Aug 05 2009

Yeast Infection

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The vagina contains many living bacteria. These are essential to keep the vagina in good healthy working order. In order for the bacteria to stay healthy and balanced, the vagina must stay at the correct pH level and your hormones must stay at the correct levels. When there are to many or to little bacteria, you will develop an infection.


When the pH balance of the vagina change, the Candida bacteria can start to grow out of control. This bacteria is found naturally in all healthy vaginas. It is thus not a bacteria that are introduced from outside but merely an out of control growth of the already present bacteria, This imbalance in the Vagina can however be caused by introducing something from outside into the vagina, your diet or medicine.

Antibiotics and Steroids

High glucose levels




  • Feeling: Itching inside the vagina and vulva. If there is a cut or raw area, it can burn. Vaginal soreness, irritation or burning. Burning on urination. Painful vaginal intercourse.
  • Secretions: White, thick and lumpy like cottage cheese secretions.
  • Smell: Yeasty or Fishy. The fishy smell is especially noticeable after intercourse.
  • Look: Rash or redness on the skin outside the vagina and lumpy discharge


Treatment for Yeast Infections:

  • Over the counter:

  • Home Treatments:

    • Natural, unsweetened, unflavored yogurt containing live L. Acidophilus culture (these are most unsweetened and unflavored natural yogurts found on supermarket shelves)
    • Rub a thin layer of the yogurt inside your vagina and around the vaginal opening in the vulva.
    • Eat the yogurt regularly or take L. Acidophilus capsules (found in health stores or aisles).


Avoiding yeast infections

These are just guidelines. If you are not prone to get yeast invections, they are of little interest. If you do however get regular yeast infections, this will help:


  • Wear loose cotton underwear (or no underwear when possible): Yeast grows in moist warm places. Wear loose cotton underwear to control moisture and allow the genitals to breathe.

  • Avoid the use of pantyhose: Pantyhose trap moisture and heat and are a breeding ground for yeast. Stop wearing pantyhose or wear high quality stockings or thigh high stockings.

  • Avoid tight pants: Tight pants trap heat and moisture close to the vulva. Wear skirts or loose pants whenever possible.

  • Avoid underwear altogether when possible: When you can get away with it, avoid wearing underwear at all. This is especially true at home and when you sleep. Wear a gown covering you up but no panties.

  • Sterilize your underwear before wearing again: Normal washing in a washing machine does not sterilize underwear thoroughly and can allow you to be reinfected if the proper measures are not taken. Here are some suggestions for sterilization:

    1. Soak in a bleach solution
    2. Boiling
    3. Steam ironing

    Also, if using a cervical birth control device (cap/diaphragm), it needs to be sterilized.

Toilet and Bathroom

  • Wipe from the front to the back after a bowel movement or urination: Avoid getting feces into your vulva and vagina at all costs. This is a common way to pick up a yeast infection.

  • Bath instead of shower: Bathing is the best way to eradicate some of the yeast in the vaginal area. Avoid using soap in this area, because soap does nothing to yeast. It can actually make a yeast infection worse by killing off some of the beneficial bacteria that balance out the amounts of yeast in the vagina.

  • Dry thoroughly after bathing and swimming: Make sure to dry the genital area very well after bathing or swimming as the moisture left in the pubic hair can encourage the growth of yeast.


  • Eat Yogurt to maintain the delicate balance of yeast in the body: Yogurt which contains live cultures of L. Acidophilus (not pasteurized) can help prevent yeast infections. L. Acidophilus is also available in pill form and can be purchased at health food store and super market.

  • Avoid sugary foods: Yeast infections can be reduced by 90%  by eliminating or reducing your sugar intake. Alcohol can also cause an increase in yeast since it is composed of fermented sugar.

Birth Control and Sex

  • Birth control pills have been linked to yeast infections: The long term use of birth control pills has been shown to be a cause of yeast infections. You might consider speaking to your health care professional about changing brands of birth control if you get a lot of yeast infections.

  • Use condoms to avoid the spread of yeast infections: Since yeast infections can be spread back and forth between partners, unprotected sex should be avoided at all costs during an infection. Both females and males can get a yeast infection in their genitals. The use of a lubricant can be beneficial for dryness.

  • Suggest that your sexual partner be treated also: If both partners are not treated completely and the yeast infection cured, it will be passed back and forth from one to the other.

  • Make sure that your partner is clean: Make sure your partner is clean and washed up. Dirt and infections can be passed into the vagina by his penis and fingers. If he is uncircumcised, he should wash well under the foreskin. NEVER go from anal play to the vagina without washing first. This goes for anal sex and fingering.

  • Don’t use food for sex play: Avoid putting anything that can contain sugar and flavoring into your vagina. Only use commonly recognized lubricants.


  • Do not use sanitary pads during your menstrual flow: Using tampons instead of pads to allow the area to maintain good air flow to allow the vulva to breathe.

  • Avoid using any chemicals in the vaginal area: Allergic reactions can trigger a yeast infection. Avoid the use of any products that contain chemicals. Douches, bubble baths, scented tampons, scented pads, perfumed soaps and feminine deodorant sprays can cause a flare up of yeast infections. A good rule of thumb…..If it smells good, it is most likely treated with perfumes or chemicals that can irritate the vagina, thus causing infections.

Health and Medicine

  • Take supplements to boost the immune system: A healthy immune system is less likely to allow a yeast infection since yeast infections are caused from an imbalance in the body. Multi vitamins with minerals, exercise, proper diet avoiding lots of sugars, and stopping smoking can boost the immune system and help reduce yeast infections.

  • Get tested for other health problems: Recurring yeast infections can be the sign of other conditions. If you are experiencing a lot of yeast infections, speak to your health care professional about being tested. 

  • Oral fungicides can be very helpful: This is an oral medication that can be taken to combat  Systematic Candida, which is a condition of having yeast widespread throughout the entire body. It can be internal or external and is not limited to only the vaginal area.

  • Avoid antibiotics and steroids unless absolutely necessary: Because antibiotics and steroids can alter the body’s internal balance, they should be avoided. If  you are unable to avoid their use, a vaginal yeast cream may be used at the first sign of an infection.

  • Pay special attention to your body right before your menstrual cycle and when under stress: You will be most susceptible to a yeast infection the week before your menstrual cycle and also during pregnancy as these are the times when your body becomes unbalanced by hormonal changes. Following these steps will encourage a healthy  body and help to maintain good balance between too much and not enough yeast.

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