Staying Safe and Comfortable: Can Lubricants Cause Yeast Infections?

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Lubricants have become an essential part of many people’s intimate experiences. They enhance pleasure, reduce discomfort, and can make intimate moments more enjoyable. However, there has been some debate surrounding their potential connection to yeast infections. In this blog, lubricationfaqs will clarify the question “Can lubricants cause yeast infection?“.

What is Candida infection?

The human body is home to a variety of fungus, including Candida. The majority of the time, this fungus can be seen in little amounts on the skin or in areas like the mouth and abdomen. But when the conditions are correct, yeast can grow uncontrollably and reproduce. It creates a condition known as candidiasis. The name of the fungus varies depending on where it grows:

  • Oropharyngeal candidiasis, or oral thrush
  • Genital Candida (genital yeast infection);
  • A yeast infection-related diaper rash;
  • Invasion of candida.

The bacteria in the vagina typically aids in maintaining the pH in the desired range (3.8 to 4.2). Many pathogenic bacteria are prevented from invading by some helpful bacteria, including Lactobacillus. The vagina will lose the balance between good bacteria and yeast when it is impacted by harmful causes such hormonal shifts, immunodeficiency, etc., which will then create conditions that are conducive to the growth of fungus and cause vaginal yeast infections.

A yeast infection affects over 75% of women at some point in their life, and although it’s not dangerous, symptoms like vulvar itching and clumpy vaginal discharge can be irritating.

Symptoms of a Genital Yeast Infection (Genital Candida)

Vaginal thrush can exhibit mild to moderate symptoms, depending on the severity of the infection and its various stages. Vaginal yeast symptoms consist of:

  • Extreme vaginal itching;
  • The vagina and vulva (the external female genitalia) are red and swollen;
  • During urinating, there is pain and burning;
  • Discomfort while having sex;
  • The blood has a whey-like texture and is milky, thick, and lumpy;
  • A male with a yeast infection could develop an itchy rash on his penis.

It’s crucial to contact a doctor because symptoms in women can match those of other infections like bacterial vaginosis (bacterial overgrowth in the vagina) and sexually transmitted diseases.

Although fungal vaginitis is rarely life-threatening, it has many detrimental consequences on physical and mental health, makes the vagina bloated and itchy, and may even cause blisters and tears of the vaginal tissue.

Additionally, it can harm relationships in marriage, lower fertility, weaken the immune system, increase the chance of miscarriage and early birth in expectant mothers, and have a bad psychological impact.

Who is at risk for Candida infection?

Yeast infections can also affect men, though they do so far less frequently. Yeast infections typically happen when the equilibrium in the vagina shifts in situations where:

  • Pregnancy;
  • Diabetes;
  • A few drugs, including birth control pills and antibiotics;
  • Using specific douches, lubricants, vaginal sprays, or spermicides;
  • Immune system weakened;
  • Wear an exercise outfit, a damp bathing suit, or non-breathable underwear;
  • Occasionally, the virus can be transferred through sex from one person to another.

You may also like: Can Lubricant Cause UTIs? Understanding the Potential Risks

Can Lubricants Cause Yeast Infections?

Some lubricants can make you develop yeast infections. A healthy vagina’s delicate balance of vaginal flora and acidity is hypothesized to be altered by some products. Any alteration in that equilibrium, whether brought on by a bothersome lubricant or something else, can result in an infection.

Water-based Vaginal Lubricants

Several water-based vaginal lubricants, including: Carrageenan, Astroglide, KY Jelly, Isabel Fay, and KY Jelly.

Advantages

Glycerin and water are occasionally mixed in water-based lubricants. Numerous personal care products include this tasteless, colorless liquid.

When using water-based vaginal lubricants, sex is more enjoyable and satisfying. This kind of lubricant is less abrasive to the vagina than oil-based lubricants and won’t harm latex condoms. Additionally, they don’t leave stains and are simple to remove with soap and water.

Water-based vaginal lubricants are simple to find in stores and are safe to use.

Disadvantages

Reapplying water-based lubricants could be essential because they can dry up rapidly. This material is water soluble, therefore using it as vaginal lubricant during intercourse in the shower or pool will not be useful.

Some vaginal lubricants include chemicals and preservatives like parabens and glycerin. These compounds have the potential to irritate delicate vaginal tissues or, in some people, result in yeast infections. There is a slight estrogenic impact from parabens. Although there have been concerns regarding their potential connection to breast cancer, no studies have conclusively demonstrated it to date.

Oil-based Vaginal Lubricants

There are many different kinds of oil-based vaginal lubricants, including synthetic oils and natural oils like avocado, olive, and coconut.

Advantages

Oil-based lubricants do not dissolve in water and have a longer lifespan than water-based lubricants. Additionally, these lubricants don’t include any unpleasant preservatives or chemicals.

Disadvantages

Latex condoms can be harmed by oil-based lubricants, which increases their vulnerability to STIs and pregnancy (if they are still menstruating). Polyurethane condoms can be used safely with oil-based lubricants.

Some oil-based lubricants, such as baby and lubricating oils, can raise the risk of UTIs. Bed linen, underwear, and other materials are also stained by the oil.

It’s advised to stay away from oil-based lubricants if you frequently have yeast infections. Oil is well known for drawing and encasing germs. Oil-based lubricants can also persist in the vagina for days due to their difficulty in washing off, accumulating germs that might disturb the vaginal microbiota and cause yeast infections.

Can Lubricants Cause Yeast Infections?

Conclusion

In conclusion, while lubricants are generally safe to use, it is important to be mindful of their ingredients and potential impact on vaginal health. Some lubricants may contain substances that can disrupt the natural balance of bacteria in the vagina and potentially increase the risk of yeast infections. To minimize this risk, it is advisable to choose water-based or silicone-based lubricants without added fragrances or irritants.

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