Causes of Yeast Infections
Most women will experience a yeast infection on at least one occasion. When you’ve had the infection once, you are more likely to suffer from it again. While the infection can be transmitted by sexual contact, it is not considered to be a sexually transmitted disease, and it can occur for a number of reasons. We examine below some causes of yeast infections.
Yeast infections may also be known as “thrush” or candidiasis and is most commonly found in women, although men do occasionally also require treatment. Many women are embarrassed to discuss the symptoms of their yeast infection, as the irritation occurs in the vagina and surrounding tissue. However, with three out of every four woman experiencing this condition, it really isn’t something to be ashamed about or embarrassed to discuss.
Every woman has the fungus Candida within their vagina, alongside other organisms. This is completely normal. Occasionally the balance between the yeast and the surrounding bacteria is disrupted, which allows the yeast to overgrow. This imbalance can occur due to a number of reasons. Some of which are completely innocent and just require a change in personal hygiene, wheile other causes may need further investigation.
Yeast Infection Causes
Yeast infection causes can vary. For example, being prescribed antibiotics for a completely unrelated problem can result in a yeast infection. The ‘normal’ bacteria required to keep the balance in the vagina are destroyed by the antibiotics, along with bacteria we don’t need.
Pregnant women are also more at risk from developing a yeast infection, as their body is undergoing so many hormonal changes. This can be reflected in the delicate balance of the vagina. Likewise, the hormonal imbalance found during menstruation can also have the same effect.
Poor eating habits may also be a culprit, especially if lots of unhealthy, sugary foods have been eaten. Again, it is just the body trying to deal with unwanted changes in the delicate balance. This is also the case if the immune system is weakened due to illness or simply feeling under the weather. Some women also notice a difference in their vulnerability to yeast infections if they get over-tired, or are particularly stressed. This highlights the importance of looking after ourselves in a very basic way to prevent these infections taking hold.
Any action, such as vaginal douching, which may potentially alter the balance can cause this problem. Also, trauma to the area due to a lack of vaginal lubrication can be a trigger.
However, there are occasions when a yeast infection is caused by uncontrolled diabetes. So if you are diabetic, you may need to seek further advice. If you aren’t, but suffer repeated infections, you should discuss this with a doctor to exclude the possibility of diabetes.
But these scenarios are rare and usually the cause is innocent and treatment is relatively simple. Sometimes an anti-fungal cream is enough to resolve the problem. Occasionally a single dose medication is required.
Making basic changes to your personal hygiene can also prevent further episodes. This includes preventive measures such as only wearing cotton underwear, avoiding tight clothing, hot baths and scented soaps or feminine products.
A Summary of Yeast Infection Causes
In the following video, an experienced naturopath reviews what we know about the causes of yeast infections. He lists 11 known common causes. They are:
- Antibiotic drugs
- Antiobiotics in meat
- Inherited or underlying immune dysfunction
- Liberal use of steroids or pharmaceutical drugs
- Alcohol consumption (THE biggest cause of yeast infections)
- Candida-friendly diets
- Methyl mercury from dental filings
- Chlorinated water