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Beware of these 6 common causes of vaginal yeast infection

Vaginal yeast infection is one of the most common infections that women experience. It’s time to know the factors that cause and increase its risk.
UTI from sex
Image courtesy: Shutterstock
Aishwarya Chopra Updated: 10 May 2021, 12:13 pm IST
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If you have been experiencing burning, itching, redness, and white discharge from the vagina and vulva, then you might have a vaginal yeast infection.

Interestingly, vaginal yeast infections are caused by an imbalance of something that’s already in our body–a type of fungus (yeast) called candida. The imbalance of this yeast in the ecosystem causes it to grow rapidly and lead to a yeast infection.

But what really causes this yeast to grow beyond control and cause an infection? Let’s find out: 

1. Popping antibiotics
Our body has natural healthy bacteria that is essential for sustaining our survival. Although antibiotics are used to kill off harmful bacteria, it may destroy the beneficial bacteria in the body as well and lead to vaginal yeast infection.

How does this happen? One research from the US National Library of Medicine has answers. The slightly acidic environment of the vagina keeps the yeast infection away. Consuming antibiotics disturbs your body’s natural balance of bacteria. They make the vagina less acidic, this creating a playground for yeast infection.

2. Uncontrolled diabetes
High blood sugar levels can actually increase your risk of yeast infection. According to a 2014 research, women with type 2 diabetes are at a higher risk of vaginal yeast infection.

How does blood sugar create vaginal yeast infection? Interestingly, yeast feeds off sugar. Diabetes, when left unchecked, creates a spike in sugar levels and causes an overgrowth of yeast causing an infection.

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3. Being overweight or obese
Who knew that carrying extra body weight can actually increase the risk of a vaginal yeast infection?

vaginal yeast infection
Did you know? Obesity can actually give you vaginal yeast infection! Image courtesy: Shutterstock.

According to the US National Library of Medicine, excess deposits of body fat increase blood sugar levels in the body. And you already know how much yeast loves the sweet stuff? So, it’s one more reason to get healthier, ladies!

4. A weakened immune system
A weakened immune system impacts the body’s natural balance of bacteria. When there’s an imbalance of good and bad bacteria in the vagina, it causes the vagina’s normal acidic state to change and thus, leading to vaginal yeast infection.

5. Wearing tight or synthetic clothing
Well, your tight skinny jeans might be causing a vaginal yeast infection. But how can clothing cause it? Wearing tight jeans, underwear, or a wet swimsuit can increase the body’s heat and moisture in the vagina.

vaginal yeast infection
Think twice before wearing synthetic underwear, girls. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

Yeast thrives in a moisture-filled environment. So it is time to switch to cotton underwear and regularly change out of swimsuits and workout clothes to prevent it.

Also, Read: This is a gynaecologist’s guide to underwear hygiene for a healthy vagina

6. Hormonal imbalance
Whether it’s your birth control or pregnancy that’s causing it–any changes in your hormonal profile can cause vaginal infection.

vagial yeast infection
Birth control pills can have a toll on your vaginal health. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

Studying the impact of hormonal imbalance, researchers in the Journal of Innovations in Pharmaceuticals and Biological Sciences state hormonal imbalance can lead to an increase in glycogen production. This creates a feeding ground for yeast to thrive in and thus causing candida vaginitis.

So there you go ladies. Eat right, work out, and wear breathable clothing to keep your vagina from turning into a playground for yeast.

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