Understanding the cause of yeast infections can help you prevent them from happening to you. Although some causes, like diabetes, can’t be prevented, many other triggers can be avoided or mitigated.
One of the most common causes of yeast infections is the use of antibiotics. When the antibiotics attack the disease-causing bacteria for which they were originally intended, they may also kill bacteria in the vagina which can lead to an overgrowth of yeast and cause a yeast infection. If you are taking an antibiotic and start experiencing yeast infection symptoms, call your doctor so he or she can prescribe medication to alleviate the symptoms.
Women with diabetes are susceptible to yeast infections for a couple of reasons. First, uncontrolled diabetes impairs the immune system’s ability to fight infections. In addition, high blood sugars increase the sugar level in the vagina, which can cause a yeast infection…
Certain behaviors can trigger yeast infections and women should be aware of them. They include:
- Wearing tight clothing (such as tight jeans)
- Wearing synthetic underwear
- Wearing wet swimsuits for prolonged periods of time
- Wiping from rear to front after using the bathroom
While there is no direct connection between menopause and yeast infections there is a link between estrogen replacement therapies (ERT) associated with menopause and yeast infections. The higher level of estrogen from the synthetic hormone therapies can create a hormone imbalance that may cause a yeast infection. The time of month right before a woman gets her period is also the time when the body produces the most blood sugar. The change in hormones levels can lead to yeast infections for many women.
Several years ago, certain birth control pills high in estrogen caused yeast infections for many women. Fortunately, today most oral contraceptives contain lower doses of estrogen and therefore lower the risk of causing yeast infections. However, birth control pills may still cause a yeast infection in some women.
The hormone changes that occur during pregnancy are another common cause of yeast infections. More specifically, a woman’s body produces more sugar than normal during pregnancy. This shift in blood sugar makes pregnant women more likely to get yeast infections.
Steroid therapies are anti-inflammatory agents which may reduce the body’s ability to fight off infections. They may also increase sugar levels in the blood and the vagina allowing yeast to proliferate.
A weakened immune system reduces the body’s ability to ward off yeast infections. Weakened immune systems can be caused from lack of sleep, poor diet, stress, diabetes, HIV infections and other immune system disorders.
If you suffer from yeast infections, especially if they recur frequently, you should talk to your doctor about the cause of your yeast infections and work out a prevention and treatment plan that is right for you.
Estrogen Replacement Therapy (ERT) - Medications that are prescribed for women during menopause to help relieve symptoms.