REASONS FOR HAVING VAGINAL YEAST INFECTIONS

Woman holding private parts

Vaginal yeast infections, also known as candidiasis, are a common female condition. A healthy vagina has bacteria and some yeast cells. But when the balance of bacteria and yeast changes, the yeast cells can multiply. This causes intense itching, swelling, and irritation.

Treating a vaginal yeast infection can relieve symptoms within a few days. In more severe cases, it may take up to two weeks.

Vaginal yeast infections aren’t considered a sexually transmitted infection (STI). Sexual contact can spread it, but women who aren’t sexually active can also get them. Once you get a yeast infection, you’re also more likely to get another one.

Here are some of the reasons for having VAGINAL YEAST INFECTIONS


NOT CHANGING YOUR PAD/TAMPON FAST


Yeast breeds in high-moisture environments and pads and tampons can keep excess moisture around, allowing yeast to grow. Change your pad/tampon frequent especially as the weather is warm

TAKING ANTIBIOTICS


"Antibiotics can kill off the healthy bacteria in the vagina, allowing yeast to overgrow." To bolster good bacteria and reduce the chances of infection, Boling recommends taking a probiotic supplement along with your antibiotic. "Probiotics with lactobacillus are the best to take because that's the dominant bacteria found in the vagina of healthy women," she explains. Prefer to get these good bugs from food instead of pills? Yogurt works, as long as you choose one that contains "live active cultures."

HAVING HIGH BLOOD SUGAR


Got diabetes or prediabetes? Watch out. Yeast gets energy from sugar, and infections thrive in moist areas of the body, including the vagina.

GETTING FRISKY WITH AN INFECTED PARTNER/HAVING TOO MUCH SEX


Yes, yeast infections can be contagious! "You can catch a yeast infection from a partner who has thrush [oral yeast] or a yeast infection of the penis," though that's more common among men who have a foreskin, says Boling. Having a lot of sex—even with a guy who's infection-free—may also lead to trouble by changing the pH of the vagina and allowing the yeast to overtake the good bacteria. Urinating right after sex may help.


WEARING SNUGY UNDIES


"Tight underwear made from a synthetic fabric that doesn't let the southern area 'breathe' encourages yeast overgrowth by creating a warm, moist environment," says Shirazian. She also says it's a good idea to go commando while you sleep at least once or twice a week because it allows the vagina to naturally air itself out.

USING SCENTED FEMININE PRODUCTS


You want to smell like a pineapple infused with tropical flowers down there, right? Not so fast. Scented sprays, wipes, washes, and even fragrant bubble bath may cause the acidity level in the vagina to drop, resulting in a yeast infection, says Shirazian. Stick with gentle bar soap instead. And don't even think about douching.

How do you prevent vaginal yeast infections?


thumbs up To do
  • Eat a well-balanced diet.
  • Eat yogurt or take supplements with lactobacillus.
  • Wear natural fibers such as cotton, linen, or silk.
  • Wash underwear in hot water.
  • Replace feminine products frequently.
thumbs down Avoid
  • wearing tight pants, pantyhose, tights, or leggings
  • using feminine deodorant or scented tampons or pads
  • sitting around in wet clothing, especially bathing suits
  • sitting in hot tubs or taking frequent hot tub baths
  • douching
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