Candida Symptoms & How They Relate to STD’s
Surprisingly often, we receive this question:
Is Candida a sexually-transmitted disease (STD)?
The answer is . . . technically no, Candida is not considered an STD . . . however, it’s complicated. We will explain.
(WARNING: We are going to get graphic here.)
Many a woman has had the experience of contracting a vaginal yeast infection, treating it, and having it recur over and over again, even though her partner may have no symptoms. Most doctors recommend that both the woman and her sexual partner be treated to end the cycle.
Because yeast loves to live in warm, moist areas, it hides out in one partner or the other and spreads back and forth. Occasionally a man will also have symptoms of a localized genital yeast infection, which in men is called “balanitis.” It may be itchy and burning and include a white discharge (just like a yeast infection in a woman), and there also may be a rash on the shaft of the penis.
To complicate things, not all women with vaginal yeast infections (or men with balanitis) have systemic Candida, however frequent vaginal or penile yeast infections (as well as other fungal infections in the sinuses, gut, ears, jock itch, athlete’s foot, etc.) can be symptoms of a system-wide Candida albicans issue.
Can Candida be spread through sexual contact?
We know you can pick up athlete’s foot in a locker room and a genital yeast infection from a sexual partner. But can systemic Candida be spread through sexual contact?
Yes, but perhaps not the way you think. Fungal Candida yeast overgrowth and the resulting symptoms begin in the gut and this yeast exists through the length of the digestive tract, including in saliva. So, theoretically, you could spread Candida by kissing, or, more likely, by oral or anal sex or even masturbation.
The Mayo Clinic reports:
“Although a vaginal yeast infection isn’t considered a sexually transmitted infection, you can spread the fungus through mouth to genital contact. Medications can effectively treat vaginal yeast infections. If you have recurrent yeast infections — four or more within a year — you may need a longer treatment course and a maintenance plan.“ – Mayo Clinic
WebMD agrees with long-term Candida treatment if you have frequent genital yeast infections:
“If these are truly recurrences of candida albicans you might need repeat or prolonged treatments. A blood sugar or hemoglobin A 1C test can be considered. If you have ever had someone give you oral sex (or you use saliva for masturbation) you may be getting exposure to yeast. Yeast is present in the gut from the mouth to the rectum.” — WebMD
And There’s More to How People “Catch” Candida
People who “catch” Candida are usually already compromised in some way. This may include, but is not limited to:
- You are immune-compromised by antibiotics, steroids, or chemotherapy
- You have co-existing autoimmune disease or diabetes
- Your lifestyle choices are setting you up as a happy home for fungus (too much sugar, not enough exercise, etc.).
So don’t blame your spouse or ex-girlfriend or boyfriend for systemic Candida.
We recommend that you take ownership of your health and take steps to bring yourself back into balance!
We are here to help. Please feel free to contact us with any questions whatsoever.