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Amy is a Board Certified Family Health Nurse Practitioner (FNP) with over 15 years of experience working in Hospital Medicine, Urgent Care and Primary Care practices. Amy graduated Thomas Jefferson University with high distinction earning a Bachelor of Science in Nursing in 2008, a Master of Science in Nursing in 2010 and a Post Master's Certificate in Adult Gerontology Acute Care (AGAC) in 2014. She was recognized by the Elite American Nurses Association in 2013 for her dedication, achievements and leadership in the field Nursing. She served as a clinical preceptor for a number of Nurse Practitioner students and enjoys teaching the bright minds of future NPs.
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?
- Can Condoms Cause Yeast Infections?
- How Can Condoms Cause a Yeast Infection?
- What Can You Do to Prevent It?
- What Usually Causes Yeast Infections?
- What to Do if You Get a Yeast Infection?
- How Can DrHouse Help You?
- Key Takeaways
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.
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.
- 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.
- Vaginal Candidiasis. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Available from: https://www.cdc.gov/fungal/diseases/candidiasis/genital/index.html
- Vaginal Yeast Infection. Harvard Health Publishing. Available from: https://www.health.harvard.edu/a_to_z/vaginal-yeast-infection-a-to-z
- Ngure, Kenneth & Pyra, Maria & Birse, Kenzie & Liebenberg, Lenine & Le, Mansoor & Ss, Karim & Karim, Abdool & Jewanraj, Janine & Ngcapu, Sinaye & Osman, Farzana & Mtshali, Andile & Singh, Ravesh & Mansoor, Leila & Abdool Karim, Salim & Abdool Karim, Quarraisha & Passmore, Jo-Ann. (2020). The Impact of Semen Exposure on the Immune and Microbial Environments of the Female Genital Tract. Frontiers in Reproductive Health. 2. 566559. https://www.doi.org/10.3389/frph.2020.566559.
- Joelle M. Brown, Kristen L. Hess, Stephen Brown, Colleen Murphy, Ava Lena Waldman, and Marjan Hezareh.Intravaginal Practices and Risk of Bacterial Vaginosis and Candidiasis Infection Among a Cohort of Women in the United States. Obstet Gynecol 2013;121:773–80. DOI: http://10.1097/AOG.0b013e31828786f8
- Vaginal yeast infections more common when using contraceptives or spermicides, or participating in receptive oral sex. University of Michigan News. Available from: https://news.umich.edu/vaginal-yeast-infections-more-common-when-using-contraceptives-or-spermicides-or-participating-in-receptive-oral-sex/
- Kabir MA, Hussain MA, Ahmad Z. Candida albicans: A Model Organism for Studying Fungal Pathogens. ISRN Microbiol. 2012 Sep 29;2012:538694. doi: https://www.doi.org/10.5402/2012/538694. PMID: 23762753; PMCID: PMC3671685.
- Miller Elizabeth, Beasley DeAnna, Dunn Robert, Archie Elizabeth. Lactobacilli Dominance and Vaginal pH: Why is the Human Vaginal Microbiome Unique? Frontiers in Microbiology. VOL 7, 2016. Available from: https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fmicb.2016.01936
- Mikamo H, Kawazoe K, Sato Y, Hayasaki Y, Tamaya T. Comparative study on the effectiveness of antifungal agents in different regimens against vaginal candidiasis. Chemotherapy. 1998 Sep-Oct;44(5):364-8. doi: https://www.doi.org/10.1159/000007136. PMID: 9732153.
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Victoria Fanslau Mar. 07, 2023
Victoria Fanslau Mar. 07, 2023