‘Are yeast infections contagious?’ – This is the question that arises in the minds of many people who may or may not be affected by yeast infection. Before finding the answer for this question the basic facts and causes of yeast infections must be known.
Most of you must be aware that it is caused by a fungus called Candida Albicans. This fungus is already present in a human body. They do not cause any problem until they start to multiply and outnumber the good bacteria present in the body. It is the good bacteria that prevent the fungus from multiplying. When the fungus outnumbers the good bacteria it leads to infection in the affected area.
Yeast infections are often related to women. It is generally assumed that only women are affected by yeast infection, but it is not true. Men can also be affected by yeast infection, although it is not as common as in women.
The answer is ‘Yes, it is contagious when a healthy person comes in direct contact with the affected region of the infected person.’ If you have sexual contact with the affected person the chances of getting yeast infection are increased but it does not mean that you will surely get yeast infection if your sexual partner has yeast infection.
How can yeast infection spread from male to female?
Many men may not be aware that they have yeast infection if the fungus remains dormant. Men will come to know of the infection only when they start to notice symptoms. Fungus remains dormant in male because of the temperature in the exterior part of penis, but when the penis enters the vagina during intercourse his female sexual partner may get yeast infection.
How can yeast infection spread from female to male?
Yeast infection can spread from female to male through unprotected sexual intercourse, oral sex and anal sex.
When both partners are affected the yeast infection travels to and from the partners again and again.
How can yeast infection spread from a mother to the child?
A mother who has yeast infection can spread the infection to the child during child birth. When a pregnant woman with yeast infection delivers normally through vagina the chances of the baby contacting the infection are more. When the baby passes through the birth canal it may come under direct contact with the fungus. A breast fed child can get yeast infection from its mother.
Yeast infection can also spread from a male to another male and one female to another female if they have homosexual relationships.
To avoid spreading the infection the following precautions should be undertaken.
1. If you are aware that you or your partner ahs yeast infection, it is better to avoid sexual intercourse till the infection is treated. Yeast infection may cause soreness in the penile and vaginal region. This causes a lot of discomfort during sex. To avoid discomfort and to avoid spreading of the infection, the best option is to stay away from sex till the end of the treatment.
2. If it is not possible to stay away from sex make sure you use condoms.
3. Pregnant and nursing women should treat the yeast infection immediately to avoid spreading the disease to the tiny infant.
4. Make sure that you and your partner follow a good hygiene. Never forget to wash your hands with soap after going to the toilet and after touching the private parts.
5. Never share your towels, undergarments and other personal belongings.
Yeast infection is not life threatening but it may cause a lot of pain and discomfort. It may cause itchiness and soreness in the private parts of men and women. This affects the personal and social life of the affected person. Yeast infection can be avoided to a large extent if the causes are avoided.
What are the common causes of yeast infection in men and women?
1. Prolonged use of antibiotics is one of the main causes of yeast infection. Antibiotics given to treat other health problems may kill the good bacteria present in the body. This encourages the fungus to grow and multiply.
2. Eating plenty of sugary foods is another cause for yeast infection. Sugar helps in setting the right environment for the fungus to grow.
3. Poor hygiene.
4. Excessive consumption of beer and other alcoholic drinks.
5. Using condoms with nonoxynol-9.
6. Health problems like diabetes.
7. Exposure to chemicals present in soaps and perfumes.
Avoid the causes by making simple lifestyle changes and you are sure to prevent yeast infections successfully. Yeast infections are contagious and you may spread it to others. Preventing yeast infection is beneficial to you and your sexual partner too. Prevention is always better than cure.