For Women Only: 4 Yeast Infection Secrets

If you’re a woman who has suffered through a vaginal yeast infection, you are familiar with the itchiness and irritation that indicates the presence of the infection. It’s something women dread, because they know what’s coming: more itchiness, pain, disgusting discharges, and the frustration of trying to get rid of it.

Use probiotics to prevent yeast infections and accompanying discomfort.

Vaginal yeast infections are uncomfortable and can be difficult to resolve.

In the past couple of decades, we’ve learned much about yeast infections. Doctors have even allowed women to diagnose themselves if they have had a yeast infection before, and now there are over-the-counter treatments. However, the infections still seem to be difficult to get rid of. Sometimes medicines don’t work properly. According to some experts, there is a 50% chance you will have more than one.

Although most women basically know what to do if they get a yeast infection, the infections can be difficult to get rid of. If you look a little deeper to understand the nuances of the infection, it might be easier to beat it. The following four yeast infection secrets might help.

Yeast infection secret #1: Antibiotics cause yeast infections by destroying bacteria.

Every woman’s vagina contains a mixture of different types of bacteria. It’s amazing how it all works together. Lactobacillus bacteria actually helps prevent yeast infections by blocking production of yeast. Some antibiotics reduce the amount of Lactobacillus bacteria, which allows the yeast to grow out of control. Other things can lead to an overgrowth of yeast, but use of antibiotics is one of the most common causes of vaginal yeast infections.

Although probiotics are not considered a treatment for vaginal yeast infections, they might be able to help prevent them by strengthening the body’s bacterial balance. Antibiotics can reduce the effectiveness of some probiotic products in the same way they destroy yeast. Be sure to choose a product, like BioVi® probiotic blend, with a formula resistant to the destructive effect of antibiotics.

Yeast infection secret #2: Men can get yeast infections, too.

If a woman with a yeast infection has sexual intercourse with a man, it can cause a yeast infection of the penis. Mayo Clinic says sexually transmitted yeast infections most commonly happen as a result of oral-genital sexual contact. Transmission of the infection doesn’t always happen. Men who have diabetes or conditions that compromise the immune system are more susceptible. If a man does contract a yeast infection from his partner, it’s usually not necessary to receive any kind of treatment. The infection will go away on its own unless the man’s health is otherwise compromised.

Yeast infections are not considered a sexually transmitted diseases (STD), because even women who are not sexually active sometimes suffer from yeast infections and the fungus that causes yeast infections (usually candida albicans) is a normal part of the vaginal environment. Even thought it’s not an STD per se, it’s still a good idea to minimize transfer of the infection to your partner.

It’s probable that latex condoms can prevent yeast infections from being transmitted. However, latex can be damaged by the chemicals in many yeast infection treatment creams and suppositories, which means a condom could break. It’s generally recommended that women who suffer from yeast infections abstain from sexual contact until the symptoms go away.

Yeast infection secret #3: Your body can become resistant to medication.

If you’ve had yeast infections more than four times a year, your doctor might give you the go ahead to treat episodes yourself. Several over-the-counter medications are available, usually in the form of topical creams to treat itching and irritation and suppositories to reduce the amount of yeast and restore bacterial balance. Some women have enough problems with vaginal irritation that they find themselves using over-the-counter medications frequently. Such frequent use can cause the body to become resistant to the medication.

In cases like these, it’s possible it’s not candida albicans causing the symptoms. Other forms of bacteria can cause similar symptoms, but the medications do not work as well on them. If the medicine you’re using doesn’t seem to be working, it’s a good idea to check in with the doctor and confirm the cause of your symptoms.

Yeast infection secret #4: Yeast infections are rarely serious.

When you have a yeast infection, it can feel like your body is falling apart down there! However, for most people, yeast infections do not cause serious medical issues. The body is equipped to manage cleanup of the over growing bacteria. For example, when you have your period, the menstrual flow will raise the pH of your vagina to a level that destroys and discourages the growth of yeast cells. This means it’s okay in some situations to leave yeast infections untreated and see if they will clear up on their own.

If you have diabetes or a weakened immune system, or if you take steroids, or medicines for transplants and cancer, the infection might not clear up by itself. Birth control pills also can promote overgrowth of yeast and make it difficult for the body to maintain bacterial balance.

Many women have been told to keep the vaginal area clean and dry and avoid irritants such as douches, deodorants and perfumed soap. These actions will help reduce the symptoms, but they do not have a bearing on the presence of a yeast infection. To further reduce symptoms, wipe from front to back after using the bathroom and wear underwear with a cotton crotch.

The best treatment is prevention!

The body is surprisingly resilient, and its defenses against minor infections are impressive. It’s only when those defenses are overcome or breached that a condition such as yeast infections can take over and cause serious discomfort. Work with your body to strengthen its defenses and treat your yeast infection problem before it even happens.

 


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