What Causes Vaginal Yeast Infections
Having small amounts of Candida on the skin and inside the mouth, digestive tract, and vagina is normal. A healthy immune system and some good bacteria keep the amount in a persons body under control.
But yeast in the vagina can sometimes overgrow and lead to symptoms of a yeast infection. Stress, pregnancy, and illnesses that affect the immune system may let yeast multiply. So can some medicines, including some birth control pills and steroids. If youre taking antibiotics, such as for strep throat, the antibiotics can kill the good bacteria that normally keep the yeast in check. Yeast also can grow a lot if a girls blood sugar is high. Girls who have diabetes that isnt controlled are more likely to get yeast infections.
Yeast infections can happen to any girl. Many girls find that they tend to show up right before they get their periods because of the hormonal changes that come with the menstrual cycle. Clothing thats tight or made of materials like nylon that trap heat and moisture might make yeast infections more likely. Using scented sanitary products and douching can upset the healthy balance of bacteria in the vagina and make yeast infections more likely.
Best Probiotic For Thrush Treatment
When it comes to the best probiotic for thrush treatment, the choice depends on whether the goal is to treat or prevent thrush. Brevibacillus laterosporus is usually preferred for the thrush treatment due to its strong anti-candida properties. A mixture of Lactobacillus probiotic strains has been suggested by research as effective probiotics to prevent thrush. Combining oral probiotics such as FloraTrex together with coconut oil pulling has shown to be an effective and safe natural way that can help to prevent thrush and also promote oral health.
|Symptoms & Concerns|
For more info: home remedies for oral thrush.
Probiotics mouthwash & mouth rinse
Probiotics mouthwash and mouth rinse were suggested by research as effective for oral hygiene regimen . One study found that short term probiotic mouth rinse was effective in reducing plaque accumulation and gingival inflammation .
Are probiotics mouthwash and mouth rinse also effective for thrush? According to research, perhaps in the future. The main challenge is finding probiotic strains that can survive the oral environmental conditions and stay there long enough to bring effect . For this reason, the best probiotic for thrush treatment are oral probiotics that are used as a part of the candida and yeast infection treatment as shown in the above table.
Causes Of A Yeast Infection
Many things can cause a yeast infection. Some of the common causes of vaginal yeast infections include:
- Uncontrolled diabetes. High amounts of sugar in your body can feed yeast in your vagina. Once you get your diabetes under control, the bacteria in your body should follow suit.
- Antibiotics. Because antibiotics kill both good and bad bacteria, youre more likely to get a yeast infection while taking them. If you get recurrent yeast infections, let your doctor know if theyre considering prescribing an antibiotic. They may be able to help.
- Sex. You can pass a yeast infection to your partner during sex, so communicate clearly with your partner before engaging in intercourse.
- Hormones during pregnancy, menopause, or breastfeeding can change the bacterial balance in your vagina.
- Immune system disorders may let yeast grow uncontrolled in your body.
- Products like vaginal sprays or douches can change the balance of bacteria in your vagina.
Being aware of the causes of a yeast infection can often help to head them off before symptoms begin. For example, if you know youll be taking antibiotics, also take probiotics. This can help keep the bacteria in your vagina balanced.
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What Causes Yeast Infections During Pregnancy
Vaginal yeast infections are caused by an overgrowth of a fungus called Candida. Although it lives in the vagina normally, an imbalance in bacteria and yeast can allow Candida to overgrow, leading to symptoms of a yeast infection.
Women are more likely to develop yeast infections at times when they are experiencing fluctuations in hormone levels, such as during pregnancy, while taking oral contraceptives or due to estrogen therapy. Taking certain types of antibiotics can also up your risk, as can having diabetes or a condition that weakens your immune system, such as HIV.
How Is Yeast Infection Treated
Your healthcare provider will consider your age, overall health, how widespread the infection is and other factors to determine your treatment.
Yeast infections can be easily treated with ointments or other anti-yeast creams.
- Yeast infections of the vagina or penis can be treated with creams or medicated suppositories. Sometimes an oral anti-yeast medicine is used.
- Yeast infection in the mouth may be treated with a medicated mouthwash. Or it may be treated with lozenges that dissolve in the mouth.
- If you have a severe infection and have a weak immune system, you may need to take an oral anti-yeast medicine.
- Esophageal yeast infections are usually treated with oral or intravenous anti-yeast medicines.
- Yeast infections of the nails are treated with an oral anti-yeast medicine.
