What is a yeast infection and what are the symptoms?

A yeast infection happens when there is an overgrowth of a yeast that naturally lives in the vagina/on the body, called candida albicans. Common symptoms include itchiness,  white, clumpy discharge, and occasionally pain/burning sensations. Yeast infections may also occur in the penis or mouth. A yeast infection in the mouth or throat is called “thrush.”

Treating a yeast infection is usually simple and straightforward with over-the-counter or prescription antifungal medication. Yeast infections are not considered sexually transmitted infections. 

​I have a burning and itching sensation around the opening of my vagina and my clitoris, I was wondering if it was a yeast infection or something worse.

The onl​y way to know for sure whether your symptoms are related to a yeast overgrowth and not an STI is to get tested. The test is usually a urine sample- it's quick and easy!

Is it possible to get a yeast infection if you haven't had sex?​

Yes! Yeast infections are not sexually transmitted infections. Some things that can increase your chances of getting one include using oral antibiotics, using "douching" products (soaps or wipes with chemicals that irritate your vagina/vulva), eating foods high in simple sugars, wearing tight-fitting clothing (especially in hot weather), or having an allergy to certain laundry detergents. 

If I have a yeast infection can I give it to my partner?​

It isn’t quite clear whether having oral or vaginal sex when you have a yeast infection makes your partner more likely to get a yeast infection as well. If you have a yeast infection in your vagina, it’s fine to give someone else oral sex. However, it is possible to get a yeast infection in your mouth (called thrush) which might happen to your partner if you receive oral sex from them. So to be on the safe side, it’s a good idea refrain from sexual activity involving the vagina until your yeast infection clears up.

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