Is a Yeast Infection Contagious?

A yeast infection happens when there is an overgrowth of a fungus called Candida Albicans in the body. These fungi live on most people in small numbers without us even being aware, but if the immune system is not at full strength or of something disrupts the balance of the body or kills the good bacteria that control the fungus’ growth, it rapidly multiplies. Yeast infections happen in warm and damp places very commonly the vagina, but equally possible in the penis area, the anus, the mouth, under arms or folds of skin, the nails and the breasts.

Symptoms include burning, itching, redness, rashes, sores, flaking, swelling, discharge as well as more general symptoms that include headaches, tiredness, bloating, mood swings, and more.

But just because the fungus is in most of us does not make it contagious. If a person with any form of yeast infection were to touch you, you are not going to then automatically get a yeast infection yourself. But there are a couple of ways in which it can be passed on to another person and the first is via sex or sexual contact. If a woman has a vaginal yeast infection and has unprotected sex with her male partner he can get a penile yeast infection though the risk is low. So is a yeast infection contagious – only through sexual contact, even then it is rare. But a yeast infection is not an STD.

The other way the answer to is yeast infection contagious yes, is between a nursing mother and her new baby. A pregnant woman can pass on a yeast infection to their baby as it is born. The baby can then pass that yeast infection back to the mother to her breasts via her nipple whilst breast feeding. Both mother and baby need to get this treated otherwise they can keep reinfecting each other.

Remember the cause of a yeast infection is the overgrowth of existing microorganisms in your body, not a spreadable bacteria or virus. Things that trigger that overgrowth are things like mismanaged diabetes, over use of antibiotics, poor diet, tight clothing, hormonal imbalance/changes to name a few. These are all things you are in control of for the most part. You cannot get one from sitting on a public toilet seat or drinking from the same cup as someone.

To prevent a yeast infection you need to avoid sugars, refined and processed foods, wear cotton and loose clothing, get out of wet clothing straight away, control your diabetes, exercise, sleep well and manage stress, do not douche, avoid using scented products in prone areas like the vagina, maintain good hygiene practices.

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