Yeast infections are fairly common. If you’re like three-quarters of women, you’re likely to get at least one during your lifetime, and fifty percent are likely to get two or more.
More times than not, a yeast infection is due to an overgrowth of Candida. Candida is a type of yeast that occurs naturally on the skin. Yeast is part of the fungi family and, in normal amounts, is harmless.
Women are more likely to get a vaginal yeast infection when they:
- Are pregnant
- Have a weak immune system
- Are taking an antibiotic
- Have diabetes
- Use vaginal sprays or douches
- Take birth control with high doses of estrogen
It’s not possible to completely prevent a yeast infection, but here are some things you can do to prevent your chances:
- Wear breathable underwear and change it regularly. We recommend cotton as it doesn’t hold heat or moisture, and it tends to keep you drier.
- Wear loose clothing. Tight jeans, skirts, underwear, yoga pants, tights, pantyhose, etc. can raise your body temperature and the amount of moisture and friction around your private parts. These things can increase your chances for a yeast infection.
- Change out of wet clothes, specifically this time of the year, wet bathing suits. When possible don’t sit in a wet bathing suit or gym clothes after working out, try to change into dry clothes right away.
- Hot and damp are not a girl’s best friend. Avoid hot tubs if possible, but if you indulge change into dry clothes as soon as possible.
- When using the bathroom, always wipe from front to back. Doing this will help prevent microorganisms from being pushed into the vagina or introduced into the urinary tract.
- We don’t recommend douching. Feminine hygiene products like this can alter the balance of bacteria in your vagina by removing bacteria that is there to prevent infections.
- When using feminine products, skip the scents. This includes soaps, sprays, bubble baths, tampons, and pads. Again, this can disturb the balance of bacteria in your vagina; and, cause a yeast infection.
- Change tampons, pads and liners frequently when you’re on your period.
- If you have diabetes, manage it. Be sure to keep an eye on your blood sugar levels and keep them under control.
- Use antibiotics only when prescribed and when needed. You shouldn’t take them for a cold, because they won’t do anything for a virus.
Keep in mind, some people are more prone to yeast infections than others. If you are more susceptible here are some additional things to keep in mind, specifically if you have a yeast infection:
- Avoid sexual activity. Yeast infections can be passed back and forth, and they can also be transferred to other areas of the body.
- Wash certain garments regularly and in hot water using a gentle detergent.
- Eat foods that help balance your microflora in the body, such as yogurts containing Lactobacillus acidophilus, a type of natural probiotic.
Even with preventive efforts, you can still get a yeast infection. So, how do you know when to give Greenville Women’s Care a call? You should consider calling for an appointment if:
- This is your first infection,
- Your symptoms won’t go away, and you’ve tried an over-the-counter product,
- You have recurrent infections,
- You have unrelated symptoms and finally,
- You’re not sure if you actually have an infection.