Are Yeast Infections Contagious?



If you get chronic yeast infections or if both you and your partner seem to get them at the same time, it’s natural to ask “are yeast infections contagious?”

Most medical experts say that yeast infections are not contagious. This actually makes sense when you consider the fact that Candida yeast is on (and in) our bodies all the time.We can hardly “get” yeast from our partner if yeast is already present on our own bodies.

However, many sexual partners report that they often have yeast infections at the same time, and it certainly looks like they share their infections with each other. However, most infections develop from our own resident population of Candida that becomes overgrown for one reason or another, and then changes to its infectious form. Yeast infections are not considered a sexually transmitted disease. Nevertheless, it makes sense to use protection when having sex with a partner who currently has a yeast infection. Even if you don’t get an infection yourself, you could reinfect your partner with the infectious form of yeast that caused the original outbreak.

It is also possible that other things in the environment, which are shared between partners, may be causing both of them to get a yeast infection at the same time. For instance, there may be antibiotic soap in the shower, or the weather may be so hot and muggy that both partners have trouble keeping their genital area dry. Both partners may be eating a poor diet high in sugar or other refined carbohydrates, which can cause yeast infections.

Yeast infections and sex

Shared sex toys have been known to spread an invasive yeast infection among partners, and some sexual practices can transport your own rectal yeast to your vagina, where it becomes infectious because the yeast suddenly finds itself in a new environment. It’s not a good idea to have vaginal sex after anal sex, unless you’re sure that any yeast organisms (and other microbes) have been washed off the penis or sex toy first.

Obviously, if both partners have symptoms, it’s a good idea for both of you to see your doctor. If your sex partner has a yeast infection, it is possible that you might get one too, even though yeast infections are not considered a sexually transmitted disease.

What this really means is that the question “are yeast infections contagious?” is not as easily answered as we would like — so play it safe, and use protection if your partner has any of the symptoms of a male or female yeast infection.

Rare form of contagious yeast infections

Hospital patients can be infected with the drug-resistant strains of yeast that live in intensive care units, but this is, fortunately, still rare at this time. While we usually think of the transfer of an infection during sex, these newer, more virulent types of yeast infections are contagious, and hospitals do all they can to make sure the threat is kept as low as possible.

{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

Elizabeth Alshehri October 31, 2010 at 12:58 pm

My mother had a drug resistant systemic yeast infection for a long time, seems like 1-2 years. Since that period, my daughter, son, nephew, niece, ex-husband and I have had gastrointestinal (IBS) like symptoms. None of us had any symptoms before. I started with burning lips and “burning tongue syndrone”. The tip of my tongue and the upper palete were extremely sensitive to milk products and fruit. I had this for a couple of years. I stopped eating milk and most fruits for a couple of years and for the most part it went away. I still have problems sometimes with milk and cookies, some ice cream products and have to brush my teeth and get the product out of my mouth and bloating. The burning starts within a few minutes of eating. My mom cured herself for the most part, with acidophilus and lacto… something. Mom’s condition began in 1994, mine in 1995-6, my daughter and son around 97-98. The rest of us are still dealing with something similar.

My daughter is the one who concerns me the most. She is 26 and has extreme migraines, severe reflux, uncontrolled vomiting if she has beer, small breasts, and depression. She has eliminated the beer and the uncontrolled vomiting. She still has vomiting with migraines (1-2 a week). Her conditions began in highschool with pre-ulcer conditions and got progressively worse in college. She is a case worker for severe/moderate emotional impaired adults which I know adds to her health problems. Is there any chance we all contracted the yeast infection from mom and it has played havac with our gastrointestinal systems since.

My son, 24, also has IBS, anal sweating that embarrasses him, and migraines.

All of us are active, below or at normal weight for height, normal cholesterol.

Help!

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Jonni October 31, 2010 at 4:19 pm

Elizabet, I’m not a doctor so I can’t give medical advice. I did find a doctor who specializes in this sort of problem, and you might want to consult him for advice. You can find his website and contact info at http://www.nutritioninstitute.com/10.html.

