Most women will experience the uncomfortable and sometimes embarrassing symptoms of yeast infections at least once in their lifetime. It is estimated that 40 – 45 % of women in the U.S. will have two or more. You are not alone.
Yeast infections are the infection of the vagina that can cause itching, burning, swelling, pain during sex and abnormal discharge. These symptoms can range from mild to severe and can often occur suddenly. Read more to learn about the most common causes of chronic yeast infections.
Most Common Causes of Chronic Yeast Infections
Women who take antibiotics can be at greater risk for getting a yeast infection. Antibiotics kill a wide range of bacteria, which can result in killing healthy bacteria naturally found in the vagina. The longer and more frequently antibiotics are taken, the more likely you are to get one.
- Weak immune system
According to Mayo Clinic, women with lower immunity are at greater risk for recurring yeast infections. Treatment might be more difficult in those with a weakened immune system.
- Trapped moisture
Wearing damp clothing or frequent sweating can contribute to trapped moisture in the vaginal area. Yeast thrives in humid and wet environments according to HealthLine. Wearing cotton underwear may help prevent yeast infections from recurring.
- Sexual activity
Yeast infections can be caused by sexual activity, especially oral sex. An increase of infection can occur after any sexual activity.
- Increased estrogen levels
According to Mayo Clinic, women who take oral contraceptives or hormone therapy pills can be at greater risk for chronic yeast infections. Taking contraceptives can alter the bacteria in the vagina and may lead to recurring yeast infections.
To reduce your risk of yeast infections:
- Wear cotton and loose-fitting underwear.
- Reduce unnecessary antibiotic use.
- Change out of wet clothes immediately, such as after exercise or swimming.
Although over-the-counter treatment options are available, speaking with a physician as soon as the symptoms occur is vitally important to quick diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of further complications and mistreatment.
Get involved in a clinical study!
At Women’s Health Care Research, physicians are conducting clinical research to determine new, cutting-edge treatment options for women with chronic yeast infections. A yeast infection research study is now enrolling for women with chronic yeast infections. Qualified volunteers will have the opportunity to receive study-related care and medication at no cost, study-related medication, and may receive compensation for time and travel.