Is it harmful to have sex if I have a vaginal infection?

Answers from Mary M. Gallenberg, M.D.

That depends on the cause of your vaginal infection. Medically speaking, it's OK to have sex when you have a vaginal infection (vaginitis) if the cause isn't a sexually transmitted infection. What's really at stake is your comfort — intercourse might be uncomfortable, even painful, if you have an active vaginal infection.

The most common causes of vaginal infection are:

  • Yeast infection (candidiasis)
  • Bacterial vaginosis
  • Trichomoniasis

Yeast infections and bacterial vaginosis aren't sexually transmitted infections. Avoiding intercourse won't help your infection clear any sooner.

However, trichomoniasis is a sexually transmitted infection. To prevent possible reinfection, wait to have intercourse until you and your partner complete treatment and you no longer have symptoms.

March 04, 2014