?
Great question! The short answer? It’s possible for people with penises to get yeast infections from having sex, but it’s HIGHLY unlikely.
Everyone (of all genders) has yeast in their bodies—particularly in moist, dark places like the mouth, vagina and even in skin folds. Sometimes, the balance of bacteria can get thrown out of whack by antibiotics, hormonal changes (in people with vaginas) or other reasons. This can mean that yeast overgrows, causing a yeast infection.
It’s rare for people with penises to get a yeast infection, and it’s even rarer for them to get a yeast infection from having sex.
However, it is possible to get a yeast infection from unprotected penis-in-vagina (PIV) sex with someone with a yeast infection. It’s more likely for people with penises to get a yeast infection if they have diabetes, have recently taken antibiotics, or they have an autoimmune condition. People with uncircumcised penises are also more likely to get a yeast infection, since yeast can live in the skin folds of the foreskin.
Yeast infections can cause an inflammation of the head of the penis (aka balanitis). This can look like redness, irritation, itching, and dry areas or white spots on the penis. You might also notice a thick, white substance in the folds of your penis. Usually, yeast infections will go away on their own after a few days. However, you can use an over the counter anti-fungal cream to help them on their way. If you think you might have a yeast infection, we recommend seeing a healthcare provider. They can make sure it is actually a yeast infection, and not something else going on.
Using condoms will make sure that you don’t get your girlfriend’s yeast infection, even though (again) this is incredibly rare!
Condoms are a great idea anyway, since they protect you both from sexually transmitted infections (STIs, sometimes called sexually transmitted diseases or STDs) and prevent pregnancy.
Have more questions about sexual health and how to take care of your body? If you’re 10-22 years old in NYC, stop by the Mount Sinai Adolescent Health Center for free, confidential, nonjudgmental health care.
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