Yeast Infections—No Piece of Cake: Preventative Tips from OB/GYNs

ways to avoid a yeast infection

There’s no denying that yeast infections are miserable. They can cause intense vaginal itching, soreness, inflammation and burning.

According to the National Institute of Health, at least 75% of women will experience a yeast infection at some point in their lives.

What is a Yeast Infection?

A yeast infection is a fungal infection caused by the fungus Candida. It’s normal for the vagina to house some yeast and bacteria cells.

However, when something triggers the yeast cells to multiply, it can throw off the balance between yeast and bacteria cells, leading to an infection.

5 Ways to Prevent a Yeast Infection

Some preventative measures you can take to prevent a yeast infection from developing include:

  1. Staying cool and dry. Wear cotton underwear, change out of damp clothing quickly and wear loose clothing. This will prevent yeast or bacteria from growing more than it should and causing an infection.
  1. Avoiding douches or scented feminine products. These products can change the balance of yeast and bacteria in your vagina, causing infection. (Further reading: Douching: Don’t Do It)
  1. Changing your tampon or pad frequently while on your period. Pads and tampons absorb moisture which can lead to a yeast infection. Change them often to keep dry.
  1. Staying out of hot tubs or very hot baths. Hot water can cause fungus to multiply and lead to a yeast infection.
  1. Taking antibiotics only when necessary. Antibiotics kill both good and bad bacteria in the vagina, throwing off the balance of bacteria and yeast and sometimes causing infection. If you do need to take antibiotics, try taking a probiotic as well to prevent getting a yeast infection.

Yeast infections can be hard to distinguish from bacterial infections. If you treat a bacterial infection with products meant to treat a yeast infection, it can make the infection worse. Make sure to see your OB/GYN doctor if you suspect you have an infection so they can determine the best treatment option.

The caring doctors at All About Women are here to help. Schedule an appointment today!

For more information on yeast infections and other causes of vaginal itching, see Causes of Vaginal Itching.

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