While vaginal yeast infections are common and easily treated by your doctor, they aren’t usually topics of conversation, even with your gynecologist. To avoid their discomfort and inconvenience – especially for those who are prone to chronic episodes – here are some tips to reduce your risk of developing a vaginal yeast infection.
1. Avoid douching with any sort of product
Despite ads of women running though bucolic meadows after douching, the reality is that these products disrupt the natural healthy bacteria that protect women from harmful bacteria. We are learning more and more about the bacterial biome, or world of bacteria, that resides in our bodies, and specifically in the genital areas including the vagina and urethra. A well-balanced bacterial colony can ensure that yeast infections do not take hold and develop. In short, douching not only does away with the bad flora, it does away with the good stuff as well. No need to douche if you follow the next five steps.
2. Avoid Perfumes and Scented Products
Like douche products, these industrially manufactured scents contain chemicals that can kill off beneficial bacteria and create an unhealthy environment where yeast infections can thrive. Some products can also inflame sensitive tissues, leaving them vulnerable to a host of problems apart from infections. Cleanse, rinse and dry the external genital areas with water and plain, unscented soap. During a menstrual cycle, change pads and tampons often. No perfumes needed!
3. Loosen up and cool down
Avoid tight clothing around the genital area (crotch); this include synthetic, tight panties and pantyhose. Clinging and tight leggings or jeans can also create a breeding ground for yeast to thrive. Change your yoga wear or bathing suits pronto after a workout – in contrast to what those glossy catalogs promise, clinging, workout clothes are not antimicrobial. Wear dry, clean cotton or wick-way underwear. To minimize your risk of any kind of fungal or bacterial infections, remember: stay cool and dry. Consider sleeping in a nightgown, sans panties; or in loose-fitting boxer shorts to let your lady parts breathe.
4. Bathroom Hygiene
After you use the toilet, wipe from front to the back. Doing this every time will help you avoid vaginal yeast infections and it will also help you avoid urinary tract infections. If you should happen onto a bidet on your next hotel visit, give it a try! A little splash never hurt after going to the bathroom or a hard day in the gym.
5. Keep On Top Of Your Health
Certain chronic conditions, such as diabetes, increase your risk of developing vaginal yeast infections, so, regular well visits to your doctor along with preventative care are important. Reducing stress, maintaining a healthy diet – eating yogurt with live active cultures can help improve your digestive and health and prevent recurrent yeast infections as well – and getting rest can all contribute to reducing your risk of yeast infections. Be sure to stay hydrated and urinate often – don’t hold it in.
6. Converse with your doctor
Advise your doctor about any medications you are taking, such as steroids or antibiotics, as some of these drugs tend to increase the risk for vaginal yeast infections. Your doctor will advise you about how best to avoid infections while you are on these medications. Ask your doctor about the lowest dose estrogen birth control available – high estrogen levels and yeast infections have been linked in several studies. Ask your doctor about eating yogurt or taking probiotics if you are prescribed antibiotics.
Staying healthy takes a little work and some attention to detail. Luckily, nature has provided women of all ages the physical and biological makeup to avoid vaginal yeast infections. But when nature needs a hand, women in South Florida have come to love and trust Lady’s Care Center. Dr. Ladynez Espinal, who founded Lady’s Care Center, provides compassionate obstetrics and gynecological services with cutting-edge advances in medicine.
Lady’s Care Center focuses on all aspects of your health and we are happy to answer any questions you have about vaginal yeast infections or other concerns. Please call us today at (954) 538-1700 to schedule an appointment. You can also can use our secure and private online appointment request form if you prefer!