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Things that make you prone to a yeast infection

Health - By Audrey Masitsa
For Miss V to stay healthy, she needs an optimum level of good bacteria (Photo: Shutterstock)

As a woman, you’ve probably had to go through the horror that is a yeast infection. This is an infection that affects Miss V and is caused when there’s an imbalance in the ‘good bacteria’ that keeps Miss V healthy and functioning properly.

This imbalance occurs when certain factors either reduce the presence of this bacteria or increase it beyond the recommended levels. So what brings about this imbalance?

1. Staying in wet clothes for too long

Bacteria like warmth and moisture. They provide a good environment for bacteria to flourish. To reduce the likelihood of getting a yeast infection all the time, remove wet clothing, e.g. bathing suits and workout clothes, as soon as you finish using them. Take a shower and put on clean, dry, breathable clothes.

2. Taking antibiotics

Antibiotics are commonly given to fight off illness-causing bacteria. However, it is not possible to choose which bacteria the antibiotics attack. They can affect that delicate balance of ‘good bacteria’ thus you may get a yeast infection when you’ve finished a dose of antibiotics. To prevent this, speak to your doctor. He will give you some probiotics which you will take before you start on your medication. This will reduce the chances of getting a yeast infection as a result of taking antibiotics.

3. Sex

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While you can get a yeast infection even when you are not sexually active, changes in your sex life can put you at risk of getting one. A new partner or an increase in the frequency with which you have sex can alter Miss V’s pH, which, in turn, will affect the good bacteria. This will lead to a yeast infection.

4. Douching and vaginal washes

Miss V is self-cleaning. This means that she is quite capable of keeping herself clean. This is thanks to the discharge down there. You, therefore, don’t need to “help” her in any way. Douching, using soap or vaginal washes in Miss V will alter her pH leading to a bacterial imbalance which, in turn, leads to a yeast infection.

5. Oestrogen

An increase in oestrogen due to pregnancy, oral birth control or hormonal therapy can cause a yeast infection.

6. Medical conditions

Certain medical conditions like diabetes or illnesses that lower your immune system can result in a yeast infection. When left unchecked, diabetes can increase your sugar levels which, together with the moisture in Miss V, provide a suitable environment for bacteria to grow. A low immune system slows the body’s ability to fight off illness. As we have seen, an increase in the ‘good bacteria’ in Miss V can cause a yeast infection.

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