According to OBGYN Montgomery County Dr. Rania Ibrahim, what you eat, what you wear, and even how much you sleep can cause a yeast infection. She advised that modifying some everyday habits can alleviate yeast infection symptoms and reduce the odds that you will contract a vaginal infection.
Many women don’t realize that they have the ability to reduce their chances of developing a yeast infection. If you’ve had more than two yeast infections in a year, consider making a few of these lifestyle changes to reduce your risk of developing another one.
Control Your Sweet Tooth: A diet high in refined carbohydrates, such as white sugar, white flour, white rice, bagels, sugary sweets and alcohol has led some women to experience vaginal itching, odor, and other classic signs of a yeast infection. Elevated levels of blood sugar may also affect the immune system, so women with weakened immune systems are at higher risk for yeast infection because the body can’t fight off the yeast.
Clean Out Your Closet: Your OBGYN Montgomery County warns that tight jeans, thongs, and underwear not made from cotton don’t allow air to circulate around your vagina, and yeast thrives in moist, dark environments. The increased moisture caused by these clothes creates the perfect environment for yeast to grow. If you experience recurrent yeast infections, switch to cotton underwear and alternate between jeans and clothes that allow better air flow.
Sleep Soundly: Tossing and turning all night or not getting a full eight hours of sleep can lead to a weakened immune system, so getting a restful sleep helps your body repair itself and maintain optimal health. A weakened immune system can also lead to higher levels of naturally occurring vaginal acidity, which lowers your vagina’s pH level, creating an environment that allows vaginal yeast to thrive.
Say Goodbye to Stress: Stress compromises your immune system, which is why many women develop a yeast infection when they’re going through stressful, major life changes. To lower your risk of a yeast infection, consider stress-reduction techniques such as meditation, yoga and regular exercise.
Steer Clear of Feminine Sprays: Whether they’re scented or unscented, douches and feminine wipes and sprays strip your vagina of bacteria, and not all bacteria need to be cleaned away. Feminine wipes and sprays alter the vaginal environment and may reduce the bacteria needed to fight off yeast growth. They may also irritate the skin around the vagina. Your OBGYN Montgomery County recommends skipping feminine wipes and sprays, and washing with a mild soap and warm water instead.
Monitor Your Meds: A yeast infection is one of the most common side effects women experience as a result of taking particular prescription medications, including oral contraceptives, antibiotics, and steroids. Birth control pills elevate estrogen levels, which can increase a woman’s chance of developing vaginal yeast. And some women are more susceptible to that excess yeast growth.
Not all women will develop a yeast infection as a result of these habits, but for women who are prone to yeast infections, making some lifestyle adjustments can greatly reduce the number of yeast infections they experience in their lifetime.
If you are experiencing recurrent yeast infections, call the office of OBGYN Montgomery County Dr. Rania Ibrahim today to schedule a confidential consultation.