Causes of Yeast Infections

Vaginal yeast infections are caused by Candida albicans which are a fungus.

This yeast which is microscopic normally lives in small numbers on the skin and inside the vagina. Since the vagina becomes acidic the yeast does not grow. If the balance of acidity is tilted, the yeast grows and too many yeast cause vaginal yeast infection. Elements effecting the change of acidity levels can be menstruation (period), pregnancy, diabetes, antibiotics, steroids and birth control pills. Interior environment issues like moisture and irritation can also effect the change of acidity levels in the vaginal area.

There are two good reasons to learn the causes of yeast infections:

(1) If there is a recurring yeast infection the cause can be figured out and use this for prevention methods instead of continually treating it and

(2) Knowing the cause and recognizing the symptoms can help prevent using drugs and instead use gentle over the counter remedies.

What are the causes of Vaginal Yeast infections?

· Antibiotics.
Antibiotics are possibly the leading cause of vaginal infections because while they kill bad bacteria in the body they also kill “good” bacteria as well. This creates unbalance in the vaginal area and causes the yeast to grow. Prevention methods for this type of cause are not known so treatment after is recommended.

· Clothing.
Tight, non-cotton and dirty clothes that trap heat and moisture is the perfect environment for yeast in the vaginal area to flourish. Generally undyed, cotton underwear is best if any at all. Pantyhose are not recommended, try thigh highs instead. One change of underwear daily is recommended. Sleeping in underwear is not however if sleeping in underwear is required make sure it is a clean, unworn pair.

· Chemicals.
Ink, dyes, and perfumes may cause the acidity levels of the body to change thus creating a yeast infection. They may also causes allergic reactions and have the same result. To be safe try using unscented and undyed toilet paper and laundry detergent.

· Condoms.
There is a lubricant that condoms are packaged with called nonoxynol-9 that may kill the HIV virus, but has been linked to cause yeast infections. Also if there is a latex allergy present, yeast infections can occur. There are condoms without this lubricant and also new plastic condoms can help with latex allergic reactions.

· Hormones.
Natural and artificially induced hormones can affect the pH balance of the body and create yeast. Pregnant women and ladies on their menstruation have more or less yeast as hormone levels fluctuate. Steroids used to treat lupus, arthritis and asthma can also affect the body and have been linked to yeast infections.

· Injury.
Injury to the outer skin of the vaginal wall (vulva) or injury to the vaginal membranes can cause yeast infections. Too much friction and not enough lubrication can cause these injuries. A simple over the counter lubricant designed as a sex lubricant can help, but avoid oil-based lubricants because they break down latex and some non-oily creams contain dyes and perfumes that can cause yeast infections.

How do I avoid getting a vaginal yeast infection?

· Avoid wearing tight fitting clothes or clothes with synthetic fibers.

· Cotton panties are recommended. They allow the vaginal area to breathe a lot better unlike spandex or silk.

· Panty hose and leotards should not be worn all day the nylon does not allow the vaginal area to breathe.

· After getting out of the bath or shower, use the blow dryer on the lowest, coolest setting to help dry your genital area.

· After using the toilet wipe from front to back. This will help decrease the spread of bacteria from the rectum to the vaginal area.

· Wet clothes and bathing suits should be removed as soon as possible.

There are also some products to avoid:

1. Douches

2. Feminine hygiene sprays

3. Deodorant sanitary pads or tampons

4. Bubble bath

5. Colored or perfumed toilet paper

All of these products created an imbalance of the acidity levels in the vaginal areal and will cause yeast to grow and possible create a vaginal yeast infection.

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