How to prevent vaginal yeast infections?

Even though it is almost impossible to prevent them, you can lower your odds by doing these. 

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Woman sitting holding a glass of coffee. / Photo: Pxhere - Reference image

The Woman Post | Luisa Fernanda Báez Toro

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Leer en español: ¿Cómo prevenir las infecciones vaginales por hongos?

As read on Health Line, Yeast is a fungus that can live almost anywhere, even in our bodies, and when too many of it multiplies in the vagina, it causes an infection.

According to WebMD, 75% of women will get at least one yeast infection in their lives, so that means three out of four women.

Several factors, as read on Health Line, can cause a yeast infection: a weak immune system, stress, uncontrolled diabetes, antibiotics as they decrease the amount of good bacteria in your vagina, lack of sleep, poor eating habits, among others. 

They symptoms include a rash, burning and pain during urination or sex, soreness, redness, vaginal itching and swelling around the vagina, and even though it is almost impossible to avoid vaginal yeast infections, there are several things you can do to lower the chances of getting one: 

1. Keep things loose. According to WebMD, tight clothes can boost your body temperature and increase the moisture around your private parts, which raises your chances to get a yeast infection. So, whatever you are wearing: jeans, skirts or underwear, make sure to keep it loose.  

2. Don´t shave. As read on Latestly, pubic hairs create a barrier between your vagina and undesirable virus and bacteria. Removing your hair can inflame the hair follicles of your vagina and leave microscopic wounds, which raises the risks of getting a yeast infection. So keep it comfortable, but protect yourself. 

3. Practice healthy hygiene. According to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), douching is a bad idea since it can kill the good bacteria in your vagina protecting you against infections. So water and soap should work just fine for the outside areas of your vulva and vagina. 

Also read: Be careful with long work hours at the office

4. Change your wet clothes. Wet clothes raise your chances of getting a vaginal infection, so avoid sitting with a wet bathing suit after you go swimming or, as soon as you leave the gym, change those sweaty leggings for dry clothes right away.

5. Use unscented products. According to Health Line, some scented products such as soaps, tampons, pads or detergents can irritate your vagina and cause an imbalance in the natural bacteria. Avoid such products, change your pads regularly and use regular soap and water, that’s all you need. 

6. Reduce stress. As read on Health X Change, there are a few studies that show the correlation between chronic stress and vaginal yeast infections, and it makes sense, stress lowers your body’s immune system. So meditation, Pilates and good sleep habits can boost your overall health and keep vaginal infections far from you. 

7. Wear cotton underwear. Since bacteria thrives in a wet environment, cotton is the best option when it comes to underwear because it absorbs moisture and perspiration better, keeping you dry.