Preventing Genital Yeast Infections
For the prevention of genital yeast infections, consider the following:
- Avoid sexual activity while a partner has a yeast infection, even if they dont have active symptoms. Yeast infections can be passed back and forth. They can also be transferred from one area of the body to another, like genitals to mouth.
- Wipe front to back to help prevent additional microorganisms from being pushed up in the vagina or introduced into the urinary tract.
- Wear cotton underwear and change it regularly. Also wear loose, cotton clothing. Tight clothing might trap in moisture and cause friction on your skin, making areas more susceptible to yeast overgrowth.
- Wash certain garments like underwear in hot water. Add bleach if necessary. Also, be sure to use gentle detergents that are free of fragrances and colors. These will be less irritating to your skin should an infection develop.
- Let your bathing suit dry fully. Avoid constantly re-wearing the same wet bathing suit.
- Eat foods that help balance out microflora in the body. These can include yogurts containing Lactobacillus acidophilus, a type of natural probiotic.
- Take a probiotic supplement. Always let your doctor know what supplements you take.
- Take antifungal medications whenever youre prescribed an antibiotic. Speak to your doctor or pharmacist if youre prone to yeast infections.
What Are The Symptoms Of Vaginitis
The symptoms of vaginitis depend on which type you have.
With BV, you may not have symptoms. You could have a thin white or gray vaginal discharge. There may be an odor, such as a strong fish-like odor, especially after sex.
Yeast infections produce a thick, white discharge from the vagina that can look like cottage cheese. The discharge can be watery and often has no smell. Yeast infections usually cause the vagina and vulva to become itchy and red.
You may not have symptoms when you have trichomoniasis. If you do have them, they include itching, burning, and soreness of the vagina and vulva. You may have burning during urination. You could also have gray-green discharge, which may smell bad.
What Is A Yeast Infection
Vaginal yeast infections, or candidiasis, are fungal infections of the vagina. They are caused by a fungus called Candida. This fungus is always present in the vagina, and usually it exists happily among the many good bacteria that balance it out. However, when a woman takes antibiotics that kill off all that natural biome, the Candida might start to grow out of control. When that happens, you get a yeast infection.
If you are not already familiar with the symptoms of yeast infection, consider yourself lucky. They are very uncomfortable and can include:
- Intense itching in and around the vagina, including the vulva
- White, clumpy discharge that smells like bread
In extreme cases, yeast infections can cause redness, swelling, and cracks in the vaginal wall.
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Vaginal Yeast Infection Diagnosis
To help determine the cause of vaginal infection or irritation, the doctor usually asks the woman about her symptoms and performs a physical and pelvic examination. The doctor usually also tests the woman’s urine and samples of vaginal discharge. Before the exam, sexual intercourse and douching should be avoided for one to two days if possible to avoid complicating the diagnosis.
The doctor may also ask the following questions:
- When did this condition begin? Has the discharge changed during the condition?
- What does the discharge look like? What is the color and consistency? Does it have an odor?
- Do you have pain, itching, or burning?
- Does your sexual partner, if you have one, have discharge from his penis?
- Do you have many sexual partners?
- Do you use condoms?
- What helps relieve the discharge?
- Do you take frequent baths?
- Have you tried over-the-counter medications?
- Have you used a douche product?
- What other medications do you take?
- Have you changed detergents or soaps recently?
- Do you often wear tight underwear or pants/jeans?
- Have you had similar symptoms in the past?
During the pelvic examination, the doctor inspects the woman’s vaginal canal and cervix for discharge, sores, and any local pain or tenderness. The doctor may insert a speculum into the vagina to examine the cervix. This may be uncomfortable because of pressure on the vaginal tissues.
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Symptoms Of Bacterial Vaginosis
Some symptoms of BV may seem similar to those of a yeast infection, such as a burning sensation when you urinate or strangely colored discharge that is thicker than normal. One distinguishing factor of bacterial vaginosis is that it often is accompanied by a fishy odor. This smell may become even more potent after sexual intercourse.
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Can Antibiotics Cause Yeast Infection
The short answer is yes, antibiotics can trigger a yeast infection. As a result, antibiotics for yeast infection are not recommended as a form of treatment.
Your vagina normally maintains a natural balance of yeast and a beneficial bacterium called Lactobacillus, which keeps the environment in your vagina slightly acidic. This acidic environment helps keep the overgrowth of yeast at bay and maintains a healthy equilibrium.
However, when you take antibiotics for an ailment such as a sinus infection or bronchitis, it disturbs your bodys natural balance by killing off your systems good bacteria supply of Lactobacillus. This can cause a less acidic environment in your vagina and and lead to an overgrowth of C. albicans, which may cause a yeast infection.
What Are The Symptoms Of A Vaginal Yeast Infection
There are several tell-tale signs of a vaginal yeast infection. These symptoms can include:
- An itchy sensation in the vagina and vulva.
- A thick, white vaginal discharge with the consistency of cottage cheese.
- Redness and swelling of the vagina and vulva.
