Have you been getting a yeast infection during periods? Well, it could be the outcome of poor menstrual hygiene along with various other reasons. Menstrual cycle itself is an uncomfortable phase that occurs every month. In addition to experiencing unpleasant symptoms like bloating, mood swings, and cramps, certain women may be prone to getting a yeast infection during the period cycle and sometimes before and after it as well. No matter what causes it, every woman who has it simply wants to get rid of it ASAP. So, here you’ll find the solution.
HealthShots spoke to Dr Thejaswini J, Consultant – Obstetrician and Gynaecologist, Motherhood Hospitals, Electronic City, Bengaluru to understand what causes infection before and during menstrual cycle and how you can manage it.
Dr Thejaswini says, “A yeast infection in your vagina occurs due to the increased growth of the Candida fungus because of intense hormonal fluctuations in the body.”
She adds, “Your estrogen levels are at their peak before your menstrual cycle begins and plummet as your periods begins. Even progesterone follows a similar pattern. Estrogen in particular is responsible for the overgrowth of the Candida albicans fungus, which is known to cause yeast infections.” There could be a possibility that you may get a yeast infection around the same time every month. This condition is called cyclic vulvovaginitis.
A yeast infection can present itself in the form of symptoms like discharge, inflammation, rashes, persistent itchy sensations, pain and swelling in the vagina. These symptoms can also include burning or stinging sensations, especially during sex or urination.
A yeast infection can be diagnosed by a medical professional by a simple physical examination. At times, sample cells from the impacted area are sent to the lab for investigation, especially if you have been experiencing a yeast infection frequently. Dr Thejaswini says, “Such an infection can usually be treated with over-the-counter antifungal medication. You can be prescribed antifungal ointments, creams, suppositories, or even oral medication for a certain number of days.”
Also, read: Beware of these infections if you’re into poor menstrual hygiene practices
Apart from this treatment, you can control or lower your chance of contracting a vaginal infection by being mindful of your menstrual hygiene and keeping your vagina clean and fresh.
1. Eat probiotics: If you are prone to getting yeast infections, you can try increasing your probiotic food intake, such as yogurt, to help multiple good bacteria.
2. Change your underwear daily: Always wear clean underwear and don’t wear wet or sweaty clothing for too long.
3. Change sanitary napkins from time to time: wearing sanitary pads, menstrual cups and tampons can lead to infection. Change the pad and tampons at least after 5-6 hours and make sure you clean the menstrual cup properly.
4. Avoid pad rash: Sometimes menstrual cycles result in rashes. Try to avoid it by using ointment and changing pad time to time to reduce the risk of infection.
5. Stay hydrated: It is the most important thing to keep in mind. Staying hydrated helps flush out toxins, bacteria and maintain pH balance as well.
6. Don’t use scented products: Avoid using scented soaps on your vagina because they can irritate the skin, and avoid using douche.
7. Shower daily: Don’t forget to take a shower especially before and during the menstrual cycle. It will help you stay fresh and clean and will reduce the risk of infection.
8. Keep vagina dry and clean: Wash your vagina simply with lukewarm water, but don’t wash it on the inside.
9. Keep vagina moisturised: Vaginal area is so delicate and it needs to be moisturised. You can use coconut oil or any other non fragranced moisturiser to avoid dryness.
10. Avoid sugar spicy foods: Try reducing your sugar and spicy foods intake as sugar facilitates yeast’s ability to thrive in your body.
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