Most women in the United States will have at least one yeast infection over the course of a lifetime. For some, yeast infections are a recurring problem. Does that sound like you? The uncomfortable symptoms of a vaginal yeast infection are far from pleasant, so it makes sense to look into yeast infection prevention.
At Monrovia Internal Medicine & Primary Care, urgent care specialist Dr. Ulin Sargeant and her team offer discreet, supportive treatment for yeast infections. If you notice yeast infection symptoms like vaginal itching or discharge, contact Dr. Sargeant at her Duarte, California, location for treatment.
And, if you have questions about avoiding yeast infections, you’ve come to the right place! Here’s what you need to know about yeast infection risks and prevention.
When you’ve got a yeast infection
What exactly is a yeast infection, and why are women more prone to yeast infections than men? Yeast infections are a type of fungal infection. Vaginal yeast infections are also known as vaginal candidiasis.
Fungal infections thrive in dark, damp, moist areas. Vaginal yeast infections can become a problem if the fungus is introduced to your genital area and then grows and multiplies. Because of differences between genitalia shape and structure, people with vaginas are more likely to develop yeast infections.
Vaginal yeast infections cause uncomfortable symptoms, including itchiness of your vaginal and vulva tissues, as well as vaginal discharge. When you’ve got a yeast infection, you can tell!
Risk factors to know about
Some situations increase your risk of developing a yeast infection. If you’re pregnant or you have diabetes or a weakened immune system, yeast infections pose a heightened risk.
You should also know that taking antibiotic medications or birth control with high levels of the hormone estrogen makes you more prone to yeast infections.
And, while douches or vaginal sprays may seem like a good way to keep your private area clean, they actually harm your vaginal pH, leaving you more vulnerable to yeast infections. Your vagina is self-cleaning, and doesn’t need to be cleaned with products; simply wash your genitals with soap and water when you shower or bathe.
While a yeast infection isn’t a sexually transmitted disease (STD), some evidence suggests that yeast infections can be related to sexual activity. And, importantly, other STDs can produce symptoms like vaginal itchiness or discharge. It’s important to get STD testing if you notice discharge or discomfort in your genital region.
Preventing yeast infections
You may not be able to prevent every yeast infection. If you do develop symptoms, Dr. Sargeant provides prompt and effective treatment to clear up your case.
But you can take steps to reduce your risk of yeast infections. Here are some helpful tips and tricks:
- Choose breathable fabrics like cotton for underwear to keep your genital area dry
- Watch out for tight garments that increase temperature and moisture around your genitals
- Change out of wet clothes as soon as possible
- Don’t spend too much time in hot tubs or hot baths
- Don’t use scented feminine products
- During your menstrual period, change your pad, tampon, or panty liner frequently
- Always wipe from front to back after going to the bathroom
You may also be able to help your body fight off yeast infections by eating yogurt that contains active cultures or by taking dietary supplements. Be aware that eating too much sugar can give yeasts extra fuel.
With Dr. Sargeant’s help, you can get yeast infections under control and reduce your risk of recurring yeast infections with prevention strategies that work for you.
To learn more, contact Dr. Sargeant and the team at Monrovia Internal Medicine & Primary Care. You can schedule an appointment by calling us today, or visit our virtual office to book your visit.