- Small cuts or tiny cracks in the skin of the vulva because of friable skin in the area.
- A burning feeling when you urinate.
In some cases, another symptom of a vaginal yeast infection can be pain during sex.
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Best Wash For Yeast Infections
Something to clarify as not every woman understands this, but your vagina is self-cleansing. This means soap should not be used to clean it.
You may clean the outer part of your vagina with a soap free formula if you wish. If you have very sensitive skin, I wouldnt recommend washing at all down there but if you must, I recommend this soap free natural wash.
This wash contains only 7 ingredients which are all natural. I have been using this for over a year. This bottle will last you at least 6 months if not, more.
Replenish Your Good Bacteria
Antibiotics attack good bacteria all over your body. You may be able to undo some of this damage by increasing the number of good bacteria in your body.
Consider taking a probiotic supplement containing Lactobacillus, like this one. You can also try adding some yogurt containing live active cultures to your diet. Heres a guide to brands containing Lactobacillus acidophilus.
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Why Does It Happen
Vaginas maintain their own balanced mix of yeast and bacteria. A type of bacteria called Lactobacillus keeps the vagina slightly acidic, which isnt welcoming to yeast. This slightly acidic environment keeps the yeast growing in the vagina under control.
Broad-spectrum antibiotics, which you might take for bronchitis or a sinus infection, are like a bomb to your bodys natural balance of bacteria. They wipe out the bad bacteria causing your illness.
Antibiotics also wipe out beneficial bacteria, including Lactobacillus. Without enough Lactobacillus, your vagina becomes less acidic, making it an ideal environment for yeast.
There are several things you can do to reduce your risk of getting a yeast infection after you take antibiotics.
How Do I Treat A Vaginal Yeast Infection
When thinking about treatment for a vaginal yeast infection, it is important to know that there are many different types of yeast. Your healthcare provider may discuss different types of treatment depending on the type of yeast infection.
Your doctor will typically treat a vaginal yeast infection with an antifungal medication. This type of medication is specifically used to combat overgrowths of yeast in the body.
There are two forms of medication: oral or topical. Oral medications are taken by the mouth, while topical medications are applied to the affected area. Topical medications may include boric acid, nystatin, miconazole or clotrimazole. Your healthcare provider will give you information about each form of medication and directions on how to properly use each one. It is important to always follow your providers instructions when using these medications to make sure that the infection is fully resolved and doesnt return.
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Vaginal Yeast Infection Medical Treatment
Both oral and topical medications are considered to be equally effective in uncomplicated infections . Oral medications may take slightly longer for symptom relief than topical preparations, but cure rates with both types of products are similar for uncomplicated infections.
Medications are also available in the form of vaginal tablets or cream applicators. These medications include the following:
In some cases, a single dose of medication has been shown to clear up yeast infections. In other cases, a longer period of medication might be prescribed.
In women who have weakened immune systems, more than one dose of oral medications may be prescribed. In these women, a longer course of topical medications is also recommended.
For recurrent infection , oral fluconazole and itraconazole or vaginal clotrimazole might be needed for six months. Oral medications are typically recommended if the symptoms are severe. In pregnant women, a longer course of treatment may be needed. Women should consult with their doctor before treatment. Women with an allergy to any ingredients contained within these products should not take them.
Can You Get A Yeast Infection From Antibiotics
Vaginal yeast infections are caused by a fungus called candida albicans.
This fungus lives in warm, moist parts of the body, such as the mouth and around the genitals.
When there is an overgrowth of this fungus, an infection occurs.
An estimated 75% of people with vaginas will experience a vaginal yeast infection in their lifetime.
Approximately 1.4 million outpatient visits for vaginal candidiasis occur annually in the U.S. So if you are experiencing an itch or burn down there, you shouldnt feel any shame.
In this article, Ill explore the link between yeast infections and antibiotics, the symptoms of a yeast infection, and antibiotics that can cause these infections.
Ill also talk about how you can prevent these infections, and who is at higher risk for contracting one.
Finally, Ill tell you when you should see a doctor or other healthcare provider about your symptoms.
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How Online Medication For A Yeast Infection Works
If you have a yeast infection from taking antibiotics, you may be able to skip the doctors office and use a telehealth website such as PlushCare to meet with a doctor online. A world-class doctor can help treat your yeast infection symptoms with discretion.
During your scheduled appointment, you will meet with the doctor via phone call or video chat and discuss your past medical history and current symptoms. Your PlushCare doctor will assess your symptoms and may offer you a prescription for medication that you can pick up from your local pharmacy. To schedule an appointment with a qualified PlushCare doctor today, .
Antibiotics May Cause Yeast Infections Here’s Why And How To Prevent It
About one-quarter to one-third of women will get a yeast infection after taking antibiotics. The vagina always has low levels of yeast, but it’s suggested that broad-spectrum antibiotics those that target a variety of different bacteria because doctors aren’t positive about which might be causing an infection will kill the good bacteria in the vagina. This “good” bacteria is called lactobacilli, and it prevents the overgrowth of yeast by keeping the vagina slightly acidic. Start targeting that bacteria, and yeast will overgrow.
