Is Thrush Contagious?

by | Nov 10, 2021 | Sexual & Reproductive Health

Itching, burning and vaginal discharge; the symptoms of thrush are anything but enjoyable. Yet, an estimated three out of four women will experience the yeast infection known as thrush during their lifetime. Yep, this super common condition caused by an overgrowth of the Candida albicans fungus is a huge fan of the female nether region. Men can also experience thrush, however, it’s a rarer occurrence in comparison to women.

Whether you have thrush, or your partner has thrush, you may have a few questions on the tip of your mind regarding infectability. Is thrush contagious? Can you have sex with thrush? Is thrush passed from person to person through kissing? Sit back and relax, we’re here to provide the answers you’re searching for, so you can live your best life despite experiencing a cameo performance by the name of thrush.

Is thrush contagious?

Normally, yeast infections occur when conditions on the skin, mouth, vagina, and penis develop extra moisture and warmth as a result of a suppressed immune system. These warm and moist conditions provide the perfect playground for Candida to grow and multiply. So, good news, people; most yeast infections are not contagious.

In saying that, some yeast infections can potentially be passed on in certain situations. We’re not talking about standard person-to-person interactions of holding hands, coughing or sneezing. Let’s look at the types of human contact with a higher risk of spreading a yeast infection.

Sex

Technically speaking, thrush is not considered a sexually transmitted infection (STI) because a person can be infected with thrush without engaging in sexual activity. However, you can transmit a yeast infection to your partner through sex. Lesbian sex carries a higher risk of contraction than if your partner has a penis, and those with an uncircumcised penis are more susceptible than those with a circumcised penis. Further medical studies are required to determine exactly why this is the case.

If you wish to do the dirty while sporting a yeast infection, condoms and dental dams can lower the risk of sharing thrush with your partner. One thing to note is that having sex with a yeast infection isn’t exactly going to be the glorified movie scene sex we all try to live up to. Your lady parts may become more irritated and uncomfortable. Plus, the bodily friction could potentially lengthen your healing time. We think it’s best to steer clear until you’ve made a full recovery.

Oral sex

If you have a vaginal yeast infection, you’re fine to provide oral service to your lover. But, refrain from allowing the favour to be returned as this poses a high-risk activity for your sex partner. If in the moment oral sex simply cannot be avoided (we hear ya!), your partner can lower their risk by using a dental dam. Trust us ladies; always have a dental dam on standby. It’s all fun and games until someone gets a yeast infection.

Kissing

If you have an oral yeast infection, you can transmit Candida to your partner through kissing, but that doesn’t mean they’ll develop thrush. The human body naturally has Candida, and oral thrush is what we call an opportunistic infection. Meaning it typically happens when there’s a disruption to your body’s natural balance that creates the ideal environment for Candida to thrive and multiply. If the person you’re locking lips with is a high-risk candidate for a yeast infection (they have a weakened immune system or have been taking antibiotics), it’s possible that the extra Candida you’ve passed on may trigger an episode of oral thrush for them.

Hoping to speed up the healing process of your yeast infection? Find out how to treat and get rid of thrush.


This blog is designed to be informative and educational. It is not intended to provide specific medical advice or replace advice from your medical practitioner.

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