If you have a vaginal yeast infection, you may wonder how you got it. Here are the most common ways.
Most women know what a yeast infection is. As many as three out of four women will experience a yeast infection in their lifetime — but how do you get a yeast infection? If you wish to prevent this irritating infection, you’ll need the answer to the question. Keep reading and find out.
What causes a yeast infection? The ubiquitous fungus, Candida albicans, is present on and in the body of men and women, both old and young. Normally, the immune system and other beneficial bacteria in the body do a good job of limiting the growth of yeast. Unfortunately, several factors can upset the balance of the body’s beneficial flora. Yeast infections commonly affect the vagina, as well as other places — such as the mouth, esophagus and even within the bloodstream, causing dangerous systemic infections.
How do you get a vaginal yeast infection? The exact mechanism behind why a yeast infection occurs is not completely understood. What we do know is that once the balance of normally occurring flora is upset by a variety of potential factors, the yeast fungus may grow out of control. When this happens, the result can be disruptive and uncomfortable symptoms, such as itching, burning and a cottage-cheese-like discharge. According to the Cleveland Clinic, a variety of risk factors may increase the likelihood of getting a yeast infection. These factors include:
- Birth control pills
- Lack of proper nutrition
- Lack of a restorative sleep
- Antibiotic treatment
- Immune system lowering medication, such as chemotherapy and steroids
- Wearing tight pants
- Nylon underwear
- Wearing a wet bathing suit for an extended period of time
- Hot tubs
- Perfumed or deodorant sanitary products
- Douching of any kind
- Feminine deodorant
- Perfumed laundry soap and fabric softener
- Washing vaginal area with scented soap or shower gel