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Yeast Infection Common Causes

Updated on December 2, 2009

If you’ve ever had a yeast infection, you know how memorable they can be. Particularly if you got your first as a teenager and didn’t have a clue as to how to get rid of it – leave a candida infection untreated for long enough and the vaginal itching and burning can almost drive you mad. Fortunately, we’ve come a long, long way in terms of yeast infection treatment. When I was a teenager, you needed 7 or so days of vaginal suppositories to get rid of the itch and burn – and that stuff was messy, too, let me tell you. Today, however, you can treat yourself with prescription-strength, one-day creams available in any grocery store. All the same, preventing vaginal thrush is always better than having to treat it. Read on for more info on what causes yeast infections so you can avoid getting them.

What is a yeast infection?

Candidiasis is the technical term for yeast infections / vaginal thrush. It’s caused by an overgrowth of candida albicans, which is a perfectly normal fungus living in the vaginal area. If the yeast starts to multiply for some reason, it can get out of hand and turn into what we call a candida infection.

Candidiasis is the technical term for yeast infections / vaginal thrush. It’s caused by an overgrowth of candida albicans, which is a perfectly normal fungus living in the vaginal area. If the yeast starts to multiply for some reason, it can get out of hand and turn into what we call a candida infection.

Things that cause yeast infections

  • Antibiotics : Unfortunately, if you’ve recently been on a bout of antibiotics, you might be primed for a yeast infection. This is because antibiotics kill bacteria indiscriminately, and may kill the bacteria keeping the vaginal yeast in check. If the candida starts to multiply quickly, you could end up with a vaginal thrush.

  • Tight panties : Your vagina needs to breathe. It’s not meant to be cooped up in tight panties 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. I’m not telling you to go commando to work or school, but you may want to consider sleeping that way once in a while (or more frequently, if you are prone to frequent infections.) Also, cotton panties are better than silk or satin panties, as the latter two do not absorb moisture well, which can create the perfect warm/moist environment for yeast to multiply in.

  • Tampons : Believe it or not, traditional tampons are treated with bleach and other chemicals and pesticides which can cause unpleasant reactions in your vagina. This can lead to irritation and an imbalance in natural flora. If you insist on using tampons, consider using organic tampons to avoid these chemicals -- and if you want to avoid the TSS risk at the same time, consider trying a fabulous Mooncup menstrual cup.

  • Condoms/Spermicides : Some women, like myself, are allergic to both spermicides and latex. This makes us a personal favorite of candida, which can often flourish after contact with either one. If you have this issue, see my article on latex-free condoms so you can avoid this situation whilst still engaging in safe sex.

  • Chemicals : Some chemicals can irritate the vagina, leading to an overgrowth of yeast. Personally, I have to be careful with certain bubble baths – if they are natural, everything’s cool. If it’s something overly commercial, hello yeast infection. The same goes for colored or scented toilet paper, scented pads and tampons, etc.

  • Hormonal imbalance : Anyone with a whacked out set of hormones is more prone to getting yeast infections. Pregnant women, women receiving hormone injections, or treatments for other types of illness. If you sense a yeast infection coming on due to one of these issues, you may want to start treatment in the early stages to prevent it getting out of hand – but you may also want to wait and see if the problem auto-corrects once your hormones get back in line.

  • Sexual contact : You can get a yeast infection from your sexual partner, whether heterosexual or homosexual. Yes, you read that right: Men can get yeast infections. So if you’ve got one, it’s best to treat both you and your partner at the same time.


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