Vaginal yeast infection most often causes itching and irritation of the vulva and vaginal area. The symptoms are not dangerous but can be very troublesome. Some steps which can help to prevent vaginal yeast infections include:
Personal care and hygiene are important for preventing vaginal yeast infections. Wash the genital area daily during bathing to keep the vagina clean. It will help to prevent yeast infections and also keep you smelling fresh. While washing the genitals, clean the inside folds of the vagina where yeast is likely to grow.
Dry the entire vaginal area thoroughly after taking a shower or bathing as yeast tends to thrive in moist environments. You may use a blow dryer on a low, cool setting to remove excess moisture.
What you wear can affect your chance of developing a vaginal yeast infection. Wear cotton and silk underwear as they absorb moisture well and keep the vaginal area dry. Synthetic fabrics such as nylon and polyester do not absorb moisture and hence encourage the growth of yeast. If your clothes are wet due to sweat or after a swim; change them immediately---do not sit in them. Also, change your underwear frequently if needed, to avoid dampness. Do not wear tight clothing particularly during summers as it prevents air from circulating and increases dampness in the groin and genital region.
Washing the inside of the vagina with water using a douche should be avoided. This destroys the good germs which keep yeast and other harmful germs under control. Besides this, it also washes away the natural protective lining of the vagina, increasing the risk of yeast and other vaginal infections.
Use of perfumes, scented soaps and bubble baths can irritate the sensitive area inside the vagina, and make you more susceptible to yeast infection. Scented sanitary pads, tampons and coloured or printed toilet paper can also irritate the sensitive vaginal area. Experts recommend that the use of anything around the vagina that is scented or dyed or has prints on it should be avoided.
Long hot baths or soaking in a hot tub makes the environment conducive for yeast growth in vaginal area (yeast prefers a warm and moist environment).
Prolonged and frequent use of antibiotics can increase your risk of vaginal yeast infection as they not only kill the bad bacteria, but also good bacteria. The good bacteria help to prevent the overgrowth of yeast. Some other medications such as oral steroids and birth control pills also increase the risk of vaginal yeast infection. Do not take any medication (prescription or non-prescription) without consulting your doctor.
As with other illnesses and infections, adopting healthy living measures such as eating healthy and getting adequate sleep can possibly prevent yeast infection by keeping you healthy and fit.
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