Women from all walks of life are susceptible to yeast infections. This infection is caused by an increase in the number of candida albicans that are present in the body. Here are some things you should know to reduce the risk of getting this condition.
- Poor hygiene can increase your risk of getting yeast infection.
- Women with HIV infection, AIDS and diabetes are susceptible to this condition.
- The use of certain medicines like birth control pills, steroids, and antibiotics may lead to yeast infection.
- Pregnancy and stress increase your risk of developing this condition.
Signs and Symptoms
The primary symptom of yeast infection is itchiness in the genital area.
Some other symptoms are:
- Burning sensation in the genital area
- Dysuria or painful urination
- Presence of rash or redness on the vulva
- Swelling of the vulva for severe cases.
If you experience any of these symptoms, it’s wise to consult your doctor. Other infections, like Gonorrhea also have the same symptoms. Knowing the correct diagnosis will help you get the right treatments immediately and avoid further complications.
Good hygiene is very important. Wash your vagina frequently, especially after urinating or defecating. Wipe the area dry from front to back to avoid spreading bacteria to your vagina. A moist environment leads to an overgrowth of microorganisms that cause yeast infection.
Wear cotton underwear. Nylon and Lycra are not good materials for underwear because they don’t provide adequate airflow and make a good breeding site for candida albicans.
Use water-based lubricants during sexual intercourse. If vaginal dryness is a problem, it’s safer to use water-soluble lubricants like KY jelly than petroleum-based lubricants.
Use unscented sanitary napkins and pantyliners. Scented products may cause irritation to the genital area.
Limit douching. This process alters the environment in your vagina and removes your body’s natural protection from harmful microorganisms.
Don’t let other people use your towels and washcloths. It’s very unhygienic to share personal items. You never know what you might get from sharing these things.
Eat vegetables daily and snack on yogurt. Vegetables will boost your immune system, allowing you to naturally fight off infections and other diseases. Yogurt contains acidophilus, a good bacteria needed by your body to stop the growth of bad bacteria.
Lessen your sugar intake. Sugar hastens the growth of microorganisms that cause yeast infection.
Following proper hygiene practices is the key to avoiding yeast infection. If you suspect that you have this condition, consult your doctor immediately. It’s never wise to self-medicate even if there are over the counter medicines for this infection. You will never know what the real problem is until you talk to a health professional.