The longer you take antibiotics, the more likely you are to develop a yeast infection because of how it affects the balance of the vaginal flora, Anna Maya Powell, MD, MS, assistant professor of gynecology and obstetrics at Johns Hopkins Medicine, told POPSUGAR. Examples of broad-spectrum antibiotics that may cause yeast buildup include, Dr. Powell said, tetracyclines, typically used to treat acne, UTIs, STIs, etc., and cephalosporins, used to treat some UTIs, infections of the ears, skin, sinuses, and others. That being said, Meera Garcia, MD, assistant professor of obstetrics and gynecology at Columbia University Irving Medical Center, told POPSUGAR that though the antibiotics with a “wider spectrum of kill” will usually have increased potential for causing yeast buildup, it all depends on the interaction between the antibiotics and the person.
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How Clothing Can Affect Yeast Infections
Cotton and silk underwear absorb moisture, keeping you dry.
On the other hand, nylon and other synthetic fabrics hold moisture close to your skin, encouraging the growth of yeast. Synthetic underwear may also cause allergy and hypersensitivity reactions that can alter the vagina environment and contribute to yeast infections.
What’s more, sitting around in sweaty gym clothes or a wet bathing suit provides an environment in which yeast can thrive. Change into dry clothes as soon as possible.
Pantyhose, tights, and leggings can cause heat and moisture to build up in the crotch area.
If you do wear pantyhose, be sure to wear cotton panties underneath, and choose pantyhose with a cotton crotch.
Avoid snug-fitting pajamas a loose, flowing nightgown is preferable. And going without underwear while you sleep will help keep your genital area dry and discourage yeast growth.
Keeping the vagina clean will not only keep you smelling fresh, it can also help prevent yeast infections.
When bathing, be sure to clean the inside folds of the vagina where yeast is likely to grow.
Because yeast thrives in moist environments, it’s important to dry the entire vaginal area after taking a shower or bath.
Certain Products, Antibiotics, and Conditions Are Linked to Yeast Infections Perfumes can be irritating to the sensitive area inside the vagina, and that can increase your risk of getting a yeast infection.
Finally, a healthy immune system helps keep yeast under control.
Common Symptoms Of Vaginal Yeast Infection
The vagina is an environment that maintains its own balance of microorganisms. When this balance is disrupted, such as when the fungus Candida albicans is allowed to multiply unchecked, a vaginal yeast infection can result. The following are examples of factors that can disrupt the natural balance of microorganisms that live in the vagina:
- Antibiotic use: Antibiotics can destroy bacteria that protect the vagina or alter the balance of bacteria that are normally present. A vaginal yeast infection may develop during or after the use of antibiotics taken to treat other conditions such as strep throat.
- Steroid use
- Diabetes: This disease can lower the glycogen store in certain vaginal cells. Diabetes may also raise the sugar content of the vagina, which increases the risk for developing a vaginal yeast infection.
- Factors that can cause a weakened immune system
- Use of douches or feminine hygiene sprays
- Scratches or wounds in the vagina .
- Underwear that is tight or made of a material other than cotton.
- Hormonal changes
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The Link Between Yeast Infections And Antibiotics
Antibiotics that are prescribed to kill bacteria and fight infection can also kill healthy bacteria in the process.
This creates an imbalance in your body, which can sometimes make you more susceptible to an overgrowth of candida albicans fungus.
The predominant group of bacteria that naturally occurs in a healthy vagina is Lactobacillus.
These bacteria help protect against infection- and disease-causing agents .
These bacteria can be killedor have their growth stalledwhen certain antibiotics are taken.
When your body does not have enough Lactobacillus, your vagina becomes less acidic.
This creates a more favorable environment for yeast to grow.
Yeast Infection Treatmentreach For Monistat
Talk with your doctor about any drugs you are now takingyou are more likely to get a vaginal yeast infection if you are taking certain drugs such as antibiotics, steroids or birth control pills. Do not stop taking these drugs without first asking your doctor. A doctor may need to see you to make sure that you do not have other medical conditions such as diabetes or a weakened immune system.
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Lifestyle Changes For Preventing Yeast Infections
You can do several other things beyond dieting to help prevent yeast infections. In fact, good genital hygiene is one of the best ways to prevent this type of infection. This includes:
- Keep things clean. Use mild, unscented soap and water to keep your vaginal area clean.
- Choose the right underwear. Your underwear should keep your genital area dry. Cotton underwear is a good choice. Sleeping without underwear can also help.
- After using the bathroom, wipe from front to back to avoid spreading yeast or bacteria between your anus, urinary tract, or vagina.
- Dont wear swimsuits longer than necessary. Wearing a wet swimsuit will foster the spread of yeast because it keeps things warm and wet.
- Dont wear tight clothes. Tight-fitting clothing also keeps your genitals warm and moist.
- Change tampons and pads regularly.
- Avoid douches and any kind of perfumed sprays, powders, or tampons.