5 Reasons You Keep Getting Yeast Infections Over And Over Again
Not sure if you have one? According to the CDC, yeast infections can be characterized by a majorly itchy vagina, a sore vagina, a dry vagina, and/or a super painful vagina during intercourse. Still not sure? Look down into your undies and if you see what the CDC calls a “thick curdy vaginal discharge,” chances are high you’ve got a yeast infection.
Of course, see your doc no matter what. In fact, Sasan suggests that women who think they might have RVCC talk to their doctor since they might be best suited to ditching over-the-counter medications for a heavier-duty prescribed regiment. We talked to her about some common reasons why your yeast infections keep coming back.
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We hate to kill the mood, but those prone to yeast infections might have noticed that their symptoms flair when they are intimate with a new partner. “Yeast infections are caused by an imbalance of the natural vaginal flora,” Sasan explains. Every woman has a different, specific combination of bacterias, so if something new—like semen—disrupts the balance of your vaginal environment or pH, a yeast infection might result. Personal lubricants could also throw things off vaginally, so it’s a good idea to opt for hypoallergenic, unscented lubes. (Try this organic lube from the Women’s Health Boutique.)
Related: Your Vagina On Sex
When it comes to douching your vagina, we have one big piece of advice: DON’T!!! Not only isn’t there a need for it since your vagina is self-cleaning, but it can actually be harmful. “Douching can disrupt this natural balance that we just talked about,” Sasan says. “Some people say my grandmother told me I could could clean with vinegar, but we universally tell women not to clean with anything.” You also might want to avoid scented soaps or products that can cause a vaginal imbalance.
What you should—and shouldn’t—be doing to keep your lady parts in good shape:
Antibiotics are great because they kill bacteria. Antibiotics can also suck because they kill bacteria—specifically, vaginal bacterias that curb the growth of candida. “Many women say whenever they take an antibiotic for a sinus infection, they get a yeast infection too,” Sasan says. It’s an unfortunate domino effect that women with RVCC may experience. Talk to your doctor if you think this might be happening to you.
If you’re a regular in the Monistat aisle, you might want to steer clear of certain racks in the lingerie section. Synthetic underwear materials might lead to more sweat, which can cause bacteria to collect. “This isn’t universal, but we suggest that some women who tend to be more prone to yeast infections wear cotton underwear because it’s more breathable,” Sasan says. Although she emphasizes that “not everyone is like that—some athletes where spandex everyday and never get a yeast infection.”
It turns out that your blood-sugar levels can have some serious repercussions on the state of your underwear. “Yeast grows in high sugar environments,” Sasan says. So if you have Type 2 diabetes that isn’t well-controlled, you may be more susceptible to yeast infections. Consider that another reason to get your blood sugar and/or diabetes under control, be it through medications, exercise, or diet.