Can you have sex while using Monistat?
Medically reviewed by Sally Chao, MD. Last updated on April 16, 2021.
Having vaginal sex while you are using Monistat is not recommended. Monistat is the brand name of the antifungal drug miconazole, which is commonly used to treat vaginal yeast infections. Other types of sexual activity do not interfere with the use of Monistat.
Monistat comes as a cream or a vaginal suppository and is applied topically — either inserted directly into the vagina or spread on the skin near the opening of the vagina. Having vaginal sex while using Monistat could:
- Irritate your vagina even more
- Interfere with you getting the full dose of the medication
- Increase your risk of pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases because both Monistat cream and suppositories are oil-based, which can weaken latex condoms or diaphragms
Vaginal yeast infections are most frequently caused by a yeast called Candida albicans. About 1 in 5 women have this yeast living in their vaginal area normally without developing any symptoms of infection. Exactly why vaginal yeast infections develop is unclear.
Symptoms of a vaginal yeast infection include:
- Vaginal itching, soreness or burning
- Redness or irritation
- Pain during sex
- Vaginal discharge that looks like cottage cheese
- Pain while urinating
Miconazole is in a class of medicines known as azoles. Miconazole is one of several azoles commonly used to treat vaginal yeast infections. Some azoles are taken by mouth in pill form, while others are applied directly to the vaginal area.
Monistat cream is available in preparation strengths of 2% or 4%, and the suppositories are available in strengths of 100 mg, 200 mg or 1,200 mg. Both types come with an applicator to insert the medicine into your vagina, usually once a day at bedtime. (Using the medicine at night can be more effective because it stays in place while you sleep.) The cream may also be applied with the fingertips to the vaginal area twice a day.
Length of treatment with Monistat varies between 1 and 7 days, depending on which type (cream or suppository) and strength you're using. The lower strengths need to be used for a longer period of time.
Yeast infections are not considered a sexually transmitted disease and are not usually spread through sexual contact, so it's not likely that your sexual partner would also need treatment just because you have a vaginal yeast infection.
- Insight Pharmaceuticals. Monistat (miconazole). 2015. https://hcp.monistat.com/sites/monistat_hcp/files/2020-07/MN042601_M7_Cure_Itch_Complete.pdf. [Accessed March 4, 2021].
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Vaginal candidiasis. November 10, 2020. Available at: https://www.cdc.gov/fungal/diseases/candidiasis/genital/index.html. [Accessed March 4, 2020].
- Workowski KA, Bolan GA. 2015 sexually transmitted diseases treatment guidelines. MMWR Recomm Rep, 64(RR3):75-78, June 5, 2015. Available at: https://www.cdc.gov/std/tg2015/candidiasis.htm. [Accessed March 4, 2021].
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