If you know the cause of vaginal yeast infection, you’d be that much better prepared in preventing it. Just to give you a brief idea of the infection, yeast is ever present in the vagina, albeit under check of the acidic environment there. However, if for some reason this balance is disturbed and acidity of vagina decreases, yeast multiplies like crazy, saddling you with vaginal yeast infection symptoms.
Preventing yeast infection
The much cliched maxim ‘prevention is better than cure’ couldn’t have been truer in the case of vaginal yeast infection. If you know what to do and what not to do, you can banish the fear of this condition from your minds forever. So, let’s see how to prevent yeast infection:
a. Clothing: Since the genital area is warm and humid, and the sweat usually accumulates here, the type of clothing has a bearing on the chances of infection. If you wear tight clothing or of nylon and lycra, you’re sure to trap the air and create an ideal environment for yeast to breed. It’s best to go for cotton clothing, especially the undergarments, that ‘breathes’ and soaks up the sweat. If you desire to wear a panty hose, always wear cotton panties underneath. Also avoid wearing a wet swim costume or exercise suits for a long duration.
b. Diet: Eat a balanced diet to keep your body healthy. This would help maintain a normal balance of organisms in the vagina. However, women undergoing antibiotic treatment should eat one cup of yogurt a day to prevent this infection. However, remember, yogurt is not a cure for it. Drinking acidophilus milk containing live Lactobacillus organisms is found to be beneficial in maintaining a normal balance of vaginal organisms.
c. Toiletries: Perfumed bath products or powders can affect the normal balance of organisms in the vaginal area, which can lead to yeast infection. So, a void the use of irritating soaps, feminine sprays, talcs, bubble baths, scented toilet papers, deodorants, tampons and perfumes to avoid the signs and symptoms of vaginal yeast infection .
d. Douches: Douching or washing the vagina with a stream of water is a big no-no, as it washes away the natural protective mucous of the vagina leaving it more susceptible to yeast and other vaginal infections. More importantly, douching can also spread the infection from the vagina to the uterus and fallopian tubes, causing pelvic inflammatory disease.
e. Toilet habits: Keep the external genital area clean and dry at all times. When cleaning your rear after using the toilet, always wipe from front to back to prevent the yeast, which normally inhabits the intestinal tract, from being transferred to the vaginal area. Change tampons and sanitary napkins frequently.
f. Sex aids: Those prone to vaginal dryness should never use petroleum-based lubricants for vaginal lubrication during sexual intercourse. Go for water-based ones.
g. Medical precautions: Diabetics are prone to vaginal yeast infection and should keep their diabetes under control. Low blood sugar levels decreases the risk of yeast infections. Also, you shouldn’t use antibiotics unnecessarily, as they can affect the vaginal environment, allowing yeast to proliferate.
Taking steps to prevent the occurrence of vaginal yeast infection will save you from an avoidable suffering. However, even for preventive measure, it’s best to take the advice of your health care provider.