Yeast infection is very common. The chances are good that you may have at least one, if not more, yeast infection in your lifetime. Read on to learn the 8 leading causes of yeast infection and how to prevent it.
Yeast infection is perhaps the most common type of vaginal infection.
According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), nearly 75% of all adult women have had at least one yeast infection in their lifetime.
About 50% of women have two or more, and about 5% of women have four or more in a single year.
Since yeast infection is so common, I think it should be included in the basic health course 101 for women.
Because if we understand the symptoms and causes of yeast infection, we can take proper steps to prevent it.
Common Symptoms of Yeast Infection
The Common Symptoms of yeast infection Include:
- Extreme itching in the vaginal area
- Soreness and redness in the vaginal area
- White, clumpy vaginal discharge that looks like cottage cheese
- Painful intercourse
8 Leading Causes of Yeast Infection
Scientifically speaking, yeast infection is caused by a type of fungus called Candida.
When there is a change in the chemical balance in the vagina, Candida fungus can grow too rapidly in the genital areas and cause those unpleasant symptoms above.
So the question really is, what interrupts the natural chemical balance in the vagina to cause the Candida fungus to grow so excessively?
Based on my research, I have identified the following 8 leading causes for yeast infections:
1. Tight Clothing
Warm and moist environments with little or no oxygen breed the yeast organisms.
Those tight, skinny jeans and underwear made of synthetic materials create a perfect environment for the yeast to grow, and you to suffer.
So to deny them the perfect growing medium, dry your vaginal area thoroughly after bathing or showering. And opt for “breathable” cotton underwear and loose pants.
Over the years, I’ve found ways to wear loose and still look fabulous. So can you!
2. Poor Hygiene
Again, poor hygiene, especially in the genital area, creates an ideal environment for the yeast to grow.
So shower and wash your genital area regularly, especially before and after lovemaking.
And try to wash your clothing in hot water, which may destroy any yeast organisms left on your clothes. You may also add a cup of white vinegar in the rinse for an extra boost.
Another good habit to practice is to wipe from front to back after urinating or having a bowel movement, because vaginal infections often occur when bacteria that normally live in the anal area move – or are pushed – into the vagina.
3. Scented Soaps and Feminine Products
Some women find the natural odor of their genitals unpleasant, so they try to wash it away with scented soaps or other feminine products. Not a good idea.
The alcohol and chemicals contained in these products can not only cause irritation, but can also alter the pH balance of the vagina, allowing yeast to flourish.
The vagina is essentially self-cleansing, so douching is really not necessary. And please avoid scented soaps, bath oils, and other feminine products.
4. Birth Control Pills
Women who take birth control pills appear to be at higher risk for developing yeast infections.
While researchers haven’t established a causal relationship between the birth control pills and Candida fungus, some studies have shown that oral contraceptives can increase the glycogen (the body’s storage form of sugar) in the vagina, which provides foods for the yeast to grow.
If you have recurrent yeast infections, and you’ve ruled out other causes, birth control pills may be a cause.
You may consider the fertility awareness method for birth control. It’s completely natural – with no side effects whatsoever. Learn more about natural birth control.
5. Low Estrogen
Estrogen is the hormone that feeds acidophilus, the “good bacteria” that keeps the yeast at bay.
That’s the reason why it seems common for women to get yeast infections right around their periods – when the estrogen level drops so does the level of “good bacteria.”
To help give the “good bacteria” a boost, you may consider taking probiotic supplements, avoid sugar or simple carbs such as white bread, and eat more yogurt or unsweetened kefir (a liquid European yogurt with plenty of acidophilus).
6. High Blood Sugar
Sugar craving is not just limited to us humans. Yeast organisms love it too. In fact, they flourish on blood sugar (glucose) in our body.
It’s no wonder that there is an intimate connection between diabetes and yeast infections.
So try to eat a low-glycemic-index diet. It not only helps prevent yeast infection, but it’s also good for your health in so many ways.
Read more about the low-glycemic-index diet.
7. Medications Such As Antibiotics and Steroids
Certain medications such as antibiotics and steroids can destroy the “good bacteria” and cause the yeast organisms to overgrow.
If you’re on those medications, and have a yeast infection, you may want to discuss it with your doctor.
8. Weak Immune System
Chronic illness such as diabetes, autoimmune diseases, or cancer can compromise the body’s natural mechanism to restore balance.
If you have a weaker immune system, it’s important to strength it by creating healthier lifestyles, practicing positive thinking, and considering taking some supplements for extra immune support.
I hope you find this article helpful. Please leave a comment to share your experience and knowledge on this issue.
Monistat 7 Day Treatment to clear up yeast infection
14 Day Quick Colon Cleanse to clean up the digestive track
Pearls Probiotic to restore intestinal flora balance
Jarrow Formulas Fem Dophilus to support vaginal and urinary tract health
Source Naturals Wellness Formula to boost immunity and fend off bacterial intrusion
The Anti-Inflammation Diet and Recipe Book to reduce inflammation (the underlying cause of excessive vaginal discharge and vaginal infections)