Medically reviewed on Aug 29, 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.
Table of contents
Yeast infections are highly common. An estimated 75% of girls and women will contract one in their lifetime.1 Though they are easily treated, having sex with an active vaginal yeast infection can result in a partner getting one too.
In general, however, it’s more common to get a yeast infection, also known as ‘vaginal thrush’, from other sources—like spending too much time in exercise clothes after a workout—than it is to contract one from a sexual partner. If you do develop a yeast infection after sex, the condition remains treatable so long as both partners seek care from a healthcare provider.
Knowing how the condition manifests and how to care for it effectively is the first step in keeping you and your sexual partner(s) healthy. If you’re concerned about developing a yeast infection after sex, the following guide will help ease your mind and aid in finding proper treatment fast.
Yeast infections can be transmitted through sexual contact between partners. However, because there are other ways to develop an infection, yeast infections are not considered a sexually transmitted infection (STI).  Although they have plenty in common and share similar symptoms, understanding the differences between an STD vs. yeast infection is important for getting proper treatment.
If you think you have contracted a yeast infection from a sexual partner, it’s important to seek care from a healthcare provider as soon as possible. Proper management of a yeast infection can help:
If you're sexually active and have contracted a vaginal infection, you may also be asking, “can you have sex with a yeast infection?” It's best to receive proper treatment before engaging in sexual intercourse or activity.
Unlike most STIs, which are usually caused by bacteria or a virus, yeast infections are caused by a fungus. The fungus most commonly responsible for yeast infections is candida albicans.
The body naturally carries fungal cultures, as many strains of fungus prefer warm, moisture-rich environments.  Most of the time, the bacteria in or around the genitals does a good job at keeping fungus from growing out of control. But, if you have a yeast infection, it indicates the candida in your body has overgrown. 
You may be at higher risk of developing a yeast infection if :
One of the best ways to prevent yeast infection from transmitting to a sexual partner is by knowing what to look for. Women and people assigned female at birth (AFAB) are most likely to contract a yeast infection. If you fall into this group, a yeast infection may present with :
Although yeast infections are most commonly associated with people with vaginas, people with penises can get yeast infections, too.  They are most common in people AMAB (assigned male at birth) who have not been circumcised. 
If you fall into this group, you might notice:
Fortunately, most yeast infections respond well to proper treatment.  To diagnose one, a healthcare provider usually retrieves a sample of fluid from your genitals for examination. 
If the cause of your vaginal infection is fungal overgrowth, your healthcare provider will likely prescribe an antifungal medication.  There are two routes your healthcare provider might recommend for medication:
If your healthcare provider prescribes you medication for a yeast infection, it’s generally recommended you avoid having sex until the infection resolves.  The act of sex can aggravate the affected area and may delay your recovery unnecessarily. 
When managed and treated properly, yeast infections typically clear up within a week of beginning a round of medication.
It’s important to diagnose and treat yeast infections, as they don’t usually clear up on their own.4 If left untreated in people AFAB, a yeast infection may result in bacterial vaginosis. 
Bacterial vaginosis is a bacterial infection that can occur when your vaginal flora becomes imbalanced. Common symptoms include:
If you contract bacterial vaginosis following a yeast infection and are sexually active, it’s important to seek treatment as soon as possible. People who have untreated bacterial vaginosis and are sexually active are more susceptible to STIs. 
Healthcare providers class yeast infections as recurrent or “chronic” when they crop up four or more times in a single year.5 Recurring and frequent yeast infections are more likely to arise if:
Some people try to use over-the-counter medications to treat a yeast infection without consulting with a healthcare provider. Without a professional diagnosis, it’s possible to mistake another type of infection for a yeast infection. For example, it can be hard to distinguish between a UTI vs. yeast infection as they can have similar symptoms. This may make it more likely that an existing condition goes undiagnosed and untreated.
Conditions commonly mistaken for a yeast infection include:
Whenever possible, it’s important to have yourself examined by a medical professional. They’ll be able to more accurately diagnose your condition and advise you on an appropriate and effective course of treatment.
Despite the prevalence of yeast infections, there are several lifestyle changes you can make to help curb your risk of developing one. These include:
Whether you’re navigating chronic yeast infections or living with an STI, staying on top of your sexual well-being shouldn’t be complicated. The Everlywell Sexual Health Test collection was designed to help you learn your sexual health status more conveniently and affordably.
From screening for six common STIs at home to receiving your physician-reviewed results, Everlywell provides total confidentiality throughout the process of sexual health testing. If you discover you need to get treatment, Everlywell will even connect you to healthcare providers and online women’s health services to help you recover faster.
Find out how to take your health into your hands by exploring more at Everlywell today.