Yeast Infection From A Vibrator: How It Happens And How To Avoid It

Using a vibrator can be really fun but unfortunately, if it isn’t made from nonporous material and you don’t clean it thoroughly, you could get a yeast infection.
Close Up 3-D Render Of Candida Fungus Cells, Abstract Biology Concept
Updated:August 2022

A vibrator can cause a yeast infection but it is not always entirely at fault.

Here’s why:

  • Yeast infections are most commonly caused by fungi, primarily Candida albicans, which can live and thrive on a vibrator’s surface after you’re done using it.
  • During the next use, your vibrator can transfer those same fungi (or even bacteria that can cause UTIs) living on its surface to you — which is much more likely to occur if the vibrator’s material is porous or it has not been cleaned properly.

Taking precautions to ensure your vibrator is clean before (and after) every use will help to lower the risk of developing a yeast infection.

Things To Know
Can Vibrators Cause Yeast Infections

Can You Get A Yeast Infection From A Vibrator?

Two-Panel Image Displaying Sex Toys And Magnified Bacteria

Yes, you can get a yeast infection after using a vibrator, but if you understand how and why it can happen, you can take the appropriate steps to avoid it.

Yeast infections are no fun — as anyone who has ever dealt with their symptoms before would agree — and you may be worried about your vibrator causing a yeast infection, with good reason.

While it can — there are ways to stop it from happening.

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How It Happens

How Can A Vibrator Cause A Yeast Infection?

A vibrator comes in direct contact with your vagina, and if its surface is harboring Candida yeast (whether from your own vagina recently or someone else’s), it can transfer to your vagina during use.

When this happens, it increases your risk of developing a yeast infection — either a recurring one if you’re the only person using your toy, or a new one if you’re sharing your vibrator with a partner who has a vagina.

Although cleaning a vibrator is vitally important, and we’ll talk about that more in just a bit, that isn’t the only issue at hand.

Vibrators made from porous materials such as PVC, rubber or jelly rubber, Cyberskin, or TPR/TPE blends are much more difficult to clean thoroughly because their surface contains nooks and crannies that are often invisible to the naked eye, yet can harbor microscopic organisms like yeast easily.

Any sex toy that has a porous surface is much more likely to increase your risk of contracting a yeast infection because cleaning it adequately is difficult and sanitizing it is nearly impossible.

Three out of four women will get a yeast infection at some point in their lifetime, usually more than once, so you’re certainly not alone if this happens to you.

That said, it doesn’t have to be the result of using a vibrator.

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How To Avoid It

How To Avoid Yeast Infections From Vibrator Use

The best way to avoid contracting a yeast infection while using a vibrator is to make sure that it is cleaned throughout before use and that its material is nonporous.

To avoid getting a yeast infection from your vibrator, you should: 

  • Make sure that your vibrator is made from nonporous material like silicone or ABS plastic
  • Clean your vibrator before and after every use and between orifices; if it is being shared with someone else, clean it when switching between partners as well
  • Use a pH-balanced water-based lubricant that is safe for your vibrator’s material
  • Avoid most oil-based lubricants, as they not only increase your risk of developing a yeast infection, they also degrade vibrators made from latex or rubber vibrators as well as latex and polyurethane condoms used over vibrators

It is vitally important to clean your vibrator before and after every use but you also need to consider what your vibrator is (and isn’t!) made from.

Choosing the right vibrator can help you to avoid a yeast infection later on.

Select and use a vibrator (or any sex toy, for that matter) that is made from nonporous materials like silicone or ABS plastic, as they’re easier to clean thoroughly.

Additionally, you’ll want to clean your vibrator when switching between orifices and between partners if you’re sharing it with someone else.

If you’re covering your vibrator with a condom, make sure to change the condom between orifices and partners as well.

A pH-balanced lubricant is the best choice when considering your vaginal health, as it won’t disrupt your vagina’s natural pH, lowering the risk of infection in tandem.

Oil-based lubricants are much more likely to increase your risk of vaginal infections, including bacterial vaginosis and yeast infections.

The last thing to consider is your lube’s toy compatibility.

The lubricant you pair with your vibrator should be safe for its material.

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Cleaning A Vibrator

How To Clean A Vibrator To Avoid A Yeast Infection

It isn’t difficult to clean a vibrator as long as it’s made from nonporous material and it doesn’t take more than a minute.

