Anonymous on September 16, 2011

I have a yeast infection…how long do my boyfriend and I have to wait to have oral sex again?

I am 17 years old, and I’ve just been diagnosed with my first yeast infection. My boyfriend and I enjoy oral sex and I was wondering how long I should wait until we can have oral sex again? Until the itching is gone?

answered by Lisa Oldson, MD on September 16, 2011

I’m sorry to hear about your yeast infection, but I’m glad you’re asking this question. It’s important to take care of yourself, even if means not having sex for a while.

First, let’s talk about yeast infections (also called candidiasis). Yeast infections are common fungal infections that happen when the balance of yeast and bacteria in your vagina is upset. This can be caused by a variety of things, including oral sex.

Can you have oral sex during a yeast infection? If you’re using a cream to treat your yeast infection, your boyfriend should avoid contact with it. These creams should not be ingested (through his mouth), and should not come in contact with his eyes.

Bottom line? It’s best to wait until your symptoms are resolved and your treatment is completed before continuing your sexual activity.

While you have a yeast’s also a good idea to avoid hot baths or hot tubs, scented tampons or pads, douching, or wearing tight-fitting or wet clothes. Make sure to wear loose-fitting cotton underwear, and take any treatments exactly as prescribed by your doctor – even if your symptoms seem to disappear before you complete treatment.

And if your symptoms don’t go away, talk to your doctor again. You may need more or different medication.

One more thing...are you getting tested for STDs? The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommend that, once you start having sex (including oral, vaginal or anal sexual activity), you should get tested for sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) regularly...especially if you’re not in a mutually monogamous relationship, and/or if you don't know that STD status of your partner.

In fact, according the Kaiser Family Foundation, getting tested for chlamydia is especially important for teens. Why? Becuase teens ages 15-19 have four times the rate of chlamydia and gonorrhea of the total population.

Finally, are you using protection? Remember, STDs are most commonly spread through unprotected oral, vaginal or anal sex…and sometimes through skin-to-skin contact or deep kissing with an infected person. Also, keep in mind that you can’t tell if someone has an STD just by looking...a lot of STDs are asymptomatic (no obvious signs or symptoms) for a long time.

So the only way to protect yourself and your partner is through regular testing and monitoring of your body; and by using condoms or dental dams during all sexual activity (unless, again, you’re in a mutually monogamous relationship, you’ve both been tested for STDs, and you know each other’s STD status).

Thanks again for your question, and I hope you’ll keep being proactive about your sexual health!

Lisa Oldson, MD

Dr. Oldson is Medical Director of the Analyte Physicians Group. She is on staff at Northwestern Memorial Hospital, as well as Clinical Instructor at the Feinberg School of Medicine, Northwestern University. Her areas of expertise include STDs (with a particular clinical emphasis on herpes), women's health, preventive medicine, diabetes, obesity and weight management, and mood and anxiety disorders. Dr. Oldson was educated at Rush Medical College and completed her residency at Rush-Presbyterian-St. Luke's Medical Center in Chicago, IL.

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