Five Easy Steps to Becoming Infection-Free
If being a woman didn’t come with enough challenges, along comes yeast infections. The words can send an unpleasant chill up any woman’s spine. Yeast infections can be messy and uncomfortable, but fortunately this condition can be managed and even prevented in many cases. This is especially true if you are aware of the most common causes of yeast infections.
Here are the top five things you’ll want to keep in mind to avoid candidiasis:
- Clothing — Your clothing, especially underwear, can have a significant role in whether or not you succumb to a yeast infection. Materials like leather and synthetics such as nylon can trap heat. Any article of clothing which isn’t breathable greatly increases the growth of Candida albicans (yeast). We’re not saying give up your favorite clothes, but be safe. Minimize articles of clothing which can generate or trap heat. Bulk up your wardrobe with cotton and other airy materials, and change underwear at least once a day.
- Douching — Believe it or not, regular douching in order to promote cleanliness isn’t the best thing you can do for yourself. Frequent douching creates an imbalance between unhealthy and healthy bacteria in the vagina. If the good bacteria population is weakened, the Candida albicans population grows. This encourages infection.
- Antibiotics — While we do understand the administration of antibiotics may be necessary, they can create imbalances between the good and bad bacteria we were just talking about. Antibiotics weren’t designed to do this, it’s just that when undergoing an antibiotic treatment for a completely unrelated condition, they can kill off good and bad bacteria in other areas of the body enhancing the possibility of infection. You should pay close attention to your body during and after taking antibiotics. If you have even the slightest sign of a yeast infection, talk with your healthcare practitioner about it. They may prescribe pills, a topical ointment or recommend an over-the-counter medication to alleviate the side effect.
- Sex and Condoms — One of the more common causes of yeast infection is via sexual transmission, though it is not considered a sexually transmitted disease. Men often don’t realize they have contracted the fungus. In fact, most men believe this is a condition solely suffered by women. When they have unprotected sex, they can pass the infection on to the woman. Women who find themselves with a yeast infection after unprotected sex should encourage their partner to be tested as well. You should both get treatment and refrain from intercourse until you’ve both received a clean bill of health.
- Toilet Seats — Fact: Many women get yeast infections from toilet seats. Wrong! Recent studies show this is nothing more than a myth.
Speaking of sex, condoms may be encouraged, but in the world of yeast, they can be a detriment. Some of these prophylactics contain nonoxynol-9. This lubricant is designed to act as a spermicide which kills HIV-AIDS production. Sadly, that needed spermicide has been directly linked to yeast infection. You should generally avoid using condoms which contain this ingredient. Also, if you have an allergy to latex, stay away from latex condoms. Consider using a synthetic sheepskin brand.
Other major causes of yeast infections include chemicals, hormones, diet, injury and a weakened immune system.
Now, you can begin to identify the factors which contribute to candidiasis, and hopefully avoid yeast infections in the future.