Yeast infections are common in women and though not particularly dangerous, they do entail a fair degree of discomfort. From soreness and itching to odorous discharge and burning on urination, there are several symptoms one may suffer from. But if one understands how and why yeast infections occur – due to the disruption of the vaginal flora – combating and preventing them from occurring is not too challenging. In fact, here are 10 ways to avoid yeast infections.
A woman’s vagina is home to various kinds of bacteria, both of the good and bad kind. When you douche too often, especially with soaps, gels, etc., the good bacteria also gets eliminated, leaving the vagina vulnerable to the action of fungus. Therefore, it is best not to wash the vagina too often, unless you have products specifically targeted at maintaining the pH balance in the intimate region.
Always wear well-fitted underwear that is made of natural materials such as cotton or silk. These absorb moisture and tend to keep the vagina as dry as possible. When you wear underwear made of synthetic substances such as nylon, blended fabrics and so on, they cling to your body, do not allow moisture to escape and make your lady parts a nice little environment for fungus to breed in.
A lot of feminine hygiene products as well as soaps and body washes are heavily scented with perfumes. Some toilet papers, tampons and sanitary napkins may even have designs and patterns on them. All these artificial scents and dyes do not belong in your vagina. They may cause irritation and throw off the natural balance of fluids therein. Keep your hygiene products simple and basic.
It is also widely maintained that excess amounts of estrogen in the body may lead to extra yeast production in the body. Therefore, if you’re prone to yeast infections and are using oral contraceptives, consider switching to pills that do not contain estrogen. You could consult your gynaecologist and resort to other options such as progesterone-only pills or an intra-uterine device.
Tight clothing tends to promote sweating and moisture retention in the vaginal area. It is thus recommended that you wear loose fitting outfits whenever possible and change out of damp clothing at the earliest. Make sure you strip your gym gear as soon as you finish your work out. Avoid going commando too – when you do not have underwear on, your vagina is at higher risk of promoting yeast production.
Probiotic foods contain good bacteria that have the ability to stem yeast growth in the vagina. Incorporating all-natural yoghurt into your diet is a simple measure you can take to prevent recurrent yeast infections. You could also insert probiotics into your vagina by either using pills or tampons dipped in yoghurt during your period. Many women swear by such home remedies for treating their yeast infections.
There are of course numerous natural remedies out there that have been found effective in treating yeast infections. Organic substances such as coconut oil, garlic, apple cider vinegar and cranberries are found to have strong antifungal action that can remedy such infections without having to resort to medication. However, there is no scientific data ratifying such belief and only personal accounts to go upon.
If you enjoy hot baths, love lazing in a hot tub or even spending time at the sauna that may be putting you at higher risk of developing yeast infections. Heated bathing environments are the perfect setting for fungi to multiple in and attack your vagina. As far as possible, stick to warm showers and avoid the aforementioned heated bathing environments.
High amount of glucose in the blood stream has often been associated with higher levels of fungal growth in the body. Therefore, diabetics and those with high blood sugar levels are often victims to recurrent yeast infections as well. To avoid not just this problem but other health issues caused by high blood sugar, make lifestyle changes and/or resort to medication to maintain lower blood glucose.
When you take antibiotics, alongside killing the disease-causing bacteria, they also tend to upset the balance of bacteria in your vagina as well. The lack of fungi-killing bacteria may thus lead to a yeast infection. Therefore, as far as possible, avoid antibiotic medication. Sometimes of course, it becomes necessary to take such medication to treat certain conditions. But you can be extra careful in the aftermath of taking antibiotics and exercise extra precautions in order to prevent yeast infections.
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