If you’ve ever had a yeast infection, then you know that they are absolutely no fun. These pesky little infections can sneak up when you least expect them. Not to mention, the itching. Fortunately, there are some ways to prevent yeast infections and beat the itch. But first, let’s recap what a yeast infection is for those that might not know.
Yeast Infections Uncovered
Our vagina operates normally in a well-balanced ecosystem, where there’s a mix of yeast and good bacteria. However, when our estrogen levels get out of whack, or we catch a cold that impairs our immune system, the bad bacteria can overtake the good bacteria and cause all you-know-what to break loose. Once that happens, you can say hello to the unforgettable itch caused by yeast infections and might even notice the following:
- Burning when you pee
- Cottage cheese-like vaginal discharge or
- An unpleasant odor from down yonder
Approximately 75% of women experience at least one yeast infection in their lifetime, but some experience them multiple times a year. Whether you’ve never had one (and don’t want one!), experienced it once, or deal with it frequently, you’ll want to keep reading. There are some lifestyle choices you can make to lessen your chances of a yeast infection knocking at your door. So, let’s go ahead and dive into the preventative steps you can take to say buh-bye to yeast infections.
#1 Prevent Yeast With Breathable Underwear
Your favorite all-lace pair may end up lost forever when you start reaching for easy, comfy, and most importantly, breathable underwear. Cotton underwear is the choice many go for, as cotton doesn’t hold onto moisture or heat. Unfortunately, yeast absolutely thrives in moist and dark places. So ditch the polyester panties and go straight for cotton. Or, at least a pair with cotton lining in the crotch.
#2 Loose Clothing Is Not Just Comfy…
Loose clothing prevents areas of your body from getting hot and stuffy like they would with tight and restrictive clothing. As with underwear, wearing tight jeans can lock in heat and moisture around your vaginal area. This can create a recipe for disaster and discomfort. Wear loose clothing to keep a nice steady airflow throughout your body. Make the decision to ditch tight clothing that is uncomfortable, and that isn’t doing any favors against your odds of contracting a yeast infection.
#3 Skip Douching To Prevent Yeast
Douching has widely been regarded as a big no-no when it comes to actively maintaining good vaginal health. Though practicing good hygiene is a must, the act of douching and throwing in scented products into your vaginal cleaning routine can throw your vaginal pH into a funk. Douching disrupts your vagina’s balanced bacteria and actually eliminates some of the good bacteria that keep everything in order.
As previously mentioned, a disruption of vaginal bacteria is the leading cause of a yeast infection. So here’s the deal: skip douching and skip overly harmful scented products. And if you’re interested in flushable wipes that can refresh your vaginal area, are hypoallergenic, and are created with maintaining a healthy vaginal pH balance in mind, then we’ve got you covered here at Lily Bird.
#4 If We’re Talking Good Hygiene…
Good hygiene is, of course, key to maintaining a happy vagina. Though we’ve gone over the basics of scented products and douching above, there are the usual precautions of good hygiene with the vagina. What are the basics, you may ask? Wiping front to back after going to the bathroom is one. Also, make sure to change your tampons/cups/pads regularly (every 4-8 hours) when on your period. That goes for bladder leak pads as well for when dealing with incontinence.
In addition, be sure to change out of wet clothes. Sure, you might want to show off your favorite swimsuit or maybe even your sweaty but cute gym outfit, but it could cause more harm than good. It’s best to just stick to yeast infection prevention.
#5 Managing Diabetes
Keeping your blood sugar levels and diabetes under control is beneficial for your health overall, but it can also help you prevent yeast infections. When it comes to maintaining blood sugar levels at a healthy level, a diet rich in protein and leafy greens is extremely beneficial. Probiotics, which are a popular healthy bacteria found in yogurt and supplements, are also extremely beneficial to throw into your diet for yeast infection prevention, whether you have diabetes or not.
Tips Revealed To Prevent Yeast
A yeast infection is not something any of us want to get. This pesky little infection may develop symptoms out of nowhere. Leaving you red, itchy, and achy in your vaginal area, which is never fun. Though it is common for women to get a yeast infection, there are still preventative measures to lower your odds of getting one. It can really all come down to a few things. Incorporating lifestyle choices, maintaining good vaginal hygiene, and avoiding heat and moisture in the vaginal area are a good place to start. So use this as an excuse to buy some loose beautiful new pants or underwear sets, as well as your favorite yogurt!
By Jessica Thomas, MPH