Vaginal yeast infections are caused by a fungus called candida albicans and affect some women more than others. You recognize the symptoms of yeast by itching and burning in the vagina and around the vulva which is the skin that surrounds your vagina. You will note a white vaginal discharge that may look like cottage cheese and experience pain during intercourse. Sometimes the vulva swells. While the infection can be very uncomfortable, the symptoms usually aren’t very serious. Health information regarding candidia offers practical self-help preventative steps to limit or avoid developing an infection.
Candidia is a natural organism found in the vaginal area. Usually the acidic balance of the vagina keep yeast from over producing, but that balance can be altered by menstruation, pregnancy, diabetes, antibiotics, birth control pills as well as the moist environment.
You will want to talk to your doctor to make sure a yeast infection is the cause of your yeast infection. A prescription may be required.
Here are some simple suggestions to help you avoid and control yeast infections:
1. Wear cotton underpants. Avoid nylon underwear since it retains moisture and heat which encourages the growth of harmful bacteria.
2. Don’t share washcoths, towels, or bathing suits with others.
3. After bowel movements, wipe front to back to avoid anal-vaginal contamination.
4. Avoid chemicals in your personal hygiene regimen (e.g., harsh soaps, perfumes, commercial douches, tampons, sprays, perfumed toilet paper, etc.).
5. Avoid sugar, sweets and refined foods in your diet.
6. Include ample amounts of vitamins A, B, C, and E in your diet.
7. Get an adequate amount of sleep.
8. Don’t douche except for curative reasons; avoid commercial douches.
9. Avoid wet or damp towels.
10. After bathing, pat genital area dry and keep it dry.
11. Avoid pants that are tight in the crotch.
12. If using antibiotics, eats lots of yogurt.
13. Take showers instead of baths. Soaps can more easily get into the vagina with baths. Soap or bubble baths are “basic”– the vagina is normally an acidic environment.
14. Make sure your sexual partner is clean or use a condom.
15. Make sure you have proper lubrication for intercourse. Poor lubrication can cause irritation and inflammation, which can lead to the growth of bacteria.
16. Be aware of and avoid vaginal irritants such as tampons, unclean diaphragms, aggressive intercourse, and examining instruments.
17. Avoid emotional stress.
18. Avoid leaving tampons in too long, trapping normal discharge. Change tampons at least twice a day.
19. Wipe from front to back after using the toilet. This may help prevent the bacteria that normally live in your rectum from getting into your vagina.
20. Also avoid using colored or perfumed toilet paper. These items seem to affect the balance of acidity in the vagina and can lead to yeast infections.