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Is vaginal thrush contagious?

Periods 101
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Is vaginal thrush contagious?

If you’re wondering if vaginal thrush is contagious, you’ve landed in the right place. We’re here to explain what vaginal thrush is, whether you can pass it between partners and how to treat & prevent thrush. 


What is thrush?

Also known as a yeast infection, thrush is caused by an overgrowth of the fungus Candida, which is normally present in the body in small amounts. What causes this overgrowth is when your body’s natural balance is disturbed this can be because of a number of reasons such as:

  • Antibiotics
  • Hormonal changes like pregnancy or your period.
  • Immune system disorders, such HIV or cancer.
  • Diabetes.
  • Using perfumed products, bubble baths or vaginal washing products.
  • Smoking & alcohol consumption.
  • Irritated or damaged skin. 
  • Underwear made from synthetic materials.
  • Period care that includes bleach, plastic & fragrances.

Is vaginal thrush contagious?

Whilst it’s not typically considered ‘contagious’, in some cases the infection can be passed between sexual partners, particularly if one partner has a weakened immune system, as this can make them more susceptible to infections. Thrush is not considered an STI because many people (like babies & children) who get them have never had sex. 

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Can thrush be sexually transmitted?

Yes, you can get thrush from having sex with someone who is infected. And you can also pass on any infection you may have to sexual partners. It doesn’t stop at penetrative sex either, oral thrush can also be transmitted through oral sex with a person who has vaginal or penile thrush. 

However, we’ll say this louder for the people in the back: thrush is not a sexually transmitted disease. You can develop thrush without having sex with an infected partner. If you’ve suffered multiple times, check out our blog on recurring thrush.

Is thrush contagious through kissing?

It’s possible to transmit Candida fungus to a partner through kissing, however it doesn’t automatically mean they’ll develop thrush too. Remember, thrush happens when certain things throw off your body’s natural balance and allows Candida to overgrow like taking antibiotics. Candida is already present in your body and will only cause thrush if the conditions are just right for it to thrive, however if you have thrush you should always take steps to minimise spread and begin treatment.

How to reduce the risk of transmitting or acquiring thrush

Whilst vaginal thrush isn’t contagious in the same way like a cold or flu, it’s possible to pass the infection back and forth between sexual partners (particular if one of you has left the infection untreated) here’s a few tips on minimising the risk of transmitting or acquiring thrush:

  • Practise good hygiene.
  • Use protection during sexual activity.
  • If you or your partner are experiencing symptoms of vaginal or penile thrush, always seek medical advice and start treatment to prevent the infection from spreading. 

Swapping over to organic cotton period care can not only help prevent thrush but it can also be a lot more comfortable if you’re suffering during your period. Read our blog on how organic cotton period care can help with thrush.


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