If you have noticed that you are having an increase in the number of vaginal yeast infections, you may wonder if there is anything you can do to prevent them. However, just as important as knowing what preventative measures to take, you should also make sure you avoid certain habits that may increase your risk of infection.
1. Using Douche Too Often
Especially after your period or intercourse, you may feel as though you need to freshen up right away by douching. However, if you douche too often, you may be setting yourself up for recurrent yeast infections. The vaginal canal not only cleanses itself, but it is usually pretty good at maintaining the proper pH level required to keep fungal and bacterial growth at bay. However, if you douche too often, you can disrupt this balance, which creates an environment that promotes the growth of yeast.
If you do feel the need to freshen up after your period, douche only once using a vinegar and water-based solution. For other times, use an unscented soap and clear water to wash the external folds, and let the body's natural discharge take care of the vaginal canal.
2. Wearing Non-breathable Underwear to Bed
Something else you may do that you may not even realize is contributing to your yeast infections is the type of underwear you wear to bed. When you wear polyester or nylon underwear, especially overnight, the area around your vaginal opening does not receive any fresh air. Because the wrong type of underwear blocks fresh air from reaching the skin, it creates a perpetually warm and moist environment in which yeast can grow and thrive. Especially if you always wear the same undergarments during the day and night, you will increase your chances of having yeast infections.
Instead of wearing polyester or nylon underwear to bed, the first choice is to wear no undergarments at all to allow everything to air out overnight. However, if you must wear underwear overnight, choose ones made out of cotton. Cotton is a breathable fabric and will allow air to flow through it. It also absorbs moisture, so it can wick it away from your vaginal folds to keep moisture from building up.
Changing the above habits can help reduce your risk of getting a yeast infection. However, if you start noticing a foul-smelling discharge that resembles cottage cheese, make an appointment with a medical office like Johnson City Ob-Gyn so they can diagnose and treat you.