We are all about wanting our community of women to feel empowered. And when it comes to vaginas, we understand that your vaginal health is important. This includes preventing yeast infections whenever possible.
Let’s be honest, things can get messy down there once in a while.
Yeast infections are a very common infection most women deal with multiple times in their life. But while most of us deal with yeast infections, do we understand what it actually is and why it has happened?
There are a lot of misconceptions around yeast infections and why we get them. But a yeast infection, also known as candidiasis, is a common infection. If you are able to understand why this pesky little infection occurs, you are more likely to be able to prevent it in the future.
You are far from being the only one to deal with things like yeast infections, and we are here to guide you through everything you need to know.
What Is A Yeast Infection?
A yeast infection generally occurs in a female’s vagina as a result of pH balance, bacterial balance, and yeast balance becoming skewed.
Our vaginas naturally hold a healthy amount of bacteria along with yeast, but when that balance is no longer there, yeast overgrowth can creep in. This can cause you to experience significant discomfort from things like itching and swelling in the vaginal area.
For most ladies, the symptoms remain mild enough and go away in a couple of days. Sometimes, however, they can stick around for a couple of weeks.
How do I know if I have a yeast infection?
All women experience their symptoms for yeast infections differently. But in general, here are the main symptoms to look out for.
- – Your vaginal area will feel irritated and itchy
- – Your vagina will likely be swollen and inflamed
- – You will feel a burning sensation when you go to the bathroom or when you are having sex
- – Your vaginal area feels really sore and tender, often with a rash as well
- – You will have smelly vaginal discharge that is often white and chunky
What exactly causes it?
As we explained earlier, yeast infections occur as a result of your bacterial levels becoming imbalanced.
But what causes those levels to become imbalanced in the first place? Here are some common things that may cause you to develop a yeast infection:
- – You are taking antibiotics: when you take medicine like antibiotics, one of the most common side effects for females is getting a yeast infection. This is because the majority of antibiotics will send bacteria into your body to fight off another infection somewhere else.
- – Sex disrupted your bacterial balance: While many people that sex can cause a yeast infection, it is not the act of sex does not cause yeast infections. It is the aftermath of sex that can lead to yeast infections. The amount of heat that goes on down there can have a drastic impact on the bacteria levels in the vagina.
- – You’re pregnant: Many pregnant women also experience yeast infections. Their hormone levels, blood circulation, and diet change drastically during this time causing vaginal changes.
- – Your self-care has slipped: Stress and an unhealthy diet play a large role in the risk level of developing a yeast infection. This is why women who tend to make unhealthy decisions find themselves more prone to yeast infections.
- – Your period hygiene may not have been the best: Your period also plays a role in the likelihood of you developing a yeast infection. For many women, they experience a yeast infection either right before or after their time of the month. This is usually because of changes in hormone levels or forgetting to change pads/tampons often enough.
What can I do to prevent infections?
Good news, ladies! It is not all doom and gloom when it comes to yeast infections.
There are a range of life hacks and tricks we can implement to lower the risk of getting a yeast infection and dealing with one if we do get it.
Here are some of our top tricks to try out.
#1: Invest in a cleanser/wash specifically designed for your vagina
This one sounds simple, but it can make a whole world of difference. There are great cleansers like our own pH Balanced Vaginal Wash to help keep yeast infections from occurring. They are designed to use ingredients specifically for the health of your vagina. Ours in particular uses apple cider vinegar for its antibacterial, anti inflammatory, and pH-balancing properties.
So treat yourself to a Vee-specific cleanser to ensure the bacteria levels remain on point!
#2: Prescription and over the counter remedies can help
While some antibiotics and medicine can cause you to get a yeast infection, there are actually prescriptions designed specifically to help you get rid of them as well. They come in all forms like creams or suppository tablets. If you haven’t used any of these options before talk with your doctor first. They can help you figure out what’s best for you.
#3. Natural remedies can go a long way, too!
Take matters into your own hands and try out some awesome at-home remedies to treat and prevent yeast infections.
One of our personal favorites is our VeeCleanse Boric Acid Suppository Kit. Boric acid has amazing antifungal properties that can actually reduce and control yeast.
#4: Your clothes make a huge difference
Avoid those tight or sweaty clothes, ladies, no matter how good you look in those workout pants.
When your vaginal area is exposed to too much heat or moisture of any sort for too long, you create a higher risk of getting a yeast infection.
So, strip off the sweaty clothes right after your sweat session and change out of that bikini when you’re all done at the beach. Replace your outfit with more breathable clothes that allow that area down there to cool down a bit.
#5: Look after yourself in general
As we mentioned earlier, stress and a poor diet are two of the biggest factors in increasing your risk of developing a yeast infection. So one of the biggest tricks to preventing them is to just look after yourself.
Eat those fruits and veggies, avoid processed sugar (except for those occasional treats), go to a yoga class, get fresh air, and create a life for yourself that is all about your health and wellbeing!
So, to wrap up this chat about yeast infections, we want to leave you with a few points of reflection.
First, you are not in this alone, and getting a yeast infection is nothing to be ashamed of!
Second, there are a range of factors that can cause a yeast infection, and the best form of protection is knowledge—so understand what might have caused yours so you can be proactive about preventing future recurrences.
Third, there are so many life hacks that you can adapt to help prevent one from happening to you.
At the end of the day, your body and your vagina is unique to just you, so your plan of attack will be different from others. But with so many ways to look after that very special area down there, take comfort in knowing you’re supported, and you’ve got this girl!
Sarah Nelson is a nurse with 15 years of experience working with a variety of patients. She has a Masters of Science in Nursing and has spent a large portion of her career working exclusively with women in an OB/GYN setting.
Nursing is a passion for Sarah but she also enjoys writing and sharing her expertise online with people who need helpful information. Treating patients well and helping them learn more about their own bodies is a key essential to a healthy lifestyle that Sarah truly believes in.