Yeast infections are a common nuisance for many women, and three-quarters of women will experience one in their lifetime. Yeast is made up of tiny organisms that grow in harmless amounts in the mouth, digestive tract, and vagina. Vaginal yeast infections are caused by a fungus called candida albicans. The key to reducing yeast in the vagina is to keep the normal pH around four or five. Vaginal yeast begins to proliferate and cause a yeast infection when the vagina becomes less acidic, allowing yeast to thrive and multiply.
Here are some of the most common causes of yeast infections and their fixes:
The Wrong Body Wash - Using body washes and soaps that have the wrong pH and use harsh ingredients like sulfates, glycerin, parabens can help cause yeast infections.
The Fix: Most soaps and fragranced body washes aren’t designed with the chemistry of your vagina in mind, but there are brands like SweetSpot Labs that are giving women a clean option that will help maintain their pelvic health.
Hanging out in Sweaty Workout Clothes - Exercise is amazing for our body and promotes healthy living but sweaty clothing creates a moist environment that yeast loves.
The Fix: Be sure to keep the vagina amazingly fresh by using a pH balanced wipe and changing sweaty workout clothes as soon as possible after a workout. The same goes for bathing suits.
Diabetes - One condition that can increase yeast infections is diabetes. Most people think of diabetes and how it impacts all the other parts of the body, but we also know is that it can affect your vagina. The elevated levels of sugar in the blood create a feeding ground for yeast, especially in the vaginal tissue.
The Fix: For women who have diabetes, properly controlling their condition and avoiding washes and wipes that use glycerin will also help.
Even if you do your best to avoid the above, yeast infections do happen and here is how to recognize the symptoms:
- Your vaginal discharge changes and starts looking like cottage cheese
- There is irritation and burning and your vulva is swollen
If you experience any of these symptoms, you should contact a physician. Once a yeast infection has been positively identified, a wide range of treatments are available. The most common treatment is antifungal medicines that are directly applied to the vagina through creams, ointments, suppositories, or tablets.