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Dealing with yeast infections can be frustrating and uncomfortable, but you're not alone. Your vagina has a natural balance of healthy bacteria and yeast. But when your yeast grows too much it causes an infection. The following things can throw off the balance in your vagina, which can increase your chances of getting yeast infections:  

  • Taking certain medicines, like antibiotics or steroids, can get rid of the good bacteria in your vagina. Good bacteria helps keep yeast in check. 
  • Hormonal changes that can happen in your body, like during your menstrual cycle or pregnancy, can create an environment for yeast to grow.
  • Eating a lot of sugary foods. Yeast thrives on sugar. 
  • Wearing tight pants, a wet bathing suit, damp clothing, or underwear that doesn’t have a breathable cotton crotch area. Yeast tends to thrive when there’s more moisture. 

You can help prevent yeast infections by: 

  • Cleaning your vulva with mild, unscented soap and water regularly. 
  • Wearing breathable, cotton underwear and loose-fitting clothing whenever possible.
  • Changing out of wet bathing suits or clothing as soon as possible. 
  • Avoiding douching, which can disrupt the natural balance of bacteria in your vagina. Your vagina is actually self-cleaning when left alone! 
  • If taking antibiotics, take a probiotic as directed by your nurse or doctor. While there's not enough research yet, some people find that taking probiotics at the same time as antibiotics helps prevent problems.
  • Managing stress (if and where you can!). Deep breathing, meditation, yoga, or mindfulness practices can help reduce stress. Stress can weaken your immune system's ability to control yeast levels. 

Learn more about yeast infections and how to prevent them.

Tags: yeast infections