Medically Reviewed by Sanjai Sinha, MD Sexual intercourse may interfere with yeast infection treatment, and condoms may be damaged by yeast infection medication. Having sex with a vaginal yeast infection can be complicated. For the most part, yeast infections aren't associated with the development of an STD.
But by scratching to relieve vaginal itching, you may inadvertently create microscopic tears in the skin that allow bacteria or viruses that cause STDs to enter your body more easily.
Some studies suggest that about 50 to 70 percent of women with HIV develop vaginal yeast infections at some point in their lives. Research also suggests that the connection works the other way around: They found that the women who eventually contracted HIV were significantly more likely to have had yeast infections.
Of course, this is standard advice even when you don't have a yeast infection. Vaginal Yeast Infections and Safe Sex Generally, it's recommended to wait to have sex until after your infection clears — which typically only takes one to seven days with antifungal medications. For one thing, the vaginal itching and burning associated with yeast infections may make sex uncomfortable or painful and increase vaginal burning and inflammation.
If you're using creams to treat your vaginal yeast infection, it's best to delay intercourse until the therapy is complete, as sex can essentially push the medication out of the vagina. Even so, there are situations where it does happen.
The risk of men getting a yeast infection through sex is low, but up to 15 percent of men may get an uncomfortable rash on their penis if they have unprotected sex with a woman who has a yeast infection.
The rate seems to be highest among men who are not circumcised and men with diabetes. In a study published in the Journal of Women's Health, researchers found that women were more likely to get repeat yeast infections if they recently engaged in cunnilingus oral sex involving the vagina or masturbated with saliva theirs or their partner's , though the study focused on heterosexual couples. Although yeast infections aren't dangerous for most people, they can cause discomfort such as vaginal itching and burning.
Decisions regarding sexual activity during a yeast infection ultimately depend on what you and your partner feel most comfortable doing. Sign up for our Women's Health Newsletter! Thanks for signing up for our newsletter! You should see it in your inbox very soon. Please enter a valid email address Subscribe.