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What Causes Yeast Infections in Women? Find Out Here

What Causes Yeast Infections in Women? Find Out Here

Yeast infections might be common in women, but it doesn’t mean that you should not take necessary precautions. Knowing what causes yeast infections in women can help you take precautionary measures to lower your risk of developing this condition.

What Causes Yeast Infections in Women?

Yeast infections happen when there is an overgrowth of candida, a type of fungal yeast. This fungi is commonly present in our bodies and is usually found on the skin, in the mouth, throat, gut, and the vagina.

For the most part, candida doesn’t cause any serious problems, as the body keeps the population of this yeast under control. However, there are certain things that can trigger a sudden growth of candida, and these are what causes yeast infections in women.

How to Stop Recurring Vaginal Yeast Infections

Hormonal Changes

Hormonal changes caused by pregnancy, contraceptive pills, or even the menstrual cycle, can potentially cause a yeast infection. This happens because too much of the hormone estrogen can trigger an overgrowth of the fungi. This in turn causes women to experience the symptoms associated with yeast infections.

It’s also possible that hormonal changes can kill or disrupt the balance of certain types of bacteria in the vagina. These bacteria are usually responsible for keeping candida in check, but if there is an imbalance, then it results in a yeast infection.

The best way of dealing with this would be to treat it with antifungal medicine as soon as possible. If it keeps coming back, don’t hesitate to talk to your doctor about it.

what causes yeast infections in women

Diabetes

Diabetes is another possible cause of a yeast infection. Persons with diabetes tend to have higher blood sugar levels in their body, and this also means that their urine has a higher concentration of sugar.

Because yeast feeds on sugar, diabetes can cause the candida population to grow out of control. This then results in a yeast infection.

In order to prevent this from happening, it would be best to keep your blood sugar levels under control. This helps normalize the sugar in your urine, and lowers the risk of yeast infection.

Weakened Immune System

Another possible cause of yeast infections in women is having a weakened immune system. This can be due to a number of things, such as having HIV, undergoing chemotherapy, or having other conditions that compromise your immune system.

This happens because your immune system is unable to keep the candida population in your vagina in check. This results in the fungi growing out of control, and causing you to have a yeast infection.

Unsafe Sex

One interesting cause of yeast infections in women is having unsafe sex. Yeast infections are not contagious, and are not considered as sexually transmitted diseases, so how can unsafe sex cause it to happen?

The reason is that your body chemistry might have a reaction to your partner’s genital bacteria and yeast. This can disrupt the balance of your own genital bacteria and yeast, which can lead to a yeast infection.

what causes yeast infections in women

Taking Antibiotics

Lastly, frequent use of certain antibiotics (broad spectrum antibiotics) will increase your risk of having yeast infections. This is because antibiotics don’t really discriminate between beneficial and harmful bacteria in the body.

This means that whenever you’re taking antibiotics, you’re also killing off some of the good bacteria in the body. It’s possible that antibiotics can kill off the bacteria that keeps the candida population from growing out of control, and this results in a yeast infection.

This is also the reason why some women notice that they develop yeast infections right after taking antibiotics.

Key Takeaways

Yeast infections are a treatable condition. Most over-the-counter antifungal medication should work in treating an infection. However, if you have a recurring infection, or you’re experiencing more serious symptoms, it would be best to talk to your doctor.

Learn more about Women’s Health Issues here.

Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Sources

Vaginal Yeast Infections: Treatment, Causes, Prevention & Symptoms, https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diseases/5019-yeast-infections, Accessed December 3, 2020

Yeast infection (vaginal) – Symptoms and causes – Mayo Clinic, https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/yeast-infection/symptoms-causes/syc-20378999, Accessed December 3, 2020

Vaginal Candidiasis | Fungal Diseases | CDC, https://www.cdc.gov/fungal/diseases/candidiasis/genital/index.html, Accessed December 3, 2020

Vaginal yeast infections | womenshealth.gov, https://www.womenshealth.gov/a-z-topics/vaginal-yeast-infections, Accessed December 3, 2020

What is a Yeast Infection? | Symptoms, Signs and Causes, https://www.plannedparenthood.org/learn/health-and-wellness/vaginitis/what-yeast-infection, Accessed December 3, 2020

Yeast Infection After Period: Causes, Treatments, and Home Remedies, https://www.healthline.com/health/womens-health/yeast-infection-after-period, Accessed December 3, 2020

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Written by Jan Alwyn Batara Updated Jun 10
Medically reviewed by Jobelle Ann Dela Cruz Bigalbal, M.D.
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