Are You Falling For the 5 Most Common Yeast Infection Myths?

What you need to know to keep your body healthy.


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Yeast Infection Myths Intro

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Get schooled on the itchy, uncomfortable vaginal infection that three in four women have experienced. Lisa Masterson, MD, California-based ob-gyn and host of the podcast Health in Heels with Dr. Lisa, clears up what’s true and what’s false.


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Fiction: Having sex is a main cause.

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Myth #1: Having sex is a main cause.


Reality: New sexual activity can result in vaginal irritation, which many people mistake for a yeast infection, but in actuality, intercourse won’t lead to a yeast infection. Other things that may trigger one, however, include birth control, antibiotics, illness or your period.


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Fiction: Using a condom will reduce your risk.

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Myth #2: Using a condom will reduce your risk.


Reality: Yeast infections are not a sexually transmitted disease, so a condom won’t protect against them. To really lower your chances of irritation, use unscented body wash and wipe from front to back. A few adjustments to your outfit will also help: Avoid tight clothing that traps sweat, sport breathable, cotton underwear and change out of wet bathing suits or gym clothes ASAP.


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Fiction: Bleeding is a common symptom.

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Myth #3: Bleeding is a common symptom.


Reality: Unusual bleeding is a sign you should head to your gyno, but it doesn't mean you have a yeast infection. Real indicators include itching, burning, pain during sex, a rash and thick, white, cottage cheese–like vaginal discharge. If you've never had the infection before, it's best to see your doctor to get a proper diagnosis.


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Fiction: They’re highly contagious.

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Myth #4: They’re highly contagious.


Reality: You can’t get a yeast infection from someone else. The real culprit is an imbalance in your vagina’s natural bacteria.


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Fiction: There’s no cure.

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Myth #5: There’s no cure.


Reality: According to a recent Monistat poll, about 67% of respondents believe nothing will heal the infection. But in fact, over-the-counter antifungal creams start treating it right away. Your doctor can also write a prescription for a one-time pill.