Yeast infections (candida and thrush) are one of the most common vaginal infections, affecting nearly 75% of women in their lifetime. But can condoms really cause yeast infections? This blog will explore this subject and look at the research to help you make an informed decision about using condoms to prevent yeast infections and give you a holistic look at yeast infection and general health.
Table Of Contents:
- What is a Yeast Infection?
- Can Condoms Cause Yeast Infections?
- Does Lubricant Cause Yeast Infections?
- Do Expired Condoms Cause a Yeast Infection?
- Does a Healthy Diet Help With Yeast Infections?
- Condoms for Sensitive Souls and Body Parts
- Condoms to Avoid
A yeast infection is an infection brought on by candida fungus or bacteria. You can find it in many body parts, such as the mouth (thrush), genitalia, and skin folds.
For women, symptoms include itching, burning, and swelling in or around the vagina with a white discharge that can look like cottage cheese — though this discharge isn't always present. Men may experience a burning and itching sensation on the tip of their penis and redness, swelling and discharge if they have a yeast infection.
The short answer is no. While condoms can increase the risk of yeast infections in some cases, it's important to remember that condoms effectively prevent the spread of many sexually transmitted infections and diseases. Hence, it's vital to continue using them.
However, there are specific circumstances in which using condoms raises your chance of getting a yeast infection. This typically results from an allergic reaction to the condom material (latex or non-latex) or from contact with an irritant like a lubricant.
What kind of condoms should you be using to prevent yeast infections? Your body will tell you what you might be allergic to — natural rubber latex condoms are probably better at preventing yeast infections but saying that, they're not great if you're allergic to them. In that case, non-latex polyisoprene might be better.
Trial and error are the key here — find the best material for you and your partner and ensure they are allergen-free and contain no irritating ingredients.
Yes! Correctly using a condom can reduce the risk of transmitting sexually transmitted infections/diseases (STIs or STDs) and yeast infections. The best way to do this is by using a new condom for each intercourse and correctly putting it on before any contact between partner’s genitals.
You can use lubricants to make sexual intercourse more comfortable, reducing the risk of getting a yeast infection. That said, some lubricants contain ingredients that can irritate the skin, increasing the risk of developing a yeast infection — that means use it to avoid friction irritation but stay away from those that have perfume or flavours (more below).
Yes, and also no. Generally speaking, using a lubricant correctly won't cause harm, but you should be aware of what ingredients are in the lubricant and use a gentle product on your body. Look for products with water-soluble or silicone-based ingredients, as these won't interfere with your body's natural bacteria, essential for preventing infections.
Yes, condoms that have passed the expiry date can cause yeast infections. Expired condoms cause yeast infections because the materials used to make condoms break down over time, making them more likely to irritate you. They are less effective at preventing STIs and yeast infections.
You should check the expiration date on a condom before using it every time and replace any expired condoms with new ones.
It's worth looking into what causes a yeast infection in the first instance so that you can tackle the problem holistically — after all, who has time to deal with yeast infections if you don't have to?
Firstly, everyone has some naturally occurring yeast, including candida, and bacteria on their skin or in the vagina. It's when the natural balance gets upset that problems start.
A balanced diet and lifestyle help ensure your body remains healthy, reducing the risk of yeast infections. Eating various foods such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean meats, and dairy products can help keep your immune system strong — critical for keeping your natural bacteria and yeast levels in check.
A yeast infection can be caused by several factors, including excessive antibiotic use, unchecked diabetes, and oral contraceptives like the pill or hormone therapy (HRT) that increase estrogen levels, and it's much more prevalent during pregnancy when your hormones are all out of kilter anyway.
Thrush or a yeast infection are more likely to affect someone with a weakened immune system. Monitoring your food, lifestyle, and general health can help lower your chance of contracting a yeast infection.
Yeast loves sugar, so sugar and the derivatives of sugar are not your friends if you have a yeast infection. Some brands of condoms and lubricants know this — here are some valuable recommendations if you think you might be susceptible to candida and thrush-type yeast infections.
Sliquid makes a clean lubricant called H20 to help those suffering from yeast infections, which are uncomfortable and frustrating and can stop you from having great sex.
That's why Sliquid Naturals H2O is the perfect solution for those who struggle with this issue. This water-based personal lubricant is formulated to mimic your body's natural lubrication, making it safe and effective for all sexual activity.
Unlike other personal lubricants on the market that contain glycerin or sugar derivatives, this formula uses plant cellulose as a thickening agent, making it gentle and non-irritating.
Roam make a condom for sensitive souls, as do Durex — Durex Invisible Extra Sensitive Condoms are designed to be practical but thin and lightweight while still protecting you and your partner from sexually transmitted infections.
These condoms are lubricated for extra comfort and sensitivity, making the latex less likely to irritate sensitive skin or cause allergic reactions. They are also made from a specially-developed ultra-thin yet strong material that helps increase sensitivity during sex while providing reliable protection.
If you're sensitive to irritation, avoid flavoured and scented condoms and those with spermicide — which accentuates irritation. If you don't need extra lubrication, try using a plain condom or one that is lightly lubricated to reduce the chances of irritation.
Avoid stimulating, warming, or cooling condoms and any condoms that contain ejaculation delay ingredients such as lidocaine — medical professionals often link these to increased yeast infection risk.
To sum up, some condoms can contribute to yeast infections but aren't the only factor. Eating a balanced diet and choosing a healthy lifestyle, using condoms that are light or plain, with simple lubrication and avoiding those with spermicide and perfumed ingredients can help reduce the risk of yeast infections.
Also, lubricants like Sliquid Naturals H2O can provide extra sugar-free protection against friction for those who struggle with yeast infections. Finally, if you think you might be at risk, try using condoms specifically designed for sensitive skin, such as those made by Roam and Durex.
Understanding the causes of yeast infections and protecting yourself can help ensure your sexual health is in tip-top condition.