Oral sex can trigger a yeast infection in your mouth, vagina, penis, or anus.
Although it’s possible that you contracted the infection from a partner, the timing may also be a coincidence.
No matter the cause, yeast infections usually aren’t serious and can often be treated at home.
Read on to learn more about why this happens, other potential causes, treatment options, and more.
Candida fungus is a normal part of the microscopic bacteria ecosystem in your mouth, tongue, gums, and throat. If this fungus begins to grow uncontrollably, an oral yeast infection (thrush) may develop.
Candida fungus also lives in the vagina and penis. Performing oral sex on a person who has this genitalia may introduce additional candida to your mouth, triggering an overgrowth.
You may also contract oral thrush if you perform oral sex on someone who has a vaginal, penile, or anal yeast infection.
Oral sex introduces bacteria from your partner’s mouth into your vagina’s ecosystem of bacteria and candida.
Candida thrives in moist environments, so oral sex creates an opportunity for candida to grow more quickly than it normally would.
At least one study has shown that receiving vaginal oral sex increases your risk of vaginal yeast infections.
Receiving oral sex may be enough to trigger a yeast infection. Your risk for infection increases if you receive oral from someone who has thrush or engage in penetrative sex with someone who has a vaginal or anal yeast infection.
“Rimming,” or analingus, can also introduce new bacteria and deposit extra yeast into your anus. This may be all it takes to trigger a yeast infection.
Your risk for infection increases if you receive oral from someone who has thrush or if you engage in penetrative sex with someone who has a penile yeast infection. Sex toys can also transmit candida.
If you have a yeast infection, it’s possible you contracted it from your partner.
On the flip side, if you’ve received oral sex since you discovered your yeast infection, it’s possible that you passed the infection to your partner.
If you believe you have a yeast infection, you should tell any active or recent sexual partners so they can seek treatment.
You may also consider taking a break from sex until you and any active sexual partners are symptom-free. This will prevent you from transmitting the same infection back and forth.
Although it’s possible to transmit a yeast infection through oral sex, you may be more likely to develop a yeast infection as a result of:
Genital yeast infections are usually treatable with over-the-counter (OTC) medication. If you experience frequent or severe yeast infections, you may want to see your doctor or other healthcare provider for prescription-strength medication.
Although oral thrush may be treated with home remedies and other OTC options, it can be difficult to clear without prescription medication. If this is your first experience with oral thrush, you may consider seeing a healthcare provider for treatment.
Oral thrush may be treated with antifungal mouthwash, lozenges, and oral antifungal medications. Once you begin treatment, it can take up to 14 days for symptoms to subside.
While you wait for your symptoms to clear, consider adding a daily saltwater mouth rinse to your routine. This may help reduce inflammation and speed healing.
Vaginal, penile, or anal yeast infection
Although Miconazole (Monistat) and clotrimazole (Canesten) are typically marketed as OTC treatments for vaginal yeast infections, they may also be used to treat infections on the penis or anus.
Once you’ve started treatment, your yeast infection should clear within three to seven days. Make sure you continue the full course of treatment to ensure the infection has completely cleared.
Wearing breathable cotton underwear can help ease discomfort while you wait for your symptoms to clear. Taking warm baths with Epsom salt may also help relieve itching.
If you don’t see improvement within a week of treatment, see a doctor or other healthcare provider. They can prescribe stronger medication to help clear the infection.
You should also see a doctor if:
- Your symptoms worsen.
- You get yeast infections more than four times per year.
- You experience bleeding, smelly discharge, or other unusual symptoms.
You can reduce your risk for genital yeast infections by using an outside condom or dental dam to minimize the spread of bacteria. This can also reduce your partner’s risk of developing oral thrush.
Generally speaking, you may be able to reduce your risk for any type of yeast infection if you:
- Take a daily probiotic supplement.
- Cut down on carbohydrate- and sugar-rich foods.
- Eat more Greek yogurt, as it contains bacteria that keeps yeast at bay.
You may be able to reduce your risk for a vaginal, penile, or anal yeast infection if you:
- Wear breathable cotton undergarments.
- Wash thoroughly after activities where you’re submerged in water.
- Avoid using perfumed soaps or other hygiene products on your genitals.
- Avoid douching, if you have a vagina.