Is it harmful to have sex if I have a vaginal infection?
Answer From Tatnai Burnett, M.D.
Having sex when you have a vaginal infection or vaginal inflammation may be uncomfortable and might make your symptoms worse. If the source of your infection is a sexually transmitted infection, you may also spread the infection to your partner. If you have chronic yeast infections (candidiasis), confirmed by a doctor, you may have sex without concern for worsening symptoms as long as you're comfortable.
The most common causes of vaginal infection are:
- Yeast infection (candidiasis)
- Bacterial vaginosis
Yeast infections and bacterial vaginosis aren't sexually transmitted infections, but having new sexual partners increases the risk of bacterial vaginosis.
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.
Feb. 07, 2020
Tatnai Burnett, M.D.
See more Expert Answers
- Sobel JD. Approach to women with symptoms of vaginitis. https://www.uptodate.com/contents/search. Accessed Dec. 18, 2019.
- Trichomoniasis — CDC fact sheet. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. https://www.cdc.gov/std/trichomonas/STDFact-Trichomoniasis.htm. Accessed Dec. 18, 2019.
- Lobo RA, et al. Genital tract infections. In: Comprehensive Gynecology. 7th ed. Elsevier; 2017. https://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed Dec. 18, 2019.
- Workowski KA, et al. Sexually transmitted diseases treatment guidelines, 2015. MMWR Recommendations and Reports. 2015; https://www.cdc.gov/std/tg2015/default.htm. Accessed Dec. 18, 2019.