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.
Tatnai Burnett, M.D.
Feb. 07, 2020
- 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.