Yeast infections are very common in women-- approximately 75% of women have at least one yeast infection in their lifetime. Any woman who has had a yeast infection knows that they are very uncomfortable; common symptoms may include vaginal itching, burning during urination, thick vaginal discharge, redness and irritation of the vulva, and vaginal soreness or pain. It is relatively easy to treat a yeast infection, but there are several things you can do to help prevent these annoying infections from occurring at all. Use the following tips to lower your chances of getting a yeast infection:
Keep Yourself Dry
Yeast thrives in moist environments, which can result in yeast overgrowth, and eventually a full-blown yeast infection. One of the easiest ways to help prevent yeast infections is by keeping your genital area as dry as possible. Make sure you dry yourself thoroughly before getting dressed after a shower, and avoid wearing a wet bathing suit or sweaty workout clothes for a prolonged period of time.
The vagina is a very sensitive environment with a precise pH level, and bacteria and yeast are always present. Upsetting this delicate balance can cause yeast to begin to overgrow, leading to a yeast infection. Taking a probiotic supplement,or eating yogurt with live cultures is a great way to maintain balance in the vagina and keep yeast infections at bay. Taking probiotics is especially important if you are taking antibiotics, as a course of antibiotics can wipe out the bacteria in your vagina and allow yeast to multiply rapidly. Probiotics can keep yeast at a normal level in the absence of the bacteria that is typically present.
Don't Use Scented Products
Since the vagina is very sensitive, avoid using scented products in that area. Added fragrance in soap, deodorant sprays, and scented tampons can throw off the pH level of the vagina, making it a prime environment for yeast to overgrow. It is always a good idea to use unscented products around the vagina and vulva.
Wear Cotton Underwear
Cotton is a breathable fabric and it can absorb moisture, which makes cotton underwear the best bet for anyone who wants to prevent a yeast infection. When you wear cotton underwear, your vaginal area is more likely to stay drier, making for a more difficult environment for yeast to grow in. You may also want to avoid wearing tight fitting pants or jeans that restrict air flow and cause you to sweat. For more information, contact a gynecologist in your area.
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