Why yeast infections are recurring?
Health & Beauty
October 20, 2006

Why yeast infections are recurring?

Dear Helen,

I AM 21 years old and have been battling with yeast infections for a while. Usually when I visit the doctor he prescribes a cream and also treatment for my partner since we have unprotected sex. The yeast infection goes away and everything is fine until I have sex again, then it returns. However, this only happens when we do not use condoms. Am I getting these yeast infections from my partner? Or could it be that he is having sex with someone else? Why do they reoccur only if we don’t use a condom?

n JM

Dear JM,

A few things jump to mind. First recurrent thrush needs investigating as there is more than one strain of Candida and they respond to different treatments. {{more}}

Second, we all have yeast in us and it doesn’t usually cause a problem or need treatment. When we’re stressed; run down; anaemic; when our immune system is dealing with something else; or the conditions in our vagina become imbalanced it gets a chance to flourish and annoy us.

Third, your partner may be having sex elsewhere.

But equally and more probably, there may be another underlying problem which needs identifying. From a sexually transmitted infections (STI) point of view,

Chlamydia, gonorrhoea, herpes and warts can all lurk behind thrush and need to be ruled out when there’s a recurrent problem. Don’t get upset by this, but HIV needs to be ruled out too as that upsets the immune system. It’s important too to know if that’s the cause or not so you can face it head on and know sooner rather than later. This way your doctor can help you keep your immune system in better condition to reduce other problems.

The fifth thing that strikes me, and which I hope is the underlying cause as it’s easy to understand, involves no one else. It is that the balance of your acid vaginal conditions and your partner’s alkaline ejaculate may upset each other and bring out your underlying thrush when you have unprotected sex. If you rule out the possibility of any underlying cause and make sure you continue your good condom routine, I hope this problem gradually dwindles away.