- Yeast infections in the skin folds can be treated with anti-yeast powders.
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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.
Probiotics For Yeast Infection: What Are Your Options
Vaginal infections like bacterial vaginosis and yeast infections are some of the most prevalent womens health concerns. In the United States, more than 1 million women experience yeast infections each year.
This overgrowth of yeast in the vagina can cause serious discomfort, including burning, itching, redness, and white discharge. When left untreated, yeast infections can lead to serious complications. Several prescription and over-the-counter antifungal medications can effectively treat vaginal yeast infections, and emerging research suggests that probiotics may also be helpful to promote vaginal health.
In this article, Ill describe the common symptoms and causes of yeast infections as well as what probiotics are and how theyre used. Then Ill cover prescription, OTC, and other natural yeast infection treatment options. Finally, Ill describe when its important to reach out to your provider to determine if you have a yeast infection and if probiotics may be right for you.
Can I Take Yeast Medication While On Antibiotics
If you read the indications label on a bottle of antibiotics, it will advise you of the risk of yeast infection, and often some things you can do to mitigate this risk. If you develop a yeast infection during your course of antibiotics, those warnings can make it natural to worry about a drug interaction between your anti-yeast medication and the antibiotics. Consult your doctor.
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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Best Probiotics With Antibiotics
There are a lot of myths floating out there about whether or not to take probiotics during an antibiotic course. The argument goes a little something like this: Im taking an antibiotic that kills bacteria why would I take a probiotic? Wouldnt my antibiotic just kill the probiotic?
The answer is that probiotic supplements during antibiotic treatment has been shown to reduce the severity of antibiotic-associated diarrhea. So even though your antibiotics might kill off some of those good gut bacteria, probiotics still reduce the negative side effects of antibiotics.
Heres a list of the most researched and effective probiotic supplements for reducing the incidence and severity of antibiotic-associated diarrhea. These are some of the best probiotic supplements on the market.
- Saccharomyces boulardii biocodex is found in the Florastor brand probiotic and helps to prevent C.diff infections and even helps those who tend to have recurrent C.diff infections. . This strain does not need to be refrigerated, so its very easy to buy saccharomyces boulardii online.
- Visbiome has also been shown to reduce the incidence of antibiotic-associated diarrhea. Note that if you buy Visbiome online, you should choose a retailer that ships it refrigerated.
- Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG has been shown to reduce the occurrence of antibiotic-associated diarrhea, as well. Like Florastor, its easy to buy Culturelle online since it does not need to be refrigerated.
How To Avoid Yeast Infections While On Antibiotics
There are many steps to take on how to avoid yeast infections on antibiotics.
These steps I will mention and what was proven to work for me can also be useful for those suffer from chronic yeast infections.
Perhaps, the chronic yeast infections came from a dose on antibiotics, or just from not giving the love your vagina deserves.
Steps to take to avoid yeast infections:
- A daily usage of Probiotic
- Coconut oil applied topically to protect skin barrier.
- Not washing the inside of vagina lips. Switching your soap to a natural soap free wash instead for the outer parts.
- Tea tree oil if cuts from scratching arises or fungus growth on skin.
- Boric Acid inserted vaginally. NOT ORALLY
- Switching to organic condoms.
- Switching your laundry detergent to one that is free from chemicals and perfumes.
- A natural gut cleanse.
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How Can I Prevent Vaginal Yeast Infections
You often can prevent vaginal yeast infections by making a few lifestyle changes. These changes can include:
- Not douchingdouching can kill bacteria that actually controls fungus.
- Avoiding the use of feminine deodorants.
- Not using deodorant tampons or pads.
- Changing out of wet clothing, especially bathing suits, as soon as you can.
- Using water-based sexual lubricants.
If you have diabetes, it is important to keep your blood sugar level as close to normal as possible. Controlling your diabetes can help prevent vaginal yeast infections.
The symptoms of a vaginal yeast infection are similar to other conditions. If you have any questions, a physical exam by your healthcare provider will help.
What Should I Do If I Have Frequent Yeast Infections
If you frequently have yeast infections, you should have a discussion with your healthcare provider. Your provider may:
- Test to confirm that you really have a vaginal yeast infection.
- Get a blood sugar test for diabetes.
- Test for HIV/AIDS.
- Discuss any possible hormonal changes .
Your healthcare provider will use your test results to make sure you are receiving the right treatment. It can be important to treat the underlying cause while treating your yeast infection. Controlling the reason for the infection can help prevent future vaginal yeast infections.
Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 10/26/2019.
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Complications Of Vaginal Yeast Infection
Thankfully, yeast infections that occur during pregnancy rarely have harmful effects. In more extreme cases, an infection may cause burning during urination and fissures or sores on the vulva or vagina.
Yeast infections may be passed to your baby during delivery. In infants, yeast infection presents in the mouth and/or diaper area. Rarely, a yeast infection can lead to serious complications in an infants body or heart, as their immune systems are not yet equipped to fight infection. This is most often seen in infants with underlying immune conditions or infections.
In pregnant women with conditions that weaken the immune system, such as HIV, a yeast infection may cause systemic infection or complications. This is why, even if you believe it to be a simple overgrowth of yeast, yeast infection early pregnancy is best treated under the supervision of a doctor.
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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Best Probiotics To Take With Antibiotics
There are many probiotic supplements on the market, so how do you know which one to choose?
Well, the right probiotic to choose depends on what youd like it to do. Probiotic effects are strain-specific, meaning that different strains have different effects on the body. If you want to reduce anxiety you could take a strain called Bifidobacterium longum R0175, while this strain may not be as effective if you wanted to prevent c.diff infection.
So as you can see, its important to choose the right probiotic strain for the job!
How To Keep Yeast Infections From Coming Back
All these measures above are great practices on how to keep yeast infections from coming back.
But, it keeps coming back. Now what?
A gut cleanse would be a great option at targeting the root cause of your issues. It has been a great success for me on getting rid of UTIs , Yeast Infections and IBS for me. Treating things on the surface may not be enough.
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How To Prevent Yeast Infections After Sex
Just like you should always pee after sex, you should also always rinse your vagina with water.
Switching to organic condoms as well is going to be one of the best things to do if you keep getting yeast infections after sex.
Condoms contain: Nonoxynol-9, Glycerin, Benzocaine, Lidocaine, Nitrosamines, Parabens, Sillicone, Dry-Dusting powder.
This is GROSS and does not belong in your poor little vagina.
Best organic condoms I recommend are:
Prevent Yeast Infections While Taking Antibiotics
Yeast infections are caused by the Candida Albicans strain of fungus in the human body. Their growth is limited by the immune system and other microorganisms like bacteria that are found in the same areas of the human body where the fungus resides.
These infections can either be superficial, affecting the skin and mucosal membranes or slightly more serious causing diseases like oral thrush and vaginitis. They could also lead to systemic and potentially life-threatening diseases.
The most common yeast infection occurs during the time when a patient is taking antibiotics to cure other diseases. The drug destroys both the bad and the good bacteria in the digestive system, thereby letting the yeasts develop within the digestive tract.
The good bacteria that are usually found alongside the tract in large colonies get destroyed by the antibiotics. This results in the yeast population mushrooming within the digestive tract and causing major infections that manifest within and outside the body.
The general perception over the years has been that women are more prone to vaginal yeast infections after they complete an antibiotic dosage. However, recent studies have revealed that Candida infection could also impact men in a large way.
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How To Use Probiotics To Beat The Yeast
Women who use probiotics to treat vaginal yeast infections either turn to probiotic-rich yogurt, probiotic capsules, or vaginal suppositories.
If youre using a supplement or OTC probiotic medication, follow the package instructions. Packaged probiotics may be intended for oral or vaginal use, so make sure you read those directions!
As for treating a yeast infection with yogurt, here are some of the options:
- Just eat it. The theory is that consuming probiotic yogurt will rebalance your microbiome. Cant hurt to try it, within moderation.
- Apply plain yogurt externally to soothe itching and burning. Its crucial that you choose a plain yogurt with no added sugar or flavorings. Sugar could really kick that yeast into high gear, and other ingredients may be irritating.
- Fill an empty tampon applicator with plain yogurt and insert vaginally. You can also freeze it before inserting it, for extra cooling relief. Note: Accounts of this are purely anecdotal and generally not recommended by healthcare providers.
The yogurt and honey study mentioned above measured improvement in symptoms at 1 and 2 weeks when the mixture was applied externally. Probiotic supplements can take 1 to 4 weeks if taken orally.
Because yogurt and probiotics are relatively safe, you can try both without much worry.
- a weakened immune system
- ulcerative colitis
- damaged heart valves
A general word of caution: supplements like probiotics are not regulated by the Food and Drug Administration for content and quality.