5 Yeast Infection Myths You've Probably Fallen For, Even Though Experts Say They're BS
If you’ve ever experienced the pure agony that is a yeast infection, I’m so sorry. If you haven’t, count your blessings, because I’m pretty sure they’re one of (if not the) worst things the female body has to put up with. Sure, PMS is pretty rough, but at least when your period comes, you have an idea of what to expect from your body. Yeast infections aren’t quite as predictable, though, and that’s because there are so many myths about yeast infections floating around the internet that the only thing you can know for sure is that the genital fungal infection makes your vagina itch and your pee burn.
According to the Mayo Clinic, three out of every four women will experience a yeast infection at some point in their lives, and many women experience them at least twice. The most common symptoms of yeast infections, per the medical center, range from an itchy and irritated vagina, a burning sensation whenever you pee or have sex, redness or swelling of the vulva, vagina pain, rash, and — wait for it — a thick, white, slightly chunky discharge resembling cottage cheese. Sounds just peachy, doesn’t it? Cue one massive eye roll.
But generally speaking, the internet shouldn't really be your main source of information when it comes to matters of the female reproductive system. The second you start to feel any of the aforementioned symptoms coming on, it’s in your best interest to call up your OBGYN and make an appointment ASAP. That way, they can diagnose you, figure out where the infection came from, and point you in the direction of a foolproof remedy.
On that note, I am not a doctor, nor am I at liberty to sift through the most common yeast infection myths out there and debunk them one by one. Instead, I reached out to a few experts in the space to debunk a few of them. Here's what they had to say about the BS you've definitely heard before.
Yeast Infections Are Sexually Transmitted Diseases
A yeast infection is not a sexually transmitted disease, though partners can pass yeast to one another. To clarify, this doesn't necessarily mean you'll pass along a yeast infection, Dr. Rebecca Taub, an OB/GYN in Washington and fellow with Physicians for Reproductive Health, tells Elite Daily. "Many people carry yeast normally on their skin without getting an infection," she says, so while an infection might get worse from sexual intercourse, you won't contract the infection from sex alone.
You Can Get A Yeast Infection From Wearing Tight Pants
In mid-January, Cardi B posted a video to Instagram that caught quite a lot of people's attention, partially because she wasn't wearing any pants, but mostly because of the reason why she wasn't wearing any pants. In the clip, the rapper makes a connection between tight pants and yeast infections, which left a few people wondering whether or not wearing tight bottoms can actually put you at risk for developing an infection.
So here's the thing: From what I understand, this myth is partially true. At this time, Dr. Taub tells me there are no scientific studies that have shown an association between certain types of clothing and risk for yeast infections. However, Dr. Hedieh Asadi, co-founder of DeoDoc Intimate Skincare, says that candidas (aka microorganisms in vaginal bacteria that can become infectious) "thrive in a warm, moist environment," so if you know you're prone to yeast infections, then it's probably a good idea to avoid too-tight clothing as much as you're able to, as well as synthetic underwear.
Inserting Cloves Of Garlic Into Your Vagina Can Cure A Yeast Infection
Yeast infections are not vampires, friends, and what I mean by that is, garlic is not going to ward them off. As a general rule of thumb, sticking anything up your vagina, unless specifically made for vaginal use (like, say, a tampon or menstrual cup) is a major no-no.
"Putting garlic (whether whole cloves or crushed) can cause more irritation and infection," Dr. Amy Huibonhoa, an OB/GYN in California and fellow with Physicians for Reproductive Health, tells Elite Daily. "Bottom line — no. [The] most effective [treatment] is still the over-the-counter antifungal vaginal creams, preferably the three- or seven-day variety."
Placing Your Laptop In Your Lap Can Cause Yeast Infections
Rest assured, it's OK to set your laptop in your lap — after all, that's literally what they were made for, right? I mean, it's in their name and everything. All jokes aside, though, the idea that placing a laptop in your lap and not on a desk can cause a yeast infection, is actually pretty ridiculous.
While it's true that the heat emitting from your device might make that area warm and toasty — which, again, candida loves — your vagina is usually pretty warm and toasty to begin with. As far as Dr. Taub is concerned, there is "no credible evidence that using your laptop on your lap puts you at higher risk for yeast infections."
Only Women Get Yeast Infections
Generally speaking, most yeast infections happen in people who have vulvas/vaginas. That being said, however, men can get yeast infections, too.
According to the Mayo Clinic, it's actually common for men to get yeast infections because the fungus that causes them (candida) lives on moist skin. If a man is having sex with someone who has a yeast infection, an overgrowth can occur and an infection can take over. Bummer, right? We know guys, we know.