Chronic Yeast Infections: 11 Common Causes & Solutions

That persistent, chronic yeast infection and its irritating symptoms are enough to drive you crazy. There are actions you may do to prevent yeast infections if you know what causes them, even if some people may be prone to getting them frequently.

You may have a chronic yeast infection problem if you get four or more vaginal yeast infections each year. This group includes between 5% and 8% of women. Both patients and physicians may experience frustration with chronic yeast infections. Patients are phoning and complaining that their treatments aren't working, says Dr. Linda Masini, a practicing nurse with Chicago's Advocate medical group.

Why, regardless of what you do, do yeast infections always return? Experts say that the reason can be something you'd never think about. Discover typical causes of recurrent vaginal yeast infections by reading on.

1. You could have genetic disadvantages

Women with certain genetic alterations may be more susceptible to Candida albicans, the fungus most frequently responsible for chronic vaginal yeast infections. A healthy immune system will detect excessive Candida development and mount a response. Women with these genetic disorders cannot produce crucial proteins necessary for mounting a successful fight.

2. Your partner may contribute to the ongoing yeast infection issue

Men with no genitals circumcised are more prone to Candida yeast infections. Vaginal yeast infections aren't considered sexually transmitted but can be transmitted through sexual activity.

Condoms − Spermicide, especially the sort used on condoms, is one of the main causes of vaginal itchiness, which can result in vaginal yeast infections, according to the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG). Condom use should also be avoided if you are already taking medication for a yeast infection: According to Planned Parenthood, a nonprofit organization that operates sexual health and family planning clinics, several drugs make condoms more likely to break, undermining their efficacy at preventing illness and pregnancy.

Oral sex − A 2003 University of Michigan-Ann Arbor research found that having oral sex raised a woman's chance of developing yeast infections. 

Lubricant − Glycerin can lead to chronic yeast infections in her post on the Stanford School of Medicine Women's Health website. Change to the glycerin-free variety of your preferred lubricant if you are prone to yeast infections. 

A parasite brings on Trichomoniasis. Hence antibiotics—not anti-yeast drugs—must be used to treat it, according to the National Women's Health Resource Center. The parasite can interfere with pregnancy and increase a woman's susceptibility to contracting HIV and other sexually transmitted infections.

3. A pregnancy is a possibility

According to the American Pregnancy Association, hormone fluctuations lead pregnant women's vaginal secretions to contain more sugar, which might feed Candida albicans. Occasionally women experience worse yeast infection issues as a result of hormonal fluctuations. Changing hormones might eliminate more good bacteria that control Candida.

Fluconazole, a commonly diagnosed medicine for yeast infections, shouldn't be used by pregnant women for extended periods since it may raise the risk of birth abnormalities, the FDA advised in 2011. However, it also states, "This risk does not appear to be related toto a single, modest dosage of fluconazole, 150 mg, to cure vaginal yeast infection (candidiasis)."

4. Perhaps your pantyliners are making it worse.

Yeast infections can be caused by damp, dry, or damp undergarments, according to the National Women's Health Resource Center. Maintaining dry underwear should aid in the fight against yeast infections because moisture causes the yeast to develop. Women who are prone to persistent yeast infections shouldn't use undies because they might retain moisture and restrict airflow, experts say.

5. You might not have a strong immune system

You may be more prone to recurring yeast infections if you're on immunosuppressant medications for treating autoimmune illnesses like lupus or because you've had organ transplants.

Nelson claims that steroids might hinder your immune system's ability to combat a yeast infection because they suppress the inflammation that is a crucial precursor to an immunological response.

6. You could have high blood sugar

If women with diabetes don't regulate their blood sugar levels, they are more likely to get recurrent yeast infections. Consuming excessive amounts of carbs can create an environment where yeast can grow, even if you do not have diabetes. Eating meals with a high glycemic index feeds this bacterium and may lead to an overgrowth.

7. You might be on the verge of menopause

Your hormones vary dramatically in the years leading up to menopause, and these changes might lead to an imbalance in your vaginal flora, which may encourage the establishment of Candida.

However, if you've passed menopause, the discomfort and itching that resembles a yeast infection may be a sign of vulvar cancer. High levels of estrogen do not allow the yeast to grow.

8. Your impairment might have a role.

You run a higher risk of developing recurrent yeast infections if you use a wheelchair. Using a wheelchair seat made of plastic might result in a "highly wet atmosphere, an ideal setting for yeast to flourish." You are considerably more prone to get yeast infections if you already struggle with incontinence.

The US National Library of Medicine reports that skin-protective ointments and anti-fungal powders can assist in avoiding yeast infections.

9. The course of therapy for your yeast infection may need to be extended

The yeast infection you've been experiencing lately may be nothing new—instead, it might be an old yeast infection that has returned. Eighty to ninety percent of the time, the treatment for women with persistent yeast infections, which entails three cream treatments followed by weekly dosages for six months, is successful.

10. You could have a strain of uncommon yeast infection

One in three of the women in Iranian research from 2010 who had been diagnosed with yeast infections had a yeast other than Candida albicans. Candida glabrata, the second most prevalent yeast found in the research, produces less output than