If you’re like 75% of women, you’ll get at least one yeast infection during your lifetime. Half will get two or more.
You're more likely to get one when you:
- Are pregnant
- Have diabetes
- Have a weakened immune system
- Take antibiotics
- Use birth control with high doses of the hormone estrogen
- Use douches or vaginal sprays
It may not be possible for all women to prevent yeast infections, but here's what you can do to lower your odds.
- Wear breathable underwear. Cotton is your best choice. It doesn’t hold onto heat or moisture. It will help keep you dry.
- Keep things loose. Make sure your jeans, skirts, underwear, yoga pants, tights, pantyhose, etc. aren’t too snug. They can boost your body temperature and increase the amount of moisture around your private parts. That raises your chances for a yeast infection.
- Don’t douche. “Feminine hygiene products” like douches can disrupt the balance of bacteria in your vagina by removing some of the good bacteria that’s supposed to be there to fight off infections. And skip the scent in feminine products. This includes bubble baths, soaps, sprays, tampons, and pads.
- Avoid hot tubs and extra hot baths. Hot and damp are never your friends.
- Change out of wet clothes. Don't sit in a wet bathing suit after you go swimming or damp workout gear after the gym. Change into dry clothes right away.
- In the bathroom, always wipe from front to back.
- When on your period, change your tampons, pads, and panty liners often.
- Manage your diabetes. If you have it, be sure to keep an eye on your blood sugar levels and keep them under control.
- Use antibiotics only when you have to. You don’t need them for conditions like a cold, because they don’t do anything against a virus. If you don't have to, don't take them.
- Eat yogurt that contains active cultures to add to the good bacteria that help your body control yeast.