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We've all had them and they're awful. That uncomfortable itch, the discharge, the self-conscious feeling that accompanies them- oh yes, we're talking about the dreaded yeast infection. Sadly, it's just one of the burdens of having a vagina.
While some people have them more than others, we can all give the "yup, same" nod when talking about yeast infections mostly because they can be caused by our very common daily actions.
What is a Vaginal Yeast Infections?
Yeast infections are caused when the naturally occurring flora of a female's vagina is out of balance. The vagina contains a small amount of yeast that works harmoniously with their natural good bacteria- flora. When the good bacteria have inadequate supply, the yeast cells multiply. It can cause itching, swelling, redness, burning, and thick, white discharge.
Experts say these are the top causes of yeast infections, so you can do your absolute best at trying to escape it's evil, itchy clutches.
Yeast Infection Causes:
Because antibiotics kill off the bacteria in the body to try and flush out viruses and illnesses, good bacteria often goes out the door with it. Because women need good bacteria (also known as Lactobacillus) to maintain the balance of yeast, it's absence causes an overgrowth of yeast which almost always insights an uncomfortable yeast infection.
Yeast infections can occur in pregnant women because they have a heightened level of estrogen in the body; another cause of yeast infections.
3. Natural Changes in Hormone Level
Not just during pregnancy, but during a menstrual cycle, ovulation, or any other increase in hormone levels have been known to be a factor in the onset of yeast infections.
4. Poor Eating Habits
Realistically, you should first take a look at what you're ingesting daily when you've noticed a body ailment. This goes for yeast infections as well. Sugary diets can lead to uncontrolled blood sugar which can put women at greater risk for yeast infections.
5. Lowered Immune System
Women with a lowered immune system are at a greater risk of getting a yeast infection. This is simply because their more susceptible to other common risks.
Less Common Symptoms
While those are the top 5 causes of yeast infections, the next few have also been known to bring on the dreaded itch.
6. Lack of Lubricant During Sex
A lack of proper lubricant during sex can cause redness, tearing, and irritation of the vagina that is prone to a yeast infection. Alternately, a bacteria-laden lubricant, such as spit, can also cause yeast infections.
Believe it or not, the product meant to help clean and de-odorize your vagina, is actually quite harmful to it (can we ever win?). Douches flush your good bacteria right out the door (vulva) allowing an overgrowth of yeast.
8. A Natural Reaction to Another Person's Genital Chemistry
Sometimes, certain sexual organs just don't play well with others. There's no explanation for this, per sé, but it is one of the reasons why it's important to pee after sex (always!).
9. Non-breathable Clothing
Though not a huge contributing factor, certain underwear materials such as silk, lace, and spandex have been known to cause yeast infections. This is mostly because fungi- such as yeast- thrive in a dark, moist environment (like the vagina). It's best to ensure that underwear is breathable and absorbent, and pants are as well.
10. Wet Clothing
Wet clothing such as workout clothes or bathings suits, when worn for a period of time, create the same dark, wet environment that fungi such as yeast thrive in. Again, while not a huge contributing factor, is certainly set up a nice place for a yeast infection to move in.
If you suspect you have a yeast infection, here's how they can be naturally cured. Or, if you want to spare yourself from ever having to go through that madness, then assess the above causes and limit their role in your life. You can also add this daily vitamin to your regime, which a lot of women swear by. Here's to maintaining a happy, healthy vagina!