20 Tips to Prevent Yeast Infection

20 Tips to Prevent Yeast Infection
January 23, 2014 5:25 PM

The yeast infection, a fungal disease, is characterized by burning and irritable sensation around the vaginal area in females. However, these infections can occur in both genders in any part of the body like mouth, esophagus, skin and blood stream. Most women are familiar with the concept of yeast infection as more than 75% ladies in the world suffer from it in their lifetime. Although men are also vulnerable to this infection, women are mostly infected by it.

Tips to get rid of yeast infection

Although yeast infection is quite painful, the good news is that it can be treated quite easily and usually the infection is cured within a week or two. Following are some tips to get rid of yeast infection.

Tip 1: Wash the affected area well

Yeast infection is the result of poor hygiene. If you’re in the habit of taking bath and cleaning your genitals regularly, you’re less likely to get these infections. Even after you get an infection, you should start off by thoroughly cleaning the affected area with water. 

Tip 2: Dry the area thoroughly

Yeasts thrive in moist area. You should take a bath regularly but should also dry yourself after that. If you remain wet for a long time you’re indirectly giving the yeast an opportunity to grow and thrive. So you should dry yourself, especially the genitals, after taking a shower or bath.

Tip 3: Wear cotton underwear

As already mentioned, yeast infection thrives in moist areas especially genitals. So cotton underwear should be worn as cotton inhibits the growth of yeast by absorbing moisture and precipitation better. 

Tip 4: Reduce stress

Some studies have shown a relation between stress and yeast infections. Stress lowers the body’s immune system since the level of cortisol rises during stressful periods and cortisol, in turn, suppresses immunity. Yeast, being an opportunistic pathogen, takes advantage of reduced immunity and causes infection. So you should live a stress free life. And for relieving stress, a person should adopt exercise and meditation.

Tip 5: Loosen yourself

Wearing tight pants is fine for special occasions like a date or going out. But wearing tight jeans every day can put you at risk of yeast infection. However, this doesn’t mean that you should be wearing loose pants all the time. All you need to do is to wear such clothing which allows your genitals to remain cool and dry.

Tip 6: Take yogurt

Every antibiotic destroys good bacteria present in the body. So if you are on antibiotics, you need to consume yogurt as it contains good bacteria (lactobacillus acidophilus) inside it. These probiotic bacteria inhibit the growth of opportunistic fungus. 

Tip 7: Change your clothes

Don’t wear sweaty clothes for longer periods of time. Change your clothes as soon as possible. You should also change your underwear to avoid dampness as yeast grows in damp and moist environments.

Tip 8: Changing your diet plan

Several studies have suggested that a change in diet may help in fighting off yeast infection. Dunham, a famous gynecologist, suggests a reduction in the intake of sugar might lower the chances of vaginal thrush - since yeast use sugar as a source of food. 

Tip 9: Limiting body heat

Yeasts usually grow in warm and moist environments. So to avoid yeast from growing, avoid taking long baths and showers. When you do take a long bath, be sure to dry yourself thoroughly afterwards.

Tip 10: Sleep well

The immune system usually keeps yeast under control. However, if a person doesn’t sleep for an appropriate period of time, the immune system will fail to do its job. So it is necessary to keep a regular sleep schedule as proper sleep is critical for normal immune functions. You should avoid exercising or taking caffeine for at least three hours before your sleep time.

Tip 11: Watch your medications

You need to be concerned about the medications you take. The reason behind this is that antibiotics not only kill bad bacteria, but they also kill the good bacteria which are preventing the growth of yeast. If you are suffering from a yeast infection, avoid taking oral steroids and birth control pills. You may also want to consult your doctor about the medications you take; doctor may suggest you some alternative medicine.

Tip 12: Maintain a good hygiene

Yeast is usually passed through sexual intercourse between partners. However, it can also be passed to children through different kinds of activities like sharing a bath. To make sure that your kids don’t inherit the infection from you, avoid taking bath and sharing your towel with your children. Moreover, you should also wash your hands more frequently, especially after using the bathroom.

Tip 13: Use boric acid

Several studies have proven that the use of boric acid is a safe and an effective treatment for yeast infection. Boric acid capsules are available in market. You can take them whenever you feel an itching sensation. However, you should consult your doctor before taking boric acid capsules to avoid any kind of complications. Pregnant and expected women should avoid taking these capsules.

Tip 14: Use fungal creams

Fungal creams are available in the market which should be used only on the prescription of a doctor. Two popular fungal creams are miconazole and clotrimazole. Apply the medication as directed inside the package. You need to complete the full course treatment of the creams to see long term results.

Tip 15: Eat foods for cure

Cranberry juice has been recommended by dieticians to fight off fungal infections as it acidifies the body secretions including vaginal secretions, thus equipping them to fight yeasts. Garlic cloves may also prevent yeast infection as garlic has antifungal properties. 

Tip 16: Use herbs

To relive the itching and burning sensation, you can use of herbs. For this purpose, make a tea of rosemary and use it as a douche on the affected area. You can also make thyme tea for this purpose using 1 table spoon of dried thyme per 1 cup of water. 

Tip 17: Avoid sex

If you are already suffering from a yeast infection, it is advisable to avoid sex for some time as sex can spread the yeast infection to your partner. However if you still want to have sex, you should use condom for preventing the transferring of infection.

Tip 18: Avoid scents

Don’t use scents or any kind of scented material in the vaginal area. Use of scents can lead to a pH imbalance in that area. This in turn, will lead to the growth of yeasts.

Tip 19: Don’t douche

Although douching (washing the vaginal area with liquid) destroys harmful bacteria, it also destroys the bacteria working to inhibit yeast infection. Moreover, douching also destroys the protective lining of vagina, making it more vulnerable to other infections.

Tip 20: Talk to Your Sexual Partner

Yeast treatment, as already mentioned can spread through sex. If only you are treated, it isn’t the end of the story as you can again get yeast infection from your sexual partner. So you need to talk to your sexual partner about it and get him or her treated too.  

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Written by: Michal Vilímovský (EN)
Education: Medical student, 3rd Faculty of Medicine, Charles University, Prague, Czech Republic
Published: January 23, 2014 5:25 PM
Next scheduled update: January 23, 2016 5:25 PM
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