Skip to content

Women's Health

Select An Article

10 Ways to Prevent Yeast Infections

    Font Size

    Yeast infections are common -- and you often have more than one in a lifetime. While 75% of women have had at least one vaginal yeast infection during their lives, as many as 45% of women have had two or more.

    While you can't always avoid a yeast infection, you can lower your risk of getting one. Follow these guidelines to avoid the itching, burning, and other discomforts.

    Recommended Related to Women

    How to Be Happy

    By Stacy WeinerYou don't have to change much. Here, surprising ways to feel better every day I'm a nonstop happiness seeker. On long drives, I don't ask my husband, "Are we there yet?" I meditate on life and ask myself, "Am I happy yet?" Here's my happiness inventory: I have a great house, but the toilets gurgle incessantly. My 9-year-old son is adorable, but has nerve-shredding sleep habits. My husband of 21 years is worth at least his weight in Godiva, but I'm pretty sure I see my dry...

    Read the How to Be Happy article > >

    1. Wear cotton underwear, or at least wear panties with a cotton panel at the crotch. Avoid wearing panty liners, which can increase your risk of recurrent vaginal yeast infections. Yeast tend to overgrow in damp, moist environments and keeping moisture away from your body can help prevent yeast infections.

    2. Avoid wearing tight-fitting pants and shorts, so you stay cool, dry, and "airy."

    3. Avoid wearing nylon pantyhose or synthetic leotards every day. If you must wear these, choose the kind with a cotton panel to absorb moisture away from your body.

    4. Change clothes from wet workout gear or a wet swimsuit as soon as you can, because a damp place is an ideal environment for a yeast infection to grow.

    5. Don't use douches, scented powders, scented tampons, and feminine deodorant sprays. They contain chemicals and perfumes that upset the natural balance of "good" bacteria and other micro-organisms in the vagina.

    6. Wipe from front to back after using the bathroom to avoid spreading bacteria from the anus to the vagina.

    7. If you have diabetes, control your blood sugar levels to reduce your risk of yeast infections. Yeast infections and diabetes are linked -- in fact, high blood glucose levels from uncontrolled diabetes is linked to infections of all kinds.

    8. Eating yogurt that contains live cultures of lactobacillus acidophilus, a natural, "friendly" bacteria, may help prevent yeast infections. However, a small study showed that women who consumed acidophilus-containing products had an increased risk of recurrent vaginal yeast infections.

    9. If you have vaginal yeast infections after taking antibiotics, talk with your doctor about preventive antifungal therapy at the start and end of your antibiotics.

    10. Finally, try to eat a healthy diet and manage stress. Although it's not confirmed by medical research, some women say that too much sugar, beer, and stress can trigger their yeast infections.

    In general, eating well-balanced, nutritious meals and taking time out to relax helps keep your immune system running well -- and prevents infections of all kinds, including vaginal yeast infections. A balanced lifestyle also boosts your overall health and feelings of well-being.

    WebMD Medical Reference

    Reviewed by Nivin Todd, MD on June 30, 2015
    Next Article:

    Today on WebMD

    hands on abdomen
    Test your knowledge.
    womans hand on abdomen
    Are you ready for baby?
     
    birth control pills
    Learn about your options.
    insomnia
    Is it menopause or something else?
     
    woman in bathtub
    Slideshow
    period
    VIDEO
     
    bp app on smartwatch and phone
    Slideshow
    estrogen gene
    Quiz
     

    Send yourself a link to download the app.

    Loading ...

    Please wait...

    This feature is temporarily unavailable. Please try again later.

    Thanks!

    Now check your email account on your mobile phone to download your new app.

    Blood pressure check
    Slideshow
    hot water bottle on stomach
    Quiz
     
    question
    Assessment
    Attractive young woman standing in front of mirror
    Quiz