Vaginal yeast infections are caused when yeast in the vagina multiplies exponentially, distorting the balance of healthy bacteria and yeast in the area. These infections can cause itching, irritation, and discharge, and are quite common in occurrence.
Tips to Prevent Vaginal Yeast Infections
Vaginal yeast infections are nothing to worry about and can be easily treated. However, there are ways you can avoid getting them altogether. Here are a few tips to consider.
Wear Cotton Underwear
Yeast multiplies in moist places. Tight clothing made from materials such as nylon or polyester can hold in moisture and can subsequently become a breeding ground for yeast. Breathable fabrics, such as cotton, help keep your body dry by allowing airflow. They are therefore better to use as underwear. You can also use underwear that is lined at the crotch with cotton.
Wear Loose Clothing
While choosing your clothes for the day, ensure that your outfit is not too tight or snug. Tight clothing can increase your body temperature and thus cause you to sweat. Staying in moist clothes for long periods of the day raises your chances of developing a yeast infection.
Stick to Using Unscented Products
Scented products such as tampons, sanitary pads, soaps, and detergents can irritate the vagina by causing an imbalance in the natural bacteria constitution. It is advisable to use unscented items and gentle cleansers whenever necessary. Do not use powders or perfumes in the genital area.
Avoid Using Antibiotics
Antibiotics, by nature, will kill healthy bacteria in the vagina while taking out harmful ones. As a result, the vaginal area becomes more susceptible to yeast infections when you are on antibiotics. It is thus important to use antibiotics only when prescribed. It is advisable to consult your doctor on when to use antibiotics.
Strengthen Your Immune System
A healthy immune system will help keep yeast growth under control. To maintain a healthy immune system, ensure that you have a regular sleep schedule, eat healthy meals, and get regular exercise. A diet rich in fresh fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and protein-rich foods such as fish, poultry, and legumes is recommended. If you have diabetes, keep blood sugar levels under control as high sugar levels are linked with a higher risk of developing yeast infections.
Practice Good Personal Hygiene
The vagina is naturally lubricated and contains beneficial bacteria that help ward off infections. While it is important to use water, and maybe a gentle soap, to clean the outsides of the vagina, do not use any harsh cleansers or soaps to clean the area as this can kill good bacteria. When on your period, ensure that you change your tampons, pads, and panty liners every 3 or 4 hours to avoid infections.
These tips won’t just help you to keep your genitals clean and healthy but also go a long way in ensuring that any potential vaginal yeast infections are kept at bay.