It is extremely rare that your vaginal yeast infection can pose any real threat to your health, but when you have one, it can really affect your wellbeing. This is especially true if you have frequent yeast infections. The burning, itching, odor and discomfort of it all can really affect your mood and often your self-esteem. Most all women have had at least one bout of a vaginal yeast infection; this type of infection is very common. Nevertheless, there are steps you can take to help avoid getting a yeast infection.
Choices in Hygiene to Reduce Risk of Vaginal Yeast Infection
Your personal hygiene is important in controlling the overgrowth of yeast. You should wash the area of your vagina opening including the inner folds of skin thoroughly. Do not use scented soaps to cleanse this area because the fragrances in the soap can irritate be very harsh and can cause irritation with redness, burning and a lot of discomfort. Once you have cleansed and thoroughly rinsed the area you need to pat dry your vulva completely. Yeast thrives in warm and moist areas, so keeping this area dry is important.
You should avoid hot baths and bubble baths if you are prone to frequent yeast infections. The soaps will linger around the opening of your vagina and the heat from the bath will only encourage the growth of yeast.
If you douche, you should stop. Douching washes away both good and bad bacteria from your vagina. The good and healthy bacteria that forms naturally in your vagina helps to combat the overgrowth of yeast. When you flush it away with douching, you are setting yourself up to have a yeast infection. Scented sanitary pads and tampons are also implicated in vaginal yeast infections. You should also not use scented feminine sprays. Generally, any type of scented product should not come in contact with your vagina if you are trying to avoid getting a yeast infection there.
Your Choice in Wardrobe Could Be Worsening Vaginal Yeast Infections
The type of clothes that you wear can cause you to have more frequent yeast infections. You should not wear nylon or satin underwear if you are prone to yeast infections because they hold moisture close to the skin around your vagina. Cotton underwear is the best choice because it absorbs excess moisture. Wearing tight clothing can also foster the growth of yeast since it does not allow air to circulate and excess moisture to evaporate.
It is also important that you change your underwear and pants often to avoid overgrowth of yeast. Wearing soiled or wet clothing near your genital area can create a breeding ground for yeast. Change your gym clothes as soon as possible, do not sit in a wet bathing suit for long, and always change your clothing if you have sweated on them.
Medications and Medical Conditions that can Cause Yeast to Form
Some medications you take could be causing you to have frequent yeast infections of the vagina. Antibiotics are the leading cause of medicinal based yeast infections. Antibiotics kill good and bad bacteria in your body. You may have noticed that each time you get a bladder infection you also get a yeast infection. This is likely due to the antibiotics you were prescribed to treat the infection of the bladder.
For some women, birth control pills can also lead to infection. Oral steroids are also known to cause an increase in yeast growth for some women. If you are having frequent vaginal yeast infections, discuss it with your doctor to see if there are any alternative medications or treatments you can be prescribed that will not cause you to get an infection.
If you have a low immune system caused by a medical condition such as HIV/AIDS or any other condition that lowers your immune system, you are more susceptible to getting frequent vaginal yeast infections. People with diabetes sometimes have chronic yeast infections as well.
Preventing Yeast Infections with Changes in Your Lifestyle
You can boost your immune system naturally by getting enough sleep. By getting enough rest, you can reduce your chances of having frequent yeast infections. Sleeping restores your body and its ability to combat the overgrowth of vaginal yeast. Drinking plenty of water can also help to clear your body of contaminants that could lead to an overgrowth of yeast in your vagina.
You may be able to prevent getting a yeast infection or at the very least reduce the frequency of vaginal yeast infections by implementing some of these changes in your life. Proper hygiene, clean and appropriate clothing choices, and maintaining a healthy state of being all go a long way in helping you to avoid getting a vaginal yeast infection.