Yeast infections. Most of us have had one…or more than one. Unfortunately, summer is prime time for yeast infections—all that sitting around in our wet bathing suits!

Yeast (Candidiasis) infections are vaginal fungal infections, and there are many ways to get one. Some causes or risks factors can include:

  • Certain medications (corticosteroids, antibiotics, oral contraceptives)
  • Incomplete/inadequate treatment of a previous yeast infection
  • Increased frequency of sexual intercourse
  • Douching
  • Pregnancy; hormone therapy
  • Diseases such as HIV and diabetes
  • Tight-fitting clothing

That’s a lot of causes/risk factors! But there are also ways to help prevent them, including:

  • Wearing loose clothing and cotton undies
  • Changing out of wet or sweaty clothing as soon as possible
  • Avoiding hot tubs and very hot baths
  • Not using deodorant tampons or feminine sprays
  • Urinating after intercourse
  • Keeping your vagina clean; using unscented soap and water only

Diet can also improve or worsen yeast infection risk. Alcohol and food high in sugar increase your risk; they change the normal balance of vaginal organisms, allowing yeast to grow. But Lactobacillus organisms (acidophilus) have been found to improve or even prevent some yeast infections—this good bacteria, found in some fermented foods such as yogurt, kefir, soy products, and pickles, help keep yeast from growing.

We hope you’re having a wonderful—and dry—summer!

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