Why Do I Keep Getting Yeast Infections?

While 75% of women will get at least one yeast infection in their lifetime, up to 8% get more than four a year. They’re called recurrent yeast infections when they happen over and over.

If you’re one of those women, you and your doctor might need to take a different approach.

What Could Be Happening

Most yeast infections are caused by a type of fungus (candida) called Candida albicans. Other kinds of fungus can cause yeast infections, too, but antifungal treatments usually only target the most common one. If your infection is caused by something different, antifungals used to treat yeast infections may not be effective for you.

Or, while it may seem as though you’re getting new infections, you may not have gotten rid of the first one. Be sure to follow your treatment instructions carefully and finish all of your medicine.

Using antibiotics too often can lower the amount of good bacteria in your vagina. This can allow candida to grow and raise your chances of a yeast infection. The longer you use antibiotics, the more likely you are to get one.

High blood sugar from uncontrolled diabetes makes it easier for yeast to feed and thrive.

Hormonal birth control, including oral contraceptive pills and spermicidal creams and jellies, may alter the balance of bacteria in your vagina, allowing more candida to grow.

Wearing wet or tight clothing, like sweaty gym clothes that you don't change out of right away, or a damp bathing suit after a swim, creates a warm, damp place that yeast likes.

Eating Habits

While some people believe certain foods or diets promote the growth of yeast and lead to recurrent infections, there's not enough research to support that theory.

According to the studies that have been done, a strict diet doesn't seem to be helpful in terms of preventing them.

Talk With Your Doctor

Your doctor can help you figure out what's going on, especially if it's a different kind of infection or a medical condition that's causing your symptoms. An accurate diagnosis is the best way to get the right treatment and find relief.

WebMD Medical Reference Reviewed by Traci C. Johnson, MD on February 16, 2019

Sources

SOURCES:

American Family Physician: “Treatment of Recurrent Vulvovaginal Candidiasis.”

UptoDate: “Patient education: Vaginal yeast infection (Beyond the Basics).”

Mayo Clinic: “Yeast infection (vaginal).”

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