Can you exercise with a yeast infection?

In this article, we will answer the question “Can you exercise with a yeast infection?” and discuss what is yeast?

Can you exercise with a yeast infection?

Yes, you can exercise with a yeast infection. Exercising isn’t harmful if you know how to do it. Exercising when infected with yeast may cause significant chafing, which can lead to skin deterioration. It’s possible, but it’d be unpleasant. 

According to the meta-analyses, regular physical activity is associated with 31% lower risk of infectious disease and 37% lower risk of infectious disease-related mortality. 

Fungi are mainly opportunistic pathogens that only invade the body if a severely weakened natural defense permits them to do so (2). Fungal infection is a sign of a weakened immunity and physical activity improves the immune system. Studies have shown that physical activity prevents the risk of upper respiratory tract infections and provides immunity. Physical activity interventions of 3–5 times per week for an average of 30 min resulted in higher CD4 T cells and salivary immunoglobulin IgA and lower levels of neutrophils. Neutrophils are the most abundant white blood cells, the primary effectors of pathogen clearance, and the first white blood cells recruited during infection (1).

Many yeast infections begin to resolve within 24–48 hours of therapy, but it might take up to 10–14 days for the infection to be completely eliminated. 

Unless the illness is more serious, many individuals will be able to return to exercising within the first 24–48 hours. Make sure to wash any training clothing in hot water with a white vinegar rinse followed by a normal rinse if it is chafing or aching in the region of a yeast infection. Then, if feasible, they should be dried in the sun or in a hot drier.

Yeast infections, although not necessarily harmful, are excruciatingly painful. Yeast infections, which may cause itching and burning in the vagina and make intercourse and urination uncomfortable, can form wherever moisture can readily be retained, such as in the folds of the stomach or the region behind the breasts. They are most frequent in women.

What does the term “yeast” mean?

Let’s start by defining what yeast is. In fact, yeast is found in every woman’s vagina (4), and one lady even baked her own sourdough bread with her own. Let that one sink in for a while. It’s only when there’s an overgrowth of yeast that it’s a real concern. 

Candida albicans is the commonest cause of vulvitis and vaginitis. Candida reaches the vagina via oral ingestion. It is not sexually transmitted. C. albicans infection is an estrogen dependent disorder. It therefore seldom occurs in healthy children, women who are breastfeeding or postmenopausal women unless they are on relatively high doses of estrogen replacement (3).

It’s a fungus (most often Candida albicans) that naturally inhabits the vagina, but not to the degree that it creates atypical symptoms. Yeast overgrowth in the uterus causes symptoms in women. 

Antibiotics, steroids, hormone imbalance, and diabetes may all lead to an overgrowth of yeast in the vaginal microbiome, but the most common cause is an imbalance between normal bacteria and yeast.

Yeast infections may be caused by exercise in the following ways.

Even while you should not stop exercising because of the fear of having a yeast infection, you should educate yourself on the link between sweating and the two. 

If you’re working out for an extended period of time without washing, drying off, or changing your clothing, or if there’s a lot of friction or lack of air in the vaginal region (as with lengthy bike rides or spinning sessions), you’re more likely to have a yeast infection. 

Yeast infections may also be caused by clothing that prevents the vaginal region from being ventilated or that collects moisture near the skin. Clothing that is too tight around the vaginal region falls into this category. Warm, wet conditions are ideal for yeast growth. That is precisely the setting that exercise creates. Host-related factors include pregnancy, hormone replacement, uncontrolled diabetes, immunosuppression, antibiotics, glucocorticoids use and genetic predispositions. Behavioral risk factors include use of oral contraceptives, intrauterine devices, spermicides and condoms and some habits of hygiene, clothing and sexual practices (5).

The pH of the vaginal microenvironment and composition of the bacterial microbiota are also important for disease pathogenesis. The average adult human vaginal pH (4.5) is maintained at an acidic level to aid in the inhibition of microorganism overgrowth. A low vaginal pH inhibits the yeast-to-hyphae switch in C. albicans. Therefore, increases in pH levels are believed to promote vaginitis (4).

What steps can you take to keep them at bay?

Keeping this in mind, there are various things you can do to prevent getting a yeast infection from exercising.  An extra care should be given while selecting your wardrobe. 

Cycling, for example, may produce a lot of friction in the vaginal region, so it’s crucial to choose gear that won’t add to that discomfort. Next, try to get some fresh air by taking short pauses. Yeast infections might be less common if you allow for enough airflow. The next step is to take a shower and dry yourself properly before changing into new attire.

The use of tight or poorly ventilated clothing and/or use of synthetic underwear have been associated with candidiasis development by some authors. A Brazilian study found higher incidence of candidiasis in women who use tight and/or synthetic underwear (65.8%) than in women who do not use those types of clothing (39.1%) (5).

Another kind of illness to be on the lookout for

Yeast infections are just the beginning of the problem. Urinary tract infections (UTIs) and bladder infections may also be caused by opportunistic yeasts. These yeasts belong to the normal flora of humans and can colonize the mucosal surfaces of the genital, urinary, respiratory and gastrointestinal tracts, as well as the oral cavity, nails, scalp and skin. However, Candida species can be commensal organisms or transform a symptomless colonization into an infection (5)..

Nevertheless, do not be alarmed! While yeast infections may be prevented, they can also be treated naturally if they do occur.

What causes a yeast infection in a girl?

Vaginal yeast infections are caused by a buildup of yeast, which may be caused by a lack of “good bacteria” to keep the yeast levels in control (like hormones) or by a lack of food for the yeast (like sugar). The following are some probable reasons for yeast infection (3,4,5):

  • A surplus of food for the yeast to feed on
  • Yeast infections may occur as a consequence of changes in hormone levels during a regular menstrual cycle.
  • Women who are using birth control tablets that contain a high amount of estrogen, as well as those who are undergoing estrogen hormone treatment, are more likely to have a yeast infection.
  • Women who are pregnant are more prone to yeast infections because of the increased estrogen levels.
  • As a result of the additional glucose that isn’t being effectively digested by diabetes, 

To learn more about exercising with a yeast infection click here

Other FAQs about Yeast that you may be interested in.

Can you eat yeast raw?

Does Nutritional Yeast Have MSG

What is the best temperature for yeast?

Can you freeze yeast?


In this article, we answered the question “Can you exercise with a yeast infection?” and we discussed what is yeast?


  1. Shao, Tianyi, et al. Physical activity and nutritional influence on immune function: an important strategy to improve immunity and health status. Fronti Phyiol, 2021, 1702. 
  2. de Pauw, Ben E. What are fungal infections?. Mediterran j hematol infect dis, 2011, 3, e2011001-e2011001.  
  3. Dennerstein, Graeme. The treatment of Candida vaginitis and vulvitis. Australian Prescriber, 2001, 24, 3.
  4. Peters, Brian M., et al. Candida vaginitis: when opportunism knocks, the host responds. PLoS pathogens, 2014, 10, e1003965.
  5. Gonçalves, Bruna, et al. Vulvovaginal candidiasis: Epidemiology, microbiology and risk factors. Crit rev microbiol, 2016, 42, 905-927.