Can Birth Control Cause Yeast Infections?

Can Birth Control Cause Yeast Infections?

5 minute read

When it comes to vaginal health, birth control is an important topic. Can birth control cause yeast infections? We’ll discuss the connection between birth control and yeast infections and your birth control options relating to the increased risk of yeast infection.  

The connection between birth control and yeast infections

Birth control itself is not a cause of yeast infections, but it may increase your risk of developing a yeast infection. In what ways can hormonal birth control potentially increase your risk of yeast infection? Any hormonal change can increase this risk, and many types of birth control are hormonal. In some cases, yeast infection medication can make your birth control less effective. Ask your primary care provider about which birth control is best to use in your situation if you think your birth control is connected to your getting more yeast infections.

Yeast infection medication and birth control

In most cases, taking birth control and yeast infection medication simultaneously is low risk. However, it is important to note that some antifungal medications might weaken the structural integrity of condoms. It can also be beneficial to discuss your options with your primary care provider if you think any vitamins, supplements, or medications you take might interact poorly with any yeast infection medication. 

Fluconazole (brand name: Diflucan) and birth control

There’s little evidence that Fluconazole, the generic form of Diflucan (an antifungal treatment) and a common medication used to treat yeast infections, will affect birth control. It’s worth discussing any safety concerns or questions with your primary care provider before taking any new medication. Whenever starting a new medication, the more details about your medical history you provide, the better. Discuss topics including any allergies you have, possible interactions with any vitamins, supplements, or other medications you take, and if pre-existing conditions increase your risk of experiencing side effects. Some conditions are contraindicated when considering Diflucan are: 

  • Pregnancy

  • Kidney disease

  • Low amounts of either potassium or magnesium in the blood

  • Torsades de pointes (abnormal heart rhythm)

Types of birth control

Different birth control methods influence your chances of getting a yeast infection at different rates. There are hormonal birth controls and non-hormonal options. Hormonal birth controls have a potentially higher likelihood of increasing your risk of yeast infection than non-hormonal alternatives as many hormonal birth controls contain estrogen and progesterone which can contribute to a change in the balance of microorganisms in your vagina. What are some things to consider when choosing the best birth control method for you? ?

Does birth control cause yeast infections?

Birth control alone does not cause yeast infections, but it can increase your risk of experiencing them. One risk factor known to contribute to the development of yeast infections is hormonal imbalance. Taking hormonal birth control may contribute to this imbalance and subsequently lead to an increased risk of developing a yeast infection.Types of birth control include:

  • Barriers

  • Short- and long-acting hormonal options

  • Surgical (sterilization)

  • Natural (menstrual cycle awareness)

  • Emergency

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NuvaRing and yeast infection

NuvaRing is one of several types of short-acting hormonal birth controls (forms that you have to remember to take on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis). You insert the NuvaRing into your vagina, take it out after three weeks (for menstruation), and insert a new ring after one week without one. The NuvaRing contains estrogen and progestin (a synthetic version of progesterone) and, because the NuvaRing influences hormonal behavior, it may increase your risk of experiencing a yeast infection. 

Plan B and yeast infection

Plan B and other emergency contraceptives may increase your risk of getting a yeast infection. Emergency contraceptives and other hormonal birth controls work in a similar way but with a different mechanism. Plan B contains levonorgestrel rather than estrogen and progestin. Birth control pills can also be used as an emergency contraceptive, but this isn’t a preferable method. Taking multiple birth control pills is less effective than taking Plan B and may cause nausea. 

Yasmin and yeast infection

Birth control pills, like Yasmin, can increase your risk of yeast infection because they alter the hormones in your body. There are two main pill forms of birth control: combination pills and minipills. Combination pills have estrogen and progestin, whereas minipills only have progestin. It’s considered relatively low risk to use a birth control pill unless you have preexisting conditions that increase your risk of yeast infection or other health problems. If you think your birth control is causing a problem, speak to your primary care provider about other birth control options.

Birth control that doesn’t cause yeast infection 

Non-hormonal birth control options are less likely to increase your chances of experiencing a yeast infection. Barrier methods (the kind that physically separates your egg from his sperm) like diaphragms, cervical caps, condoms (both male and female), and IUDs are all types of non-hormonal birth control. Options also include sterilization (tubal ligation or vasectomy), pulling out, and menstrual cycle tracking. Each type of birth control has pros and cons. We suggest speaking with your primary care provider about which method(s) are best in your situation.   

Although most birth control methods have a low risk of leading to a yeast infection, it might be worth discussing alternative birth control methods with your primary care provider if you’re experiencing any problems or to specifically discuss changes of developing a yeast infection on birth control.

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