Yeast infection vs STD or sexually transmitted diseases have a lot in common. They have a lot of symptoms that match each other, and it is understandable why it becomes confusing for people to differentiate one from the other.

However, it is important to know and differentiate one from the other. Knowing this leads you to the next step. Yeast infection and STDs can turn into something very serious if they are not treated timely. 

In this article, we are going to compare yeast infection vs STD, along with the causes and symptoms that make them different.

What is a yeast infection?

The fungus yeast grows naturally in small amounts on the skin surface, in the vaginal area as well as the digestive tract. But mostly, this fungus is harmless. However, this turns into an infection when the yeast grows and keeps multiplying till the time things go out of hand.

Yeast grows most in moist and warm places. Yeast infections and STDs can occur in the same part of the body. Like:

  • The penis
  • Between skin folds
  • The nail beds
  • The vagina (yeast vaginitis)
  • The mouth (thrush)
  • The navel
  • The corners of the mouth (angular cheilitis)

What is an STD?

An STD or STI is an infection that is caused because of sexual contact. When one person is infected with a bacterial strain, parasite, or virus that can cause STD, they can transmit it to another person through anal, oral, or vaginal sex. It can also be transmitted through touching and kissing.

Some of the STIs do not show any symptoms for several weeks or months. For instance, syphilis can stay in the body, dormant, without showing any symptoms. Others show mild symptoms. Thus, it is not impossible to get an STI, carry it for years, and not know it. Because of this, it is important to get your sexual tests done.

Yeast Infection Vs STD: The Difference

Even though yeast infections and STDs have a lot of common symptoms, some symptoms are particular for any one of the health conditions. Knowing which symptoms indicate which infection can help you decide whether to take a test, consult a doctor, or pay a visit to a pharmacy. 

Keeping that in mind, here are some symptoms that bare the difference between STDs and yeast infections.

1. Sores or blisters

One of the telltale differences between yeast infections and STDs is that STDs can develop blisters, warts, or sores. Yeast infection that develops in the penis, mouth, and vagina does not come with visible sores. 

2. Abnormal discharge

A lot of STDs and yeast infections trigger an abnormal discharge from the genitals, but their color, odor, and appearance can differ. 

However, when we are thinking of vaginal yeast infection, the discharge is mostly thin and watery. But sometimes, it can be white, thick, and odor-free. You should always pay attention to the texture of the discharge. The discharge that happens because of yeast infection is mostly referred to as “cottage cheese-like.”

As for STDs, the discharges are different and depend on the STD that has developed. For instance, if a person is infected with gonorrhea, a yellow or cloudy white discharge can emit from the penis. It can also cause discharge from the rectum. But, in the case of trichomoniasis, the discharge is mostly yellow or grey-green and foamy with a fishy odor. 

3. Cuts, cracks, or tears

If you are suffering from yeast infection, you will find small cracks or tears over the skin around the penis or vagina. The skin is sensitive and soft in this part, and because of the irritative nature of yeast infection, there are small cuts, like paper cuts, on the affected area.

However, STDs do not cause cracks and tiny cuts over the surface of the skin. The itchiness and discomfort caused by STDs can give you an urge to scratch the area, but cracking and tearing are uncommon.

4. Pain

Even though yeast infections are uncomfortable and itchy, they are not painful beyond the affected area. Peeing or having intercourse can be a little painful. It can cause a burning sensation if you are infected with a yeast infection, but only in the affected area. However, STDs can cause tenderness and pain in other parts of the body as well.

Examples:

  • Genital Herpes – This comes with flu-like symptoms like muscle aches and headaches.
  • Chlamydia – If chlamydia spreads, you can experience pain in your testicles and your lower abdomen.
  • Syphilis – When syphilis gets to the second stage, it can cause muscle pain and headache. If it spreads to the eyes, it can cause eye pain as well.

5. Fever

When there are a lot of symptoms coming together, it becomes difficult to figure out the main reason. But one thing that can rule out yeast infection is fever.

Most yeast infections are never complicated. They are always moderate and mild and almost never cause fever. But there is one exception, and that is “invasive” yeast infection. This kind is severe and often causes fever. 

Fever is mostly a sign of STD. In cases of Gonorrhea, HIV, and chlamydia, along with the second stage of syphilis, fever is common. But if the fever sustains, it is better to consult a doctor, even though you have no other symptoms.

Yeast infection Vs STD: Comparing causes

You can also determine if you have an STD or yeast infection if you know the causes behind it. It is not always possible to track back the cause of the infection, but if you think of the activities for the last week, you might be able to determine the cause.

Unprotected sex is the most common cause of getting STDs. Even though condoms are not 100% effective, they reduce the risk. But sometimes, STDs are bloodborne and caused by sharing syringes.

The possible causes of yeast infection are recent antibiotic use, uncontrolled diabetes, and changes in hormones; if you do not let the body dry out properly, you have a weak immune system. Mostly, this is an overall picture of yeast infection vs STD.

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subhasree nag
Subhasree is a content writer who is passionate about traveling, writing, and reading books. In her leisure time, she is seen listening to music and watching web series. Writing along with music and dance are ways in which she expresses herself.

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