Is thrush contagious?

thrush(Oral candidiasis) and vaginal yeast infections (vaginal candidiasis) are caused by an overgrowth of a naturally occurring fungus called Candida albicans. Both thrush and yeast infections cause milky lesions that may bleed if rubbed or scratched.

Given that candidiasis affects the mouth and vagina, many believe the fungus can be spread through oral sex. However, it doesn’t spread that way. There is an association between oral sex and candidiasis, but the risk is not related to the spread of the fungus.

This article looks at the causes and risk factors for candidiasis and explains how oral sex can trigger a yeast infection in some people. It also describes the complications of candidiasis and what you can do to reduce your risk.

Causes of Candidiasis

Candidiasis is caused by overgrowth Candida albicans It is present in the human body but is controlled by the immune system. This infection is considered opportunistic because it only occurs when the immune system cannot control the fungus.

Changes in the vaginal environment can also cause Candida albicans overgrown.

Risk factors for candidiasis include:

  • Changes in vaginal acidity
  • Changes in vaginal flora
  • Immunosuppressive diseases like HIV
  • Immunosuppressive drugs such as steroids
  • Anemia (low red blood cell count)

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While we usually associate candidiasis with oral thrush and yeast infections, it can also affect the penis, skin, nails, esophagus (feeding tube), and lungs. The fungus can also travel (spread) through the bloodstream and affect the heart, brain, eyes, bones, and other parts of the body.

The severity of candidiasis is directly related to the severity of immunosuppression. Advanced HIV infection is one of the diseases associated with the risk of invasive candidiasis (transmitted candidiasis).


Candidiasis occurs when the immune system is out of control Candida albicans in the body. Changes in the vaginal environment can also promote overgrowth of this otherwise manageable fungus.

Why you keep getting yeast infections

Is thrush contagious?

As a naturally occurring fungus, Candida albicans Not contagious. Fungi are part of the natural flora of the mouth and vagina and are controlled by a healthy immune system. Therefore, it is not sexually transmitted.

Certain sexual acts can trigger Candida albicans But not because the fungus “passes through”.


There is no evidence that vaginal yeast infections or penile yeast infections can be passed on to someone who has oral sex.

A 2021 review of the Brazilian study looked at the link between oral sex and the risk of oral infections, including candidiasis. They found that oral candidiasis was not much related to sexuality, but to underlying immune diseases such as HIV.

People who are immunocompromised or who take immunosuppressants (such as antibiotics or corticosteroids) are prone to thrush. When immune function is reduced, there is an opportunity for “bad” microbes in the mouth to overgrow and multiply.

vaginal candidiasis

there is evidence that cunnilingus (oral sex) may trigger a vaginal yeast infection in some women. The reason for this is unclear, but it is thought that saliva introduced into the vagina can alter the concentration of bacteria called “good” bacteria. Lactobacillus.

Lactobacilli are naturally present in the vagina and digestive tract and, among other things, help control Candida albicans. Enzymes in saliva appear to neutralize the bacteria, allowing Candida albicans Growth beyond the normal range.

This does not mean that accepting cunnilingus will “cause” a yeast infection. It just increases the risk.

Other risk factors include vaginal douching and frequent vaginal intercourse.There are also risks associated with bareback sex, as it can lead to bacterial imbalance (Bacterial Imbalance) Up to a week after vaginal intercourse.

Unlike bacterial vaginosis and most STIs, the risk of candidiasis from oral sex is no Related to having multiple partners or new sexual partners. Therefore, it is not considered a sexually transmitted disease (STD).

In addition, risks and the existence of Candida albicans on any part of a sexual partner’s body. This risk is more closely associated with cunnilingus or masturbation with saliva.

Likewise, the risk of penile candidiasis from oral sex is low to negligible, according to a 2019 study. Frontiers of Medicine.


Candidiasis is not a sexually transmitted disease and cannot be spread through sex. Oral sex on the vagina, however, may increase the risk of candidiasis because enzymes in saliva may disrupt the natural vaginal flora.

Yeast Infection Symptoms and Complications


A large body of current evidence suggests that sexuality does not play a major role in oral or vaginal candidiasis. Even so, public health authorities, including Planned Parenthood, advise people with vaginal yeast infections to avoid sex until the infection clears.

This is because candidiasis can damage vaginal tissue and increase the risk of other infections, including HIV.

An active yeast infection causes inflammation that attracts immune-fighting cells called CD4 T cells to the site of infection. These are the target cells for HIV infection. Therefore, yeast infection increases the likelihood of HIV infection.

A study proves it Women’s Health Magazine Among them, women with persistent or recurrent yeast infections were more likely to contract HIV than women without the infection.


If there is an active vaginal yeast infection, health professionals generally advise against having sex. This is because the inflammation caused by candidiasis can damage vaginal tissue and increase the risk of HIV infection.


Because oral sex can trigger or worsen vaginal yeast infections, it’s important to practice safer sex if you’re prone to relapses. This includes the use of dental dams when performing cunnilingus. Dental dams can be found online and at most pharmacies.

Also, consider using a water-based lubricant instead of saliva for mutual masturbation or vaginal sex. Some water-based lubricants such as KY Jelly have no effect on vaginal lactobacilli, while others such as Replens Silky Soft may promote the growth of lactobacilli.

If you have a yeast infection, you should avoid sex or use external condoms (“male condoms”) or internal condoms (“female condoms”) during sex. Doing so can reduce your risk of contracting HIV and other STDs.


To avoid triggering or worsening a vaginal yeast infection, use a dental dam during oral sex. Condoms should also be used during sex to reduce the risk of HIV and other STDs.


Thrush and vaginal yeast infections are both caused by a fungal overgrowth Candida albicans. These diseases, called oral or vaginal candidiasis, are caused when the immune system fails to control naturally occurring fungi. It can also happen when the natural environment of the vagina is disrupted.

Candidiasis is not a sexually transmitted disease and cannot be transmitted through oral sex. That being said, oral sex can lead to an imbalance in the vaginal flora, which increases the risk of yeast infections.Enzymes in saliva appear to neutralize ‘useful’ bacteria that could otherwise be controlled Candida albicans.

Vaginal intercourse is not recommended if you have a yeast infection because the infection can damage vaginal tissue and increase the risk of HIV infection. If you do have sex, use a condom. If you have a yeast infection, you should also use a dental dam to avoid making the infection worse.

How to Prevent Yeast Infections

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If you have recurrent vaginal yeast infections, talk with your healthcare provider about ways to reduce the incidence or severity of outbreaks.This may include practicing safer sex, starting to resistCandida Diet, or consuming probiotic foods or supplements that help maintain the natural vaginal flora.

People who are severely immunocompromised may need to take preventive (preventive) antifungal medication daily to avoid infection.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • How long is thrush contagious?

    Thrush-causing fungi (Candida albicans) are not contagious. Candida albicans It is usually found in the mouth, throat and vagina and does not cause any problems. It usually grows and causes symptoms only when the immune system is compromised.

  • How long does it take for thrush to be contagious after you start taking the medicine?

    Thrush is not contagious.Antifungal medications can help clear Candida infections, but they are not considered a preventive tool. In the end, your risk of infecting others through kissing, oral sex, or other means is negligible.

  • Is thrush spread through sexual contact?

    no.There is no evidence that oral sex can be transmitted Candida from one person to another. That being said, oral sex may increase the risk of yeast infection by altering the vagina’s natural flora.