Can I get a genital yeast infection from my girlfriend? I thought only women got yeast infections.
Answers from James M. Steckelberg, M.D.
Though yeast infections are more common in women, anyone can get one. It's possible for a man to get a genital yeast infection if he has unprotected sexual intercourse with a partner who has a genital yeast infection.
However, if your girlfriend has a yeast infection, it doesn't mean you'll get one too. Sexual transmission of yeast infections is uncommon.
Prolonged antibiotic use increases your risk of a yeast infection, and men and women with diabetes or impaired immune systems, such as those with HIV, are more susceptible to yeast infections.
Signs and symptoms of a male yeast infection include a reddish rash, itching or burning at the tip of the penis. Most male yeast infections are easily treated with over-the-counter antifungal treatments, such as Monistat (yes, men can use it too). Apply the medication directly to the affected skin twice daily for a week. If the rash doesn't go away, or if it recurs frequently, consult your doctor.
If you and your partner both have symptoms of genital yeast infection, it's important that you both be treated. Otherwise, you may keep reinfecting each other. Also, it's generally recommended that you refrain from sexual contact until all signs and symptoms of the infection are gone.
Sept. 18, 2012
See more Expert Answers
- Bacterial vaginosis. National Institute of Allergy, Immunology and Infectious Diseases. http://www.niaid.nih.gov/topics/bacterialvaginosis/pages/default.aspx?wt.ac=bcBacterialVaginosis. Accessed July 8, 2012.
- Habif TP. Clinical Dermatology. A Color Guide to Diagnosis and Therapy. 5th ed. Edinburgh, U.K.; New York, N.Y.: Mosby Elsevier; 2010. http://www.mdconsult.com/books/about.do?about=true&eid=4-u1.0-B978-0-7234-3541-9..X0001-6--TOP&isbn=978-0-7234-3541-9&uniqId=230100505-57. Accessed July 8, 2012.
- Diseases characterized by vaginal discharge. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. http://www.cdc.gov/std/treatment/2010/vaginal-discharge.htm#a1. Accessed July 8, 2012.
- Wolff K, et al. Fitzpatrick's Dermatology in General Medicine.7th ed. New York, N.Y.: The McGraw-Hill Companies; 2008. http://www.accessmedicine.com/resourceTOC.aspx?resourceID=505. Accessed July 8, 2012.