5 Reasons You Keep Getting Thrush And Cystitis
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If you’ve had the pleasure of experiencing a yeast infection in all of its itchy glory, then you aren’t alone.
In fact, you're in the majority. According to the CDC, 75% of women will have at least one yeast infection in their life and 40 to 45% will have two or more.
“Yeast infections are probably the most common type of infection a woman can get vaginally,” says Fahimeh Sasan, M.D., an ob-gyn at Mount Sinai. “But while some people never get them, others have them often.” Some women even get recurring yeast infections, medically known as recurrent vulvovaginal candidiasis (RVCC), four or more times a year.
Not sure if you have one? According to the CDC, yeast infections can be characterised by a majorly dry, sore or itchy vagina, and/or super painful vagina during intercourse. Still not sure? Check down there. If you can see, in the CDC's words, a “thick, curdy vaginal discharge,” chances are you've got a yeast infection.
Of course, see your doctor no matter what. In fact, Sasan suggests that women who think they might have RVCC talk to their doctor since they might be better ditching over-the-counter medications, like Canesten, for a heavier-duty prescription. We talked to her about some common reasons why your yeast infection keeps coming back.
We hate to kill the mood, but those prone to yeast infections might have noticed that their symptoms flair when they are intimate with a new partner.
“Yeast infections are caused by an imbalance of the natural vaginal flora,” Sasan explains. Every woman has a different, specific combination of bacterias, so if something new—like semen—disrupts the balance of your vaginal environment or pH, a yeast infection might result post sex. Personal lubricants could also throw things off vaginally, so it’s a good idea to opt for hypoallergenic, unscented lubes.
2. DOUCHING OR CLEANING
When it comes to douching your vagina, we have one big piece of advice. . Not only is there no need for it since your vagina is self-cleaning, but it can actually be harmful.
“Douching can disrupt this natural balance that we just talked about,” Sasan says. “Some people say my grandmother told me I could clean with vinegar, but we universally tell women not to clean with anything.” You also might want to avoid scented soaps or products that can cause a vaginal imbalance.
Antibiotics are great because they kill bacteria. Antibiotics can also suck because they kill bacteria—specifically, vaginal bacterias that curb the growth of candida.
“Many women say whenever they take an antibiotic for a sinus infection, they get a yeast infection too,” Sasan says. It’s an unfortunate domino effect that women with RVCC may experience. Talk to your doctor if you think this might be happening to you.
4. TIGHT UNDERWEAR
If you’re a regular at Victoria's Secret, you might want to steer clear of certain racks in the lingerie section. Synthetic underwear materials might lead to more sweat, which can cause bacteria to collect.
“This isn’t universal, but we suggest that some women who tend to be more prone to yeast infections wear cotton underwear because it’s more breathable,” Sasan says. Although she emphasises that “not everyone is like that—some athletes wear spandex every day and never get a yeast infection.”
It turns out that your blood-sugar levels can have some serious repercussions on the state of your underwear. “Yeast grows in high sugar environments,” Sasan says.
So if you have type 2 diabetes that isn’t well-controlled, you may be more susceptible to yeast infections. Consider that another reason to get your blood sugar and/or diabetes under control, be it through medications, exercise, or diet.