It stands to reason that if you know the cause of yeast infection, especially the cause of vaginal yeast infection; you can understand the symptoms and get timely treatment. However, if you’re suffering from frequent yeast infection and the cause is eluding you, you’ll need to see a physician to figure out the cause for recurring yeast infection and work to prevent it. Let’s see the causes of this infection and what can be done about it.
Yeast infection and its symptoms
Cause for yeast infection in woman is generally a kind of fungus called Candida. It’s the common cause of irritation of the vagina and vulva, the area around the vaginal opening. Vaginal yeast infection is common and about seventy-five percent of women suffer from it.
Although, some yeast is always present in the vagina, its growth is kept in check by the acidic environment of the vagina. If the vagina becomes less acidic, the yeast multiplies and cause yeast infection. Vaginal yeast infection can be mild or highly uncomfortable. Symptoms may include:
a. Itching, burning and irritation of the vagina
b. Itching, redness and irritation of the vulva
c. Painful urination.
d. Abnormal vaginal discharge that looks like cottage cheese. It may have watery consistency too. It may be odorless or have yeast-like odor.
e. Painful intercourse.
Yeast infection causes and cures
Let’s see what’re the causes and cures of yeast infection:
a. Antibiotics: Can antibiotics cause yeast infection? The answer is probably yes. It has been established beyond doubt that intake of some antibiotics cause yeast infection. The strong action of these antibiotics wipe out the ‘good’ bacteria in the vagina causing imbalance in the acidic environment that allows yeast to take over.
b. Clothing: If you provide a warm and moist environment by wearing synthetic, tight or dirty clothes, you’re are inviting yeast infection. So, avoid non-cotton clothes, especially undergarments. Go for ‘breathable’ cotton ones. If you perspire a lot, change your underwear regularly and always start the day with a fresh one.
c. Chemicals: Using strong chemicals on the body or clothes, like dyes, deos and perfumes, can imbalance the vaginal environment or trigger allergic reactions leading to yeast infections. Never use commercial douches, colored and perfumed toilet papers, bubble bath additives or bath salts, scented tampons or sanitary pads and feminine deo sprays.
d. Condoms: Condoms with nonoxynol-9 lubricant and spermicide are known to cause yeast infection. So, use ones that don’t have this spermicidal lubricant. Some women are allergic to latex and can get yeast infections from latex condoms. So, look for alternatives, like plastic (polyurethane) condoms.
e. Diet: Yeast-containing items, like bread or beer, are generally termed as food that cause yeast infection. Although, this yeast is not the one that causes the infection, there is no harm in cutting down on this diet. Some even believe that high levels of sugar in urine provide food to yeast to cause this infection. So, cut down on sugar and alcohol.
f. Hormones: Hormonal imbalances can make you prone to yeast infections. This can be due to pregnancy, periods, contraceptive pills or steroids.
g. Injury: Injury to the vulvar or vaginal membranes occurs when women fail to get wet during sex. The friction may result in injury and subsequent yeast infection. So, use sex lubricants, especially designed for the purpose, if getting wet is a problem.
h. Sexual transmission: Heterosexual couples can transmit this infection back and forth, since women can give yeast infection to men, who, in turn, give it right back. So, while indulging in sex, wash your hands or change gloves in between touching your own and partner’s private parts. And keep those sex toys sparkling clean.
Yeast infection is not a serious ailment and there are plenty of cures available that even cater to the causes of chronic yeast infections. However, your physician will be the best person to recommend the correct line of treatment.