Can Condoms Cause Yeast Infections?

If you have ever had a yeast infection, you’ll know they can be both unpleasant and uncomfortable. Indeed, most people do all they can to avoid getting them. 

For some, this means using a barrier contraceptive such as a condom, as it can help preserve the ph level of the vagina. 

However, for others, this method may be responsible for candida albicans overgrowth that leads to a yeast infection. Find out more, below. 

Table of Contents

What Is a Yeast Infection?

It’s an overgrowth of yeast in the body, often in the vagina or genital area beyond what is normal. Yeast is found commonly all over the body, as well as inside it. However, when your bodily systems are disrupted it can lead to an overgrowth of yeast, known commonly as a yeast infection or candidiasis. 

Can Condoms Cause Yeast Infections?

If you look online you’ll find some confusion over whether condoms can cause yeast infections. Many sources state that they are not only inert and so are not the cause of such infections, but can help to protect against them as they prevent the ph of the sperm from disrupting the ph of the vagina

However, there is also some evidence to suggest that latex condoms, as well as the lubrication or spermicide used on them, can disrupt the ph level of the vagina, leading to an increased incidence of candidiasis. 

How Can Condoms Cause a Yeast Infection?

Condoms can cause a yeast infection in two main ways:  

Through Latex Sensitivity

Latex sensitivity may cause a yeast infection because it upsets the ph balance of the vagina. When the ph is off, there is not enough of the good bacteria needed to keep the yeast in check, and this allows candida albicans to grow to problematic levels. 

Due to the Effects of the Ingredients in the Lubricant, or Spermicide

One ingredient that is often added to the lubricant in condoms is Glycerin, which is a type of sugar. Unfortunately, when used in the vagina it can easily feed yeast causing it to grow to problematic levels. 

Another frequently used ingredient is alcohol which can easily draw out much of the moisture in this sensitive area, and disrupt the pH levels, leading to a yeast infection.  

What Can You Do to Prevent It?

The good news is that there are some tactics you can use to prevent condoms from causing you to develop a yeast infection. The first is to switch from latex condoms to ones made from other materials such as Polyurethane condoms, Polyisoprene condoms, or natural lambskin condoms. 

Secondly, you can try using different lubricants or spermicides that do not include a high level of glycerine or alcohol. 

What Usually Causes Yeast Infections?

The usual cause of yeast infections is an opportunistic fungus known as candida albicans. This fungus exists normally in the vagina, along with good bacteria like lactobacillus that keep it in check. Unfortunately, if the balance in the vaginal environment is disrupted, it can impact the levels of lactobacillus, meaning there is nothing to prevent an overgrowth of candida albicans. This is typically when a yeast infection develops. 

What to Do if You Get a Yeast Infection?

Yeast infections can be uncomfortable so it’s best to get them treated as soon as possible. You will of course find all sorts of ‘old wives tales’ about home remedies you can use to treat your yeast infection, but antifungal medications either orally or in suppository form are always the best approach. 

This is because antifungal medications fight the extra yeast in your body and ensure levels return to normal. 

How Can DrHouse Help You?

At DrHouse we offer an on-demand telehealth service with experienced medical professionals who can help you understand and diagnose your yeast infections or any other health issue quickly and safely.

Online doctors can answer any questions you may have and give their expert opinion on how to best deal with your condition. Our clinicians can also make a personalized treatment plan for you and write prescriptions if needed.

We understand that yeast infections can be uncomfortable and embarrassing. That’s why our team of qualified medical professionals takes the time to listen to your concerns and understand what is causing your symptoms.

FAQs

Can Expired Condoms Cause a Yeast Infection?

Expired condoms that contain spermicide or lubricant could be responsible for a yeast infection, as both substances can break down and further disrupt the ph level of the vagina. Indeed, condoms with spermicide should always be used within the expiration date, as their degradation can not only make them less effective as a provocative but they can also cause irritation of the sensitive skin in that area. 

Can Latex Condoms Cause a Yeast Infection?

The answer to this question is yes and no, depending on which sources you use. For example, you could argue that a latex allergy is a condition quite different from a yeast infection, with totally separate symptoms. However, an allergy in the sensitive genital region is likely to disrupt the ph of the vagina, and so could lead to a yeast infection. 

Can Condoms Throw off Your PH Balance?

Again, the answer is both yes and no here, and will often depend on the individual concerned. For instance, some people have great success using condoms to prevent yeast infections and they prevent seams from impacting the natural ph level of the vagina. However, condoms made from potential allergens like latex, or ones that have spermicides or lubricants with lots of additives can disrupt the ph balance of the vagina leading to yeast infections. 

Can a Latex Allergy Cause a Yeast Infection?

A latex allergy typically has symptoms that include abdominal pain, itchy eyes, dizziness, low blood pressure, swelling of the lips, or swelling of the tongue. However, in less severe cases such an allergy could disrupt the ph level of the vagina leading to a yeast infection. 

Key Takeaways

  • Condoms can both be used to prevent yeast infections and in some cases be the cause of them. 
  • The main way in which condoms can cause yeast infections is by disrupting the ph level of the vagina, causing an overgrowth of candida. 
  • If you suspect you have a yeast infection caused by condom use, the first step is to get treatment in the form of an anti-fungal. 
  • You should also stop using the products you believe could be responsible, and abstain from sex, as you will not be protected from STDs, and pregnancy and sex can further irritate the area. 
  • Once you have recovered from a yeast infection, you can try alternative products such as lambskin condoms, or lubricants and spermicides that do not impact the ph balance of the vagina. 

Sources:

Content on the DrHouse website is written by our medical content team and reviewed by qualified MDs, PhDs, NPs, and PharmDs. We follow strict content creation guidelines to ensure accurate medical information. However, this content is for informational purposes only and not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. For more information read our medical disclaimer.

Always consult with your physician or other qualified health providers about medical concerns. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking it based on what you read on this website.

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