Difference Between Yeast Infection and STD

Yeast infection and sexually transmitted diseases are two different clinical entities. While yeast infections can transmit via intimate sexual contact, yeast infection is not medically classified as a sexually transmitted disease. Because Yeast transmits via sexual contact and can cause urethritis in the male and, therefore, it may be considered as a sexually transmitted infection (STI), but not a sexually transmitted disease (STD). At a glance, sexually transmitted infections and sexually transmitted diseases sound the same. In certain instances, they are the same. However, in certain unique cases sexually transmitted diseases and sexually transmitted infections mean two different things. (Read more: Difference Between STI and STD.) For example, human immuno-deficiency virus (HIV) transmits via sexual contact while acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) is a disease that can transmit via sexual contact. AIDS is caused by HIV. (Read more: Difference Between HIV and AIDS.) However, there are many cases where the disease is not apparent despite active infection. There are many similarities between yeast infection and other sexually transmitted diseases though they are two different clinical entities. Both cause lower abdominal pain and vaginal discharge.

Yeast Infection

Yeast is a fungus called candida. There are a large number of species of candida. Candida albicans is the most common yeast that infects humans. Yeast infection is also known as thrush because all candida infections in humans cause a characteristic white discharge. Yeast infection is commonly seen in immunocompromised, elderly and pregnant individuals. Candida occurs in earnest, in HIV patients and ICU patients. In the ICU, prolonged ventilation, urinate catheterization, intravenous lines, regular use of broad spectrum antibiotics, and IV nutrition are known risk factors for introducing yeast infections to the system. Yeast lives without causing any harm on skin, throat and vagina. Candida may infect same sites if the opportunity arises. Oral thrush, esophageal thrush and vaginal thrush are the commonest yeast infections encountered in humans.

Oral thrush presents as white deposits on the tongue, sides of the oral cavity, and bad breath. These whitish patches are hard to remove and bleed if scraped. Esophageal thrush presents as painful and difficult swallowing. Vaginal candidiasis presents as whitish creamy vaginal discharge associated with vulval itching. It can also cause superficial pain during intercourse. When it causes pelvic inflammation, it can cause lower abdominal pain. 

Candidiasis responds well to antifungal treatment. Vaginal inserts containing antifungals, oral drugs, and intravenous drugs are effective against candidiasis. In case of pelvic inflammation, the patient complains of deep pain during intercourse, vaginal discharge, heightened lower abdominal pain during periods.

Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STD)

Sexually transmitted diseases can spread via intimate sexual contact. Acquired immune deficiency syndrome is the clinical sequel of human immune deficiency viral (HIV) infection. It is an incurable disease. It is characterized by its directed attack against body’s defense system. HIV virus enters the T lymphocytes of CD4 category and multiplies inside it. CD4 T cells are essential for producing cytokines to guide and enhance specific immune response. When HIV brings this defenses down simple opportunistic infections thrive in the body, and the patient succumbs to various complications of unhindered infection.

The management principles of both sexually transmitted infections and sexually transmitted diseases are the same. In case of incurable diseases like AIDS, prevention is the only defense. Barrier contraceptive methods are protective against sexually transmitted infections.

What is the difference between Yeast Infection and STD?

• Yeast is a fungal infection while there are many other bacterial and viral STDs.

• Thick, creamy, white vaginal discharge is characteristic of yeast infection while vaginal discharges of other sexually transmitted diseases have different properties.

• Yeast usually do not cause a systemic disease while some other sexually transmitted diseases do.


Read more:

1. Difference Between Chlamydia and Yeast Infection

2. Difference Between STD and AIDS