Q&A: Yeast Infection From Oral Sex?

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QUESTION: My wife and I used to have oral sex once in a while and both enjoyed it. Now she says when I give her oral pleasure she says she gets a yeast infection. For this reason she won't let me do it anymore. I don't think she gets an infection if she performs fellatio on me prior to intercourse. Is a yeast infection possible from oral sex?

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Great question – and one that’s on the minds of many men and women. In most cases, oral sex performed on a woman does not raise her chances of getting a yeast infection.

Saliva and Yeast Infection Risk

But for some women who are prone to yeast infections, it does. Another sex act that can increase the odds of having a yeast infection – as you hinted at – is having vaginal intercourse with a man after one has just performed oral sex on him. In both cases, it’s the saliva that can raise the yeast infection risk.

That said, it is completely possible for one but not both of these sex acts to contribute to a woman’s yeast infection risk. Maybe your saliva on her genitals interacts with her body in a way that promotes yeast overgrowth whereas her saliva on your penis, which then goes into her vagina, does not have the same effect.

That is certainly a possibility. And while this used to not be a problem for you two, it’s also true that women who never used to get yeast infections can become more prone to them at different points in their lives, particularly due to hormonal changes.

Check In With A Specialist

If your wife is particularly prone to yeast infections, or finds that her body doesn’t always respond easily to treatment, she might consider checking in with a specialist in vulvovaginal health.

You two can also learn more about yeast infections, sex and other vaginal health issues in The V Book: A Doctor’s Guide to Complete Vulvovaginal Health. The International Society for the Study of Vulvovaginal Disease is another good resource for information about vulvovaginal health and you can also contact them to locate healthcare providers who specialize in vaginal health issues, like yeast infections, in your area.

Satisfying Sex And Communication

Having a satisfying sex life in the midst of dealing with yeast infections is definitely possible, though you might find that communication becomes even more important.

If you’re feeling disappointed about not being able to perform oral sex on your wife, this is something that you might try talking with her about so that she can reassure you that it’s not about you, but about her body.

And there may be other ways to work around the situation, such as using a dental dam or condom cut in half as a barrier between your mouth and her genitals. That way you might be able to occasionally indulge in oral sex without putting her at risk for an uncomfortable or painful yeast infection.

Dr. Debby Herbenick (M.P.H., Ph.D.)

is a sexual health educator at The Kinsey Institute, Associate Director of the Center for Sexual Health Promotion at Indiana University and author of several books including Sex Made Easy and Because It Feels Good: A Woman's Guide to Sexual Pleasure and Satisfaction.
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Comments

  • listbl

    Man I never new you could run the risk of get someone yeast infections thought oral sex.

  • Kevin Matthews

    I have read about so many male yeast infection symptoms and causes and it can be very overwhelming to absorb all of the information about this subject.