Woman in shorts wondering if you can have sex with a yeast infection

Can You Have Sex With A Yeast Infection?

Medically reviewed on Aug 24, 2023 by Jordan Stachel, M.S., RDN, CPT. To give you technically accurate, evidence-based information, content published on the Everlywell blog is reviewed by credentialed professionals with expertise in medical and bioscience fields.

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Yeast infections are a type of fungal infection that can develop in people assigned female at birth (AFAB) or people assigned male at birth (AMAB). However, they’re more prevalent in people with vaginas.

No matter which group you belong to, if you’re sexually active, you may be curious to know—”can you have sex with a yeast infection?”

Put simply, healthcare providers advise against having sex with an active vaginal yeast infection.1 Even if you’re undergoing vaginal yeast infection treatment, it’s best to avoid penetrative, oral, and other forms of sexual activity until your vaginal infection has resolved. [1]

Below, we clarify why it’s advantageous to avoid physical intimacy with a yeast infection, as well as when you can resume having sex again.

3 Reasons Why It’s Not A Good Idea To Have Sex With A Yeast Infection

Whether you or your partner have been diagnosed with a yeast infection, you probably don’t need to be told that it’s uncomfortable. Most people who come down with the condition experience one or more of the following symptoms [2]:

  • Itching, swelling, or inflammation around the genitals
  • Burning or pain during urination (dysuria) [3]
  • Vaginal discharge or penile discharge
  • Chafing or skin flagging in the affected area

Having sexual intercourse when you’re dealing with these symptoms may be more painful than pleasurable. Additionally, it’s best to avoid having sexual intercourse with a yeast infection for the following clinical reasons:

1. You Could Pass It On To A Partner

While it’s rarer to contract a yeast infection from a partner than it is to contract it from other environments, it’s still possible. [4] Yeast infections are caused by an overgrowth in the naturally occurring flora around the sex organs, usually candida albicans (females) or candida balanitis (males). [5,6] By having sex, your partner may also develop an imbalance.

If you still plan to have sex with a yeast infection, be sure to use barrier method contraception like a condom or dental dam, typically used to prevent a sexually transmitted infection. These could help keep your partner safe from developing a yeast infection after sex.

2. It Could Worsen Your Symptoms

Yeast infections are very irritating by nature. In addition, if you increase friction to the affected area, it could significantly worsen irritation and pain.

Many people find that the friction caused by sex can result in [1]:

  • Chafing or skin flaking around the vulva or penis
  • Redness and swelling
  • Exaggerated rash
  • Lacerations around the vulva, vagina, or clitoris (in people AFAB)

Injuries or conditions like these may make sex painful. They may also make simple habits after having sex painful, like going to the bathroom. By the same token, aggravating the affected area could prolong your recovery time or cause recurrent infections if you’re already undergoing yeast infection treatment.

3. It Could Increase Chances Of Unwanted Pregnancy

It’s not unusual to suppose you can resume regular sexual activity if you’ve already consulted with a medical provider and started treatment. However, many medications commonly used to treat yeast infections do not mix well with barrier methods of contraception. [1]

For instance, certain topical treatment methods may be formulated with substances that could degrade the integrity of condoms. [1] While condoms are typically 98% effective at preventing unwanted pregnancy, a broken condom will significantly increase your risk of getting pregnant. [7]

To that end, if you’re already treating a yeast infection using a topical solution, it’s best to wait until you’ve completed your prescription before engaging in sexual activity.

When Can You Start Having Sex After a Yeast Infection?

You can improve your yeast infection symptoms and recovery outcomes by waiting until your infection has cleared to resume having sex.

Depending on which modality your healthcare provider prescribes, this might mean using:

  • Oral medications – Often, these are prescribed as a single dose. You may see symptoms clear up within a day or two after taking your medication, but it’s best to follow up with your healthcare provider to ensure it’s safe to resume sexual activity.
  • Topical medications – If you’re taking the topical route, you usually won’t need to apply for longer than a week. [2] After that, if your symptoms resolve, you should be able to start having sex again.

If you suffer from recurrent infections or chronic yeast infections, determining when to have sex may require a bit more troubleshooting in cooperation with your healthcare provider. By determining some healthy habits for keeping your condition at bay, you should be able to develop an appropriate long-term women’s health treatment plan that can accommodate a healthy, happy sex life.

Take Your Sexual Health Into Your Hands With Everlywell

Yeast infections and other women’s health and sexual health conditions aren’t discussed nearly enough, making it difficult to catch and treat them effectively. The first step to treating sexually transmitted diseases is through testing, but what if you want to take an STD test at home? The Everlywell Sexual Health Test collection was created to make transparency more accessible to everyone—without compromising the discretion needed in modern sexual healthcare.

Take control of your sexual well-being with at-home tests like the Everlywell female STD test, which screens for six common sexually transmitted diseases that may mimic symptoms of a yeast infection. Alongside complete data protection and physician-reviewed results, you’ll even gain access to a vetted network of healthcare providers and prescription services to help you get your sexual health back on track.

To find out more, visit our online women’s health services.

Yeast Infection After Sex: Causes, Treatment & Prevention

STD vs. Yeast Infection: 4 Differences in Symptoms

UTIs vs. Yeast Infections: What's the Difference?


  1. Can I Have Sex When I Have a Yeast Infection? Cleveland Clinic. Published December 14, 2020. URL. Accessed August 22, 2023.
  2. Vaginal Yeast Infection: Causes, Symptoms & Treatment. Cleveland Clinic. URL. Accessed August 22, 2023.
  3. Mayo Clinic. Painful urination (dysuria) Causes. Mayo Clinic. Published 2018. URL. Accessed August 22, 2023.
  4. Vaginal yeast infections | Womenshealth.gov. womenshealth.gov. Published May 23, 2018. URL. Accessed August 22, 2023.
  5. Male Yeast Infection (Candida Balanitis): Symptoms, Causes & Treatment. Cleveland Clinic. URL. Accessed August 22, 2023.
  6. Mayo Clinic Staff. Yeast infection (vaginal) - Symptoms and causes. Mayo Clinic. Published 2019. URL. Accessed August 22, 2023.
  7. Condoms Information. Cleveland Clinic. Published September 15, 2022. URL. Accessed August 22, 2023.
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