Causes and Risk Factors of Vaginal Yeast Infections

If you’ve been suffering from persistent vaginal irritation, pain, or abnormal discharge, you may have a vaginal yeast infection. Yeast overgrowth can also cause symptoms like a burning sensation during urination, vulvar swelling, and vaginal rash. If these symptoms apply to you, consider visiting a Candida specialist in New York, NY. Your doctor can explain the causes and risk factors of vaginal yeast infections and discuss your holistic treatment options. yeast - infection

Candida Imbalance

The underlying cause of vaginal yeast infections is an overgrowth of a fungus called Candida albicans. Less commonly, some women develop yeast infections from other types of Candida fungi. The vaginal naturally has a microbiome composed of a balance of bacteria, yeast, and other microorganisms. In an overall healthy woman, the bacteria and yeast keep each other in check. If something disrupts this delicate balance, the lower levels of beneficial bacteria like Lactobacillus can allow the amount of yeast to greatly increase. It is this yeast overgrowth that causes the uncomfortable symptoms of vaginal yeast infections.

Medications

There are many factors that can disrupt the balance of bacteria and yeast in the vagina. These include certain medications. For example, birth control pills increase a woman’s level of estrogen and increase the risk of Candida overgrowth. Women who frequently experience vaginal yeast infections due to birth control pills might consider non-hormonal methods of birth control such as the copper IUD. Another commonly prescribed class of medicine that causes yeast overgrowth is antibiotics. Broad-spectrum antibiotics not only kill the bacteria for which they are prescribed, but they also kill the beneficial bacteria that are necessary to keep yeast in check.

Medical Conditions

Some medical conditions can increase a woman’s risk of developing vaginal yeast infections. This includes poorly controlled diabetes, since this condition is associated with high blood glucose levels.

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