Ugh, yeast infections. They’re annoying, itchy, and kinda gross (though thankfully pretty easily treated) — but why do some of us keep getting them, and how can we stop it? Listen up — stuff’s about to get real.
- You stay in sweaty gym clothes. After a gym sesh, change out of your sweaty leggings and underwear! Leaving them on allows bacteria and fungus to grow and that’s a recipe for disaster (and a yeast infection).
- You don’t change out of a damp bathing suit. This can be hard if you’re at the beach or on a boat, but if you can swap bottoms, do so. Trapping old moisture down there is bad news bears.
- You’re on the wrong birth control for your body. A hormonal imbalance can rock your pH balance and cause yeast infections. If you get them chronically, talk to your doctor about a birth control switch.
- You’re on prescription medication. Prescription meds can be your best worst enemy. They can clear up one thing, but also cause the yeast infection by killing the good bacteria. If you need to take a heavy medication, ask the doc for a preemptive yeast infection pill.
- You’re pregnant. Hormones again, ladies. Changes in your body can cause yeast infections… damn.
- You douche or use a vaginal spray. These are not good for you! So stop using them. The fragrance and unnatural ingredients upset your lady parts and can cause a yeast infection. Your vagina doesn’t need any help being beautiful, promise.
- You have a weak immune system. This is pretty self-explanatory. If your immune system is weak, you will get infections. Amp up the vitamin C, take a daily probiotic, get plenty of sleep, and treat your body well.
- You’ve recently had sex with someone that also had a yeast infection. Although a yeast infection is not an STI, it works the same way. If he has one and you don’t use protection, then you could get it.
- You spend a lot of time in hot baths or hot tubs. Too much exposure to warm moisture encourages an overgrowth of yeast — yuck.
- You wear suffocating underwear. Cotton underwear is the way to go if you want to let your vag breathe… so ditch the latex and spandex underoos.
- You don’t change out feminine care items often enough. OK, so I know this one is gross, but it’s true and important. If you’re on your period, you need to change your feminine item of choice frequently.
- You use scented feminine hygiene products. Not only do you need to change your products, make sure you aren’t using anything with added scents or colors. They’re so so bad for you and the health of your vagina!
- You eat a lot of sugar. Sugar promotes yeast growth (like in bread, gross) so decrease your sugar intake and you’ll decrease the likelihood of getting a yeast infection.
According to womenshealth.gov about five percent of women get four or more vaginal yeast infections in one year. It’s a condition called recurrent vulvovaginal candidiasis (RVVC), and it’s more common in women with diabetes or weak immune systems, but it can also happen in otherwise healthy women, too.