Your family may have an inherited sensitivity to fungi, but only a doctor could know for sure,”Good luck – I hope you all get well soon.

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Elicia May 24, 2011 at 3:45 pm

I also have had very severe symptoms similar to your family. I have been ill with severe stomach cramping intermittently, uncomfortable bowel movements that vary greatly in consistency and frequency, head and body aches, nausea, etc. I went to my doctor who did blood and stool samples, and suspected IBS or celiac disease. Fortunately my test results all looked good. I then started reading up and I remembered a cleanse I used to do, and realized my symptoms correspond with candida albicans overgrowth. I’d recommend reading about it and considering a candida diet- basically high in nutrients, low in carbs and eliminates sugar and yeast entirely. There are cleanses you can use, but I’d talk to a health food store or naturopath to make sure you get a good one. The website above is what I’m following for my cleanse for the next couple weeks. I’m doing the strict diet with a gentle cleanse kit from Wayne and Mary’s health food store. Yeast can sometimes be contracted, but most commonly it is actually an overgrowth of our own natural body yeast when our immune system is compromised or weakened, so we just have to reduce the level of the yeast back to normal and get rid of the excess.
The diet changes often take several weeks or a month for results, but it WILL work if you stick to it. Also it will help you get on a healthy diet for life, anyway, though you can later add some of the restricted foods back in moderation.

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Elicia May 24, 2011 at 3:49 pm

Oh- also- my doctor and the health store recommended taking a probiotic consistently and there are herbs you can try that will limit candida as well. I’m taking one called Ultimate Flora – it’s the Critical Care type for people with immune issues and illness, and it does help me feel better, but I still have some symptoms so I’m restricting my diet for now.

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Morgan January 30, 2011 at 4:17 am

Maybe y’all are allergic to gluten. If someone is allergic to gluten and then eats it, all sorts of problems and sicknesses can come of it. Family members of mine are allergic to gluten and struggle with some of those problem until they got tested at their doctor for a gluten allergy.

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Jonni January 30, 2011 at 3:12 pm

Good point, Morgan. Thanks.

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Nerhys February 12, 2012 at 4:55 am

hi im 11/12 and i have all the symptoms of of a yeast infection and i wont to know is it contagious

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Jonni February 12, 2012 at 4:40 pm

No, yeast infections aren’t contagious. Yeast floats around in the air, and is everywhere. However, you should ask your parents to take you to see your doctor to make sure it’s really yeast, and not one of the infections that have similar symptoms. (Some of the bacterial infections are contagious.) So get an appointment.

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doris July 24, 2012 at 1:15 pm

can a person get a yeast infection or any infection from another person leaving a discharge in the bath tub or on the tolit seat/sitting in a chair after a person gets up?

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Jonni July 24, 2012 at 2:04 pm

It’s vaguely possible, I suppose. Yeast floats around in the air, and is present on almost everyone’s skin, so pinpointing an exact means of transmission seems a bit difficult. Also, the infected person won’t be infected unless their own body is out of balance or they have an open wound. So I’d say sure, maybe. But since you can get a yeast infection without any contact with another person whatsoever, it really doesn’t seem to matter very much. If you and a person you know both have an infection, perhaps you’re both eating too much sugar.

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bree April 10, 2014 at 1:52 am

Hi i have all the symptoms of a yeast infection and I wanted to know if i could have gotten it from my bf , or if over action in sex may have caused me to get a yeast infection

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Jonni April 10, 2014 at 2:01 pm

Sure, the yeast may have come from your BF. Or from the air. Or because you’re under stress this week and it changed your internal chemistry. Yeast infections are not considered a sexually transmitted illness. No matter where you got it from, if your boyfriend is having symptoms, you should both see a doctor and do whatever he or she suggests to get rid of it. Plus, many infections that people think are yeast are actually something else, like a bacterial infection, which can be much more damaging. A doctor will do a simple test to make sure.

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