Yeast is nothing but a fungus that usually lives in small numbers in the vagina. When there is growth of too many yeast cells in the vagina it leads to vaginal infection. Although, the infection is bothersome, it is usually not very serious and the treatment is also quite simple. A proper diagnosis of the disease is imperative to ensure that you receive the right kind of treatment.
Candida albicans is the cause of vaginal yeast infections. This is usually present in your crotch along with other kinds of bacteria in small numbers.
Various Causes of Yeast Infection
This is perhaps one of the main causes of vaginal yeast infections. For instance, when you take antibiotics for sinus infection, it kills all the unwanted bacteria present in your sinuses. However, in the process the ‘good’ bacteria present in your crotch also gets killed.
This upsets the vaginal ecosystem balance, which allows the yeast to take over. Many women face problems only with certain types of antibiotics or when the antibiotic treatment is continued for a prolonged period. However, others get yeast infections whenever they take antibiotics.
Yeast flourishes in non-cotton, dirty and tight clothes that trap moisture and heat. So, the safest bet is to go for breathable clothes such as undyed, unbleached cotton underwear.
Perfumes, dyes and inks can trigger allergic reactions or upset the balance of your vagina, which can trigger yeast infections. The commercially available douches are harmful to your health as well as vaginal environment. Besides this, the perfumed toilet paper can also be the source of yeast infection. So, it is best to use undyed, unscented toilet paper.
It is even better to use an unbleached, recycled Eco brand. Likewise, some fabric softeners and laundry detergents have allergic perfumes and dyes. Hence, try any Eco brand. Feminine deodorant sprays, scented sanitary pads or tampons, additives in bath salts or bubble baths can also trigger yeast infection.
Some people have the misconception that reducing the intake of food containing yeast can decrease the frequency or intensity of vaginal yeast infection. However, the yeast that is found in foods such as beer or bread is entirely different from those present in the vagina.
Women who have inadequately controlled diabetes are prone to yeast infections because of the sugar content in the urine. Therefore, if you are affected by yeast infections frequently and have symptoms related to diabetes then consult your doctor immediately.
Hormones that are either artificially introduced or naturally occurring can affect the yeast. Hence, it is seen that pregnant women are especially prone to such infections. Due to fluctuation in hormone levels yeast infections are common in women, who are on contraceptive pills.
Also, if there is any mild yeast infection, it may vanish temporarily during your periods due to the different pH level of the menstrual blood. However, the infection sometimes returns back after your periods. Similarly, the steroids used during the treatment of ailments such as asthma, lupus or arthritis can trigger yeast infections.
As Candida can be spread among people through direct contact, it is considered as a sexually transmitted disease. The yeast infections are commonly seen in lesbian partners, as the infections pass back and forth. Therefore, if either of the partners have an active infection, they should be careful enough and follow sex guidelines that are safe.
Yeast infection is also seen in men, but often without any evident symptoms. If you feel your male partner has a yeast infection then get him treated and practice safe sex.
Weakened Immune System
Women with Lyme disease or HIV have a weak immune system and hence, they are prone to infections. Apart from the vaginal yeast infections, these women are susceptible to thrush, which is the yeast infection of the esophagus or throat.
Condoms can be the cause of yeast infections in 2 different ways. Many of the condoms have lubricants that consist of nonoxynol-9, which is a spermicide. Several studies have established that there is a link between nonoxynol-9 and yeast infections. If you think you are facing such problem then switch to a condom without spermicidal lubricant and use an additional barrier protection. Although rare, people who are allergic to latex are also prone to such infections. Therefore, these people can try the new non-latex condoms.
Women bound to Wheelchairs
Yeast infections are quite common in women, who are unable to walk. As the crotch is dark, warm and moist, sitting all day provides an ideal environment for the growth of bacteria and yeast. The situation tends to be more difficult, if the disabled women are not able to do their own personal care.
Washing the rectal and crotch areas morning as well as evening, applying powder to absorb perspiration, avoiding sitting on synthetic or plastic materials and wearing loose fitting cotton underwear are some of the precautions to be followed in order to prevent such infections.
Yeast infection is caused when there is injury to vaginal or vulvar membranes. This is mostly caused due to friction and when there is not enough lubrication. When you rub something in your vagina, be sure that you are really wet else you can use products such as sex lubricants.
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