Women's Health Last updated on 2021-11-18 16:26:00
12 Ways To Prevent Vaginal Yeast Infection
- Dr. Sreelekha Daruvuri
- 3 Min Read
- Fact Checked
There are many organisms which live in the vagina and are considered normal to be there. It is known that bacteria and fungi form a symbiotic relation with the human body, living in harmony. They keep the infectious organisms at bay. Most of the infections in the vagina are opportunistic which means the normal microbial environment is disturbed and leads to symptoms. One of the most common infections that affects women is Candidiasis or vaginal yeast infection. Women are often quick to treat vaginal infection symptoms like itching with home remedies. But, it's important to understand that while there are ways to prevent a vaginal yeast infection, its treatment requires the attention of a gynecologist.
Causes of a vaginal yeast infection
The multiple bacteria and fungus including some species of Candida, live in the vagina and do not allow any pathogenic organisms to grow. Also, the acidic pH maintained is lethal to most of the organisms. But when something disrupts the natural microbial barrier, conditions such as vaginal yeast infections can occur.
Symptoms of a vaginal yeast infection
- Itching - Redness - Soreness - Curd like white discharge associated with foul smell
Not all patients will have all the symptoms and the severity also varies. A few patients may have mild itching and discharge which will subside on its own but some might require an anti-fungal treatment for a week or more. There are certain conditions which increase the risk of vaginal yeast infection such as those that compromises our immune system like malignancies, pregnancy, and oral contraceptive pills.
Home remedies for vaginal yeast infections
Fungal infections that occur in the vagina can spread to surrounding parts. It is important to remember that home remedies for the condition are to be treated more like precautionary measures. Popular home remedies found on the internet to remedy fungal infections -such as apple cider vinegar - do not work. In fact, they could actually aggravate the symptoms associated with a vaginal yeast infection. There is no scientific evidence that these "popular ways" can treat the infection.
12 Ways To Prevent Vaginal Yeast Infection
(1) Hygiene: Maintaining proper hygiene of private parts will help in preventing vaginal yeast infections. The vagina is supposed to be cleaned with just soap and water or just water and pat dried. Always follow that "front-to-back" (vagina towards anus) when wiping as this will avoid deposition of microorganisms which reside in anus.
(2) Avoid over cleansing: Harsh soaps, chemicals, and scented napkins will cause irritation and inflammation giving a chance for the microbes to cause infections.
(3) Menstrual hygiene: Whether you choose to wear pads, tampons or mensural cups, remember to change them as needed - most follow the 4-hours rule. If not, the menstrual blood and the moisture will be a perfect environment for the pathogenic organisms.
(4) Wear loose clothes: Tight clothes and panty liners lock the moisture in which can promote overgrowth of bad bacteria. Wearing Cotton, and/or loose clothes will help in proper aeration.
(5) Indulge in a Sitz bath: If there is pain or swelling in the private area, a Sitz bath can be done which involves one sitting in a tub of salt lukewarm water for 10-15 minutes twice a day which can give some relief.
(6) Pubic hair hygiene: Pubic hair infections which can be due to shaving or waxing can be a problem as infections from the surrounding areas also can spread to the vagina. Trimming is considered to be a sager option.
(7) Do not experiment: Do not try any antibiotics as a part of the home remedies for yeast infections as it will only disturb the good bacteria.
(8) Practise safe sex: Prevention is always better than a cure and using contraceptives like condoms can help in preventing spread of infections.
(9) Weight loss: Being over weight could lead to multiple issues like PCOD. But, due to the close adherence of the pubis and thigh region, there is moisture formation which can lead to vaginal infections as well.
(10) Control blood sugar levels: Elevated blood sugar levels have a direct and an indirect effect on vaginal yeast infections.
(11) Vitamin C and E supplements: Taking these vitamin supplements can boost overall immunity. Though there is no substantial evidence that they can prevent vaginal yeast infection directly, they can still help you keep the immune system in proper form.
(12) Eat Yogurt: A few studies have shown the benefits of having yogurt. The good bacteria present in yogurt may help your vagina by balancing acid levels in vaginal fluids.
Should you experience pain or any discomfort in your vagina or other private parts - consult a gynecologist or physician. Do not self-diagnose or self-medicate as this can aggravate your symptoms even more. Despite the fad, don't consume any antibiotics without the prescription of a professional - they also only help in bacterial and not fungal infections. The symptoms of a vaginal yeast infection can be daunting and it also has a recurrence concern. So, an infection in the vagina should be accurately diagnosed and treated based on that diagnosis to avoid any more pain or discomfort for the woman.
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