Are Yeast Infections Contagious?

A yeast infection occurs when there is an overabundance of a particular kind of naturally occurring fungus in the body (via Healthline). It can cause uncomfortable symptoms like irritation, itchiness, and discharge. While yeast infections are more common in women, anyone, including babies, can get a yeast infection.

While it's not common for yeast infections to spread from one person to another, there are ways it can be transmitted. One way this is done is through sexual contact. In fact, according to the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, around 15% of men are likely to experience a rash or itching as a result of having unprotected intercourse with a woman with a yeast infection. Women who have sex with other women are also at risk for yeast infections if one partner is infected. 

But the genitals aren't the only area of the body at risk of infection. The mouth is also susceptible. A condition known as thrush can develop when performing oral sex on an individual with a yeast infection.

How to treat and prevent yeast infections

If you think you may have a yeast infection, make an appointment with your doctor. Standard treatment includes taking an antifungal medication, either orally or topically, over the course of a few days (via Mayo Clinic). A one-time single dose of an antifungal medication called fluconazole is also available. If symptoms don't resolve after treatment, or if the infection comes back within two months, make another appointment with your doctor. You may need a longer course of medication to fully treat the infection. 

There are also steps you can take to prevent yeast infections from developing. Stick to underwear with a cotton crotch and make sure it isn't too tight. Additionally, avoid douching, feminine deodorants, and scented tampons, and be sure to regularly change your clothes so you remain clean and dry (via Cleveland Clinic). Finally, during sexual intercourse, always use water-based lubricants.