What Really Causes A Yeast Infection

By: Josee Bedard

Yeast: A Necessary Fungus
Yes, you read that correctly. Yeast is necessary for our bodies, and is always present in a small concentration. However, too much of this fungus will lead to an infection. It is important to understand what causes a yeast infection in order to avoid this painful condition in the future.
Shut Down Yeast's Habitat
Yeast lives in warm, damp areas of the body. If you want to really slice your chances of getting a yeast infection, you should make sure you always wear clean, dry underwear. Tight panties made of synthetic materials are the absolute worst choice if you want to avoid yeast infections. Instead, wear cotton; it breathes much better. You should wear clean panties each day.
Women who do not control their diabetes well enough are more likely to get this condition. This is directly related to the sugar in the urine. Even if you do not have diabetes, it is a good idea to cut back on your sugar intake.
Scented toilet paper, tampons, and feminine deodorant sprays can also cause yeast infections. After exercising or swimming, it is a good idea to change out of the wet or sweaty clothing.
Don't Kill the Yeast-Fighters
This is the tricky part. If you take antibiotics for another kind of infection, you will kill not only the offending bacteria, but the bacteria that would ordinarily get rid of much of the yeast. If you use some types of soap, such as the antibacterial kind, you may be killing these "good" germs in your quest to deodorize. Do not use soap on your vaginal area; the dyes and perfumes can really mess up your pH balance and harm the sensitive tissues. Clothing detergents can cause the same kind of problem, so choose your detergent with care. Do not use douches, as they get rid of the good bacteria. Every time you use antibiotics or antibacterial deodorants, you are clearing the way for yeast to take over and cause an infection.
Other Causes
HIV can also allow yeast infections to occur because it weakens the immune system. If a woman's vagina is injured, a yeast infection may follow. Taking steroids can also heighten your risk of getting this irritating condition.
A woman who has taken chemotherapy can also get a yeast infection. Immunosuppressive drugs are sometimes useful, but they will contribute to your chances of getting a yeast infection. Drugs that belong to the cortisone family will also put you at a greater risk of getting a yeast infection.
Women who are pregnant or on their period are also more likely to get a yeast infection than they are at other times. Whether you wear pads or tampons during your period, you should change them frequently. Stress and sickness can also have a marked impact on your chances of getting this infection.
While some of the factors that can cause a yeast infection cannot be prevented, many of them can be eradicated or reduced.

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