Friday, March 23, 2007

Tips On Avoiding Yeast Infections

We've all had them...we all hate them...yeast infections. If you have managed to escape the joy of one of these in your lifetime, then consider yourself very lucky! Those of us who haven't been so lucky...listen up! You know what a pain it is to get rid of one, so why not avoid one before it even starts?

Try these tips and you may just cut down on those nasty infections:

  • Perfumed soaps are a no-no. They don’t lather well, but they make you skin smell great. After a week or so, you notice an itch down below that you can’t seem to get rid of. Itching turns to redness which becomes inflamed almost overnight. Perfumes may be okay for the rest of the body, but they irritate the vaginal area. Candida albicans, the fungus that causes yeast infections are allowed to grow out of control when the good bacteria of the vagina are decreased by the perfume in the soaps. Use a non-deodorant soap to clean this delicate area and rinse thoroughly.
  • Avoid antibiotics when possible. Antibiotics, when taken for the full ten day course, cause vaginal yeast infections. One infection is cured, but another that is just as painful crops up. What to do? Eat yogurt. The live bacterial cultures counteract the effects of the antibiotics. As soon as your doctor prescribes an antibiotic for you, load up on the Dannon! Actually any yogurt will do. One container a day should be enough.
  • Shed the wet clothing. Fungus and other kinds of bacteria love moist, wet places on the body. They are ideal spots for growth. After a day in the pool or a hard workout at the gym, change out of those damp clothes as soon as possible. You may not feel wet in the vaginal area after a workout, but if you are sweating heavily everywhere else, you are damp there, too.
  • Tighter is not better. Tight fitting underwear and pants increase the heat in the vaginal area. There is no way for air to circulate and keep the genitals cool and dry. Loosen up, literally. Choosing cotton underwear over nylon will absorb the wetness and keep it away from the body. Pants don’t have to be baggy, but they should have room to breathe.
  • Put away that vinegar and water. Many women feel the need to cleanse their vaginal area after their menstrual period. There are several kinds of douches and sprays on the market for that purpose. My gynecologist told me that there was no need to use anything but plain soap and water to clean the vaginal area. Using a cleansing product internally upsets the acidic environment of the vagina, wiping out the natural bacteria.
Vaginal yeast infections are not life threatening, but they can interrupt your daily life. Pass these tips along to the young ladies in your household too. If they begin to follow these simple tips and incorporate them into their daily hygiene regimen, they can live their life hopefully yeast-free!

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