8 Causes of Yeast Infection

Vaginal yeast infections, also known as candidiasis, are a common affliction for women around the world. They occur when yeast, or candida, cells overtake the natural bacterial flora of the vagina and begin to grow out of control. This can cause a variety of unpleasant symptoms, including excessive white discharge, itching, swelling, redness, and even pain.

These symptoms are not just annoying. Many women find it difficult to perform their normal daily activities when they have an intimate infection. In addition, they cannot usually engage in normal sexual activity.

There are a variety of treatments, both over the counter and prescription, that can fight off a yeast infection. These can take from a few days to two weeks to work. Despite good treatment, women who get a yeast infection are much more likely to get them again.

In some cases, there are lifestyle factors that are causing the yeast infection by allowing yeast to grow out of control. Identifying and preventing these common causes of candida infections can reduce your chances of getting them repeatedly. If you have one of these eight common causes of a yeast infection, it is important to talk to your doctor about how you can reduce your risk.

1. Antibiotics

Antibiotics can be a life-saving treatment for people with bacterial infections. However, they also can cause yeast infections in some women.

Women’s vaginas naturally have bacteria present. These bacteria play a variety of different roles in keeping the tissues healthy. Lactobacillus is one of the most important types of vaginal bacteria because they keep the pH of the area at a healthy level and prevent overgrowth of other microbes, such as yeast.

Antibiotics do not kill merely one kind of bacteria. Most can target hundreds of different kinds. Many common antibiotics target lactobacillus as well as more dangerous bacteria. When there is not enough lactobacillus, the pH of the vagina can rise to a level where tissues are more susceptible to yeast infections. In addition, the yeast can grow out of control due to a lack of natural bacteria.

Because antibiotics are a common cause of candida infection, many health professionals now recommend taking a probiotic supplement or eating probiotic foods when taking them. This colonizes the body with new and healthy bacteria to replace the ones being killed by antibiotics.

If you are prone to getting yeast infections when you take antibiotics, it is important to talk to your doctor. In many cases, they can make a plan to help prevent this.