Common Causes of Recurring Vaginal Yeast Infections

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Yeast infections are incredibly common.

Yeast is a kind of fungus that occurs naturally throughout your body. Your vagina has a delicate and useful balance of yeast and bacteria. You can get a yeast infection when that balance is thrown out of whack.

If you find you are getting yeast infections frequently, more than four times a year, you may want to consider some of these possible reasons in addition to talking to your doctor.

Birth control pills, hormone replacement therapy, and pregnancy can increase the amount of estrogen in your body. And high levels of estrogen can cause recurring yeast infections. If you're on birth control or HRT, talk to your doctor about adjusting your dose.

Anything with an added fragrance like soap, bubble bath, clothes detergent, feminine deodorants, or scented tampons and pads can irritate delicate skin. Avoid fragrances in direct contact with your vulva.

Soap and douches can disrupt the pH balance of your vagina and kill off the beneficial bacteria you need. Wash yourself with warm water only and skip the douche. Your body was built to clean itself naturally.

Spending too much time in wet swimsuits or sweaty gym clothes can create warm, moist conditions that can cause yeast to grow too fast.

Frequent yeast infections can be an indicator of other health conditions like diabetes or HIV/AIDS. A full workup by your doctor can help you rule them out if you are concerned.

Yeast infections are not considered sexually transmitted infections because you can get one without having sex, but it is possible to get one from your partner. If they have symptoms, they should be checked.

A yeast infection can be uncomfortable and inconvenient. Talk to your doctor if they seem frequent, which will help you pinpoint the cause and come up with a treatment plan.