Watch the video below to see just how easy it is:


Supplies Needed For Cleaning A Vibrator:

Steps For Cleaning A Vibrator:

  1. Check your sex toy’s material and select the right cleaner
  2. Spray or wipe it with your favorite sex toy cleaner OR use a clean cloth with warm water and soap
  3. Rinse with water or use a clean damp cloth to remove soap or cleaner residue
  4. Let it air dry
  5. Store it in a cool, dry place or clean, lint-free pouch

Special Considerations: Vibrators have motors, so be sure to take out any batteries if they are removable. Do not submerge the vibrator in water unless it is 100% waterproof, and make sure the toy’s material is compatible with the cleaner you are using.

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If You Get A Yeast Infection After Using A Vibrator

What To Do If You Get A Yeast Infection After Using A Vibrator

If you experience vaginal burning or notice a sudden increase in vaginal discharge after using your vibrator, you may have a yeast infection.

We’ll explain more about what a yeast infection is, how to tell if you have one, and what to do.

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What Is A Yeast Infection

What Is A Yeast Infection?

Yeast infections (also known as yeast vaginitis or vaginal candidiasis) are common among women.

The fungus that causes yeast infections, Candida, lives in the gastrointestinal tract, on the skin, and in the vagina.

Usually, Candida causes no symptoms and it lives in relative harmony with your body’s microbiome.

However, when that balance is disrupted — usually caused by medication, injury, or stress to the immune system — a Candida overgrowth can occur and result in some very undesirable symptoms.

Women who are pregnant are more susceptible to yeast infections due to the high level of estrogen in the body.

This can upset the healthy pH balance of the vagina and increase the likelihood of developing a yeast infection.

Vaginal yeast infections usually occur infrequently, but can recur and may cause chronic persistent symptoms.

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Symptoms Of Yeast Infection

Symptoms Of Yeast Infection

Most vaginal yeast infections share the same symptoms, but they can sometimes mimic other vaginal infections like bacterial vaginosis or STIs.

Symptoms of a yeast infection include:

  • Irritation and itching in and around the vagina, labia, and vulva
  • Redness and swelling of the vulva
  • Vaginal pain and soreness
  • A burning sensation while urinating
  • Pain during penetrative sex
  • Abnormal vaginal discharge that may be thin, thick, or white — sometimes resembling cottage cheese
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What Does A Yeast Infection Feel Like

What Does A Yeast Infection Feel Like?

A yeast infection can be mild to extremely uncomfortable, depending on its severity.

Yeast infections sometimes create a cycle of discomfort: the itch is relieved momentarily whenever you scratch it — but the constant scratching further exacerbates the irritation on your skin.

At that point, it becomes painful — especially if you’ve irritated your urethra in the process, leading to painful urination.

Similarly, vaginal pain is common, making intercourse difficult.

Although it can be safe to have heterosexual sex if you also have a yeast infection, it may not be comfortable to do so.

Additionally, a yeast infection is more likely to be transmitted between female partners, however, about 15% of men who have unprotected sex with partners who have a yeast infection will develop a rash in response.

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When To See Your Doctor

When To See Your Doctor

Unless you’ve had recurrent yeast infections and already know the drill, you should call your doctor as soon as symptoms emerge.

Proper testing is the only way to know for sure if you have a yeast infection.

As we mentioned earlier, the signs and symptoms of a yeast infection are similar to bacterial vaginosis and some STIs.

It’s always a good idea to get checked by your doctor, especially if you’ve never had a yeast infection before.

Yeast infections of the vagina can be treated with anti-fungal creams or medicated suppositories, although sometimes an oral anti-yeast medication is prescribed.

Anti-fungal creams and suppositories are available over-the-counter at your local drug store, however, these generally should only be used by those who have had yeast infections before and are 100% sure of their self-diagnosis.

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Conclusion

In Conclusion

Using a vibrator should be easy and fun but unfortunately, if it isn’t made from nonporous material and you don’t clean it thoroughly, you could get a dreaded yeast infection.

By following best practices when selecting a vibrator, cleaning it, and maintaining it, you can have all the fun you want with it — safely.

Editor’s Note: This article is part of our Complete Guide To Vibrators and Everything Vibrators hub, in-depth and evolving resources that comprehensively explore all aspects of vibrators from the different types and how to use them, to materials and safety — created to help you achieve the sexual pleasure you deserve.

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