Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


Men do not cause yeast infections in women


Researchers find oral sex, masturbating linked to recurrent infections

Women may blame their husbands or boyfriends for headaches, tears and stress. But they can’t be blamed for those nasty recurrent yeast infections, contrary to popular belief.

A new study by University of Michigan Health System researchers finds that the presence of yeast in male sex partners do not make women more prone to recurrent yeast infections. Certain sexual activities, however, were linked to increased risk of recurrent yeast infections in women, according to the study.

"Many physicians, and many women, believe that women get recurrent yeast infections because their partner passes the yeast back to them during intercourse. This study refutes that belief," says study author Barbara Reed, M.D., M.S.P.H., professor of Family Medicine at the U-M Medical School. "This study suggests the risk for recurrent infections is related to something else – perhaps the woman’s immune response to the yeast."

Candida vulvovaginitis, or yeast infection, is one of the most common diagnoses in American women. About three-quarters of women will have at least one yeast infection in their lives, and 40 percent have recurrent infections. The Candida yeast are often found in both women and men in the genital area, rectum and mouth.

In the study, published in the December Journal of Women’s Health, researchers looked at 148 women with confirmed Candida vulvovaginitis and 78 of their male sexual partners. Each woman was examined by a doctor, who collected samples from the vagina, cervix, vulva, tongue and rectum. The men were asked to collect at home urine, fecal and semen samples and a tongue swabbing. The samples were analyzed by culture to determine whether Candida species were present at each site.

The women received treatment for their initial infection and were asked to return for follow-up visits after two weeks, four weeks, six months and a year. At each visit, they were asked about symptoms, sexual activity and changes in risk factors. Doctors repeated the pelvic exam and specimen collections.

The women were also told to return for testing any time they had symptoms of vaginal discharge, itching or odor. Doctors performed an exam and collected specimens at these visits as well. After the symptomatic visits, the men were also asked for new specimen collections. Thirty-three of the women developed at least one recurrent yeast infection within the year.

At the two-week and one-month visits, none of the women had symptoms of a yeast infection. But 20 percent had a positive culture for Candida in the vaginal area at the two-week visit and 29 percent tested positive for Candida after one month. The researchers found these women were no more likely to develop recurrent infections by the end of the one-year study period.

Among the men, nearly half tested positive for Candida species on the tongue and in the feces, while few showed Candida in their urine or semen. Researchers found no link between Candida in the men’s specimens and Candida at the women’s vulva, rectum or tongue. They also found no link between recurrent yeast infections and signs of Candida at any site in either the men or women.

When sexual activities were looked at, however, the researchers found women who had recurrences were more likely to have participated in cunnilingus (or oral sex given to the woman) or masturbation of the woman with saliva in the past month. Only 14.5 percent of women reported masturbation with saliva, however, while 69 percent reported cunnilingus, suggesting oral sex is the more common risk.

Oral sex and masturbation with saliva proved to be risk factors whether men showed signs of yeast in their mouth or not. The risk was also not affected by the presence of Candida in the women’s genital area.

"We’re not saying that oral sex is a problem for everyone, but if a women is experiencing recurrent yeast infections, those activities put her at an increased risk," Reed says.

The woman’s age at first intercourse, lifetime number of partners, frequency of intercourse or anal intercourse in the previous month were all not associated with recurrences.

The researchers suggest that Candida exists in some women in balance with the other organisms and immune components in the vaginal area, and that washing that area with saliva may disrupt the balance, leading to symptoms of yeast infection.

The study received funding from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. In addition to Reed, study authors include Philip Zazove, M.D., and Daniel W. Gorenflo, Ph.D., from the U-M Department of Family Medicine; Carl L. Pierson, Ph.D., from the U-M Department of Pathology; and Julie Horrocks, Ph.D., from the Department of Mathematics and Statistics at the University of Guelph in Ontario, Canada.

Nicole Fawcett | EurekAlert!
Further information:

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Resolving the mystery of preeclampsia
21.10.2016 | Universitätsklinikum Magdeburg

nachricht New potential cancer treatment using microwaves to target deep tumors
12.10.2016 | University of Texas at Arlington

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: New 3-D wiring technique brings scalable quantum computers closer to reality

Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.

"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...

Im Focus: Scientists develop a semiconductor nanocomposite material that moves in response to light

In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.

A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...

Im Focus: Diamonds aren't forever: Sandia, Harvard team create first quantum computer bridge

By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.

"People have already built small quantum computers," says Sandia researcher Ryan Camacho. "Maybe the first useful one won't be a single giant quantum computer...

Im Focus: New Products - Highlights of COMPAMED 2016

COMPAMED has become the leading international marketplace for suppliers of medical manufacturing. The trade fair, which takes place every November and is co-located to MEDICA in Dusseldorf, has been steadily growing over the past years and shows that medical technology remains a rapidly growing market.

In 2016, the joint pavilion by the IVAM Microtechnology Network, the Product Market “High-tech for Medical Devices”, will be located in Hall 8a again and will...

Im Focus: Ultra-thin ferroelectric material for next-generation electronics

'Ferroelectric' materials can switch between different states of electrical polarization in response to an external electric field. This flexibility means they show promise for many applications, for example in electronic devices and computer memory. Current ferroelectric materials are highly valued for their thermal and chemical stability and rapid electro-mechanical responses, but creating a material that is scalable down to the tiny sizes needed for technologies like silicon-based semiconductors (Si-based CMOS) has proven challenging.

Now, Hiroshi Funakubo and co-workers at the Tokyo Institute of Technology, in collaboration with researchers across Japan, have conducted experiments to...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

Agricultural Trade Developments and Potentials in Central Asia and the South Caucasus

14.10.2016 | Event News

World Health Summit – Day Three: A Call to Action

12.10.2016 | Event News

Latest News

Resolving the mystery of preeclampsia

21.10.2016 | Health and Medicine

Stanford researchers create new special-purpose computer that may someday save us billions

21.10.2016 | Information Technology

From ancient fossils to future cars

21.10.2016 | Materials Sciences

More VideoLinks >>>