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What are the Consequences of an Untreated Yeast Infection?

Anna T.
Updated Feb 16, 2024
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An untreated yeast infection has the potential to become much more severe and spread to other parts of the body, such as inside the mouth and in patches on the skin, depending on where it originated. It may also weaken the immune system, which might make the person carrying the infection more susceptible to other illnesses. Yeast infections can potentially be passed to partners during sexual intercourse. Sexually active people with untreated yeast infections may increase their chances of spreading the infection to someone else. It might be possible for an untreated yeast infection to clear up on its own without treatment, but it will most likely get much worse before it gets better.

Even if an untreated yeast infection goes away without treatment, there is a chance it will recur. A recurring problem with yeast is often the result of a previous untreated yeast infection that never completely went away, although the symptoms may have disappeared. Small amounts of yeast might still be present, and the infection could spread again as soon as conditions are favorable. Yeast infections often get started whenever the body's pH levels are thrown off course. Some things that can affect pH are antibiotic use, pregnancy, and obesity.

Yeast infections in the mouth are also known as thrush, and most often affect babies and elderly people. These infections are often described as white patches inside the mouth, and the lesions are typically painful when touched. Trying to wipe or rub them off may cause them to bleed. Doctors often prescribe a topical ointment called nystatin to cure thrush in babies. This medicine is also generally effective on adults with thrush, but it might be necessary to use it in conjunction with an anti-fungal pill to completely get rid of the infection.

A yeast infection on the skin can be a problem for anyone, particularly if the person wears damp clothing on any part of the body for too long. Babies are often susceptible to yeast infections on the skin due to wearing diapers. When babies go for long periods of time without diaper changes, their delicate skin is exposed to extreme dampness and a rash may develop. Many parents mistakenly assume the redness is from basic diaper rash until they notice their rash cream is ineffective against it. A visit to the doctor often confirms that the rash is yeast, and anti-fungal medication is usually prescribed to treat it.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Anna T.
By Anna T.
Anna Thurman is a skilled writer who lends her talents to WiseGeek. Her ability to research and present information in an engaging and accessible manner allows her to create content that resonates with readers across a wide range of subjects.
Discussion Comments
By discographer — On Jun 09, 2013

I don't know why someone wouldn't want to treat their yeast infection. The pain, the burning and the itch is so bad, I could never stand it! Plus, do you really want to give it to your partner?

By ysmina — On Jun 08, 2013

@feruze-- I think you should get it treated. There are topical ointments for yeast infection that are safe for pregnant women. Ask your doctor about it.

If you leave it untreated, the infection can travel up into your endometrium and cause infection and inflammation, which is not good for you or the baby. You can also pass he infection to your baby during birth if you're having natural birth.

I don't know any, but there might be home cures for yeast infection that might be safe for you to try as well. You should look into it.

Even if you're not comfortable with treating this right now, please treat it when you're in your second trimester. The risks from infection are more than the risks from medications in this case.

By bear78 — On Jun 07, 2013

I'm pregnant (in my first trimester) and have a yeast infection. My doctor gave me an oral medication for it, but I'm not comfortable with taking medications during pregnancy. No one seems to be sure if medications will harm the baby or not, so I'd rather not take a chance. I'm planning on leaving the infection as is. If it gets worse, then maybe I'll see a different doctor for a second opinion.

Has anyone had a yeast infection during their pregnancy? Did you get it treated?

Anna T.
Anna T.
Anna Thurman is a skilled writer who lends her talents to WiseGeek. Her ability to research and present information in an engaging and accessible manner allows her to create content that resonates with readers across a wide range of subjects.
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