Guys, fungus just ain’t any fun for anyone. And yes, yeast is highly contagious (even if you have a penis).
But, it is possible for yeast-prone people to use lube, condoms and sex toys without increasing the likelihood of an unpleasant invasion of yeast? Absolutely! And this yeast information and reduction guide makes it all the easier.
Although there are approximately twenty varieties of candida living in the human body’s mucus membranes at all times, candida albicans is the most common form of candida fungus present in vaginal yeast infections. When present in high levels in the throat, this very same fungus is called thrush.
Symptoms of a vaginal yeast infection include:
- discharge resembling cottage cheese (not smegma)
- severe itching/burning
- unpleasant odor
- pain during penetration
- pain and/or burning during urination
The albicans strain of candida can be treated by prescription anti-fungal pills such as Diflucan and over-the-counter insertable medications, like Monistat, can typically clear up within two weeks time. If your yeast infection isn’t clearing up within this time frame, after using the typical yeast treatments, visit a clinic or physician for a swab test. You may have a more rare strain of fungus, STD/STI or a bacterial infection.
In extreme cases, or when left untreated for too long, all forms of candida overgrowth can lead to a systemic fungal infection. When candida leaves enters into the bloodstream from the mucus membranes in which it has infected, this is called invasive candidiasis. Symptoms range from hair loss to low fever and can cause major organ failure in advanced cases. This body wide infection can require an anti-fungal IV and/or strict lifestyles changes to combat.
Ordinarily, when all is in balance, good bacteria in the body keep its levels at bay. So, what makes it run amok, take over the good bacteria and cause an itchiness akin to scabies?
Environmental and internal factors both play a role:
- taking antibiotics
- bodily fluid swapping with a yeasty partner
- a high-sugar diet
- wearing wet clothing
- bubble baths
- wearing tight, non-breathable fabrics
- using porous sex toys/improper sex toy cleaning
- recent hospitalization/surgery
- lack of established gut flora
- decreased immune system responsiveness (such as those with HIV/AIDs)
Since preventing yeast infections is far easier than treating them, it’s important to learn about which products to avoid and which ones to gravitate to when it comes to staying healthy and in control of your fungus. Here is a buying guide of the best products for yeast-prone people!
Kept in refrigerators, active cultures require a cold, dark space to stay alive. Probiotics sold on store shelves along with vitamins will not contain the live cultures needed to establish the proper gut flora which will keep the fungus in check. Look for one with the most variety of living microorganisms and be sure to take it daily.
Beware of eating yogurt as a main source of cultures as it often also contains a lot of sugars, defeating the whole purpose of increasing good bacteria in the gut (read more below).
Food & Drink
Pizza? Noooo! Punch that dough!
Proteins feed the good bacteria which fights off the fungus, whereas sugars feed the fungus. So, really, you are feeding the troops every time you eat or drink– and it’s up to you who wins the war. Unfortunately, avoiding things which nourish the fungi can be a huge challenge. Beer, doughnuts, cake, bread… it all ends up helping that yeast infection to grow ever larger.
Lean, organic proteins which were raised without antibiotics and low-sugar fruits and vegetables aren’t always super exciting prospects– but neither is being invaded by yeast. Choose wisely lest the yeast rise up and conquer once again!
Silicone, Silicone, Silicone!
While yeast isn’t technically an allergy, hypoallergenic silicone lubes tend to have less additives like sorbitol and glycol, which feed fungus. Remember, you’re trying to starve this fungus out– not give it a tasty snack every time you have strive to have an orgasm.
Hidden sugars don’t just exist in the cereal aisle, they’re in lubes too. I try to find lubes with three ingredients or less, none of which are sugars or sugar alcohols. Try pure silicone lubes, like ID Millennium, Astroglide X or Pjur Man Basic for a sugar-free, yet super slippery session.
To learn the lube industry lingo, be sure to check out, “What’s in My Lube?” for the alternate names for silicone and sugar on personal lubricant ingredient labels.
Condoms and dental dams will prevent fungal transmission between partners, but using barriers without glycerin is also crucial to taming out-of-hand yeast. When in doubt about the lubricant contents on your condom, consider getting a non-lubricated condom and adding on your own sure-to-be-pure silicone lube.
Some Japanese condom manufacturers use glycerine-free lube exclusively. Okamoto, Crown and Kimono brand condoms only use hypoallergenic silicone lubes to coat their condoms, unlike some other brands like Trojan which use water-based lubricants. Read more about condoms’ lubricants in this list of, “Top Ten Silicone Lubricated Condoms.”
No Pores, No Spores
Glass, metal, 100% silicone– these sex toy materials are my jam. Why? No pores, no spores. That’s right. They’re non-porous, waterproof and fully compatible with any lubricant (including my recommended pure silicone lubricants).
You can boil ‘em, or run them through the dishwasher on high heat, and then store them without concern of any leftover fungus remnants clinging onto your precious sex toy. In addition, I also like to employ a sex toy cleaner, like WET Keep it Clean, to provide extra fungus fighting oomph. Read about my favorite glass toy in my Don Wands Glass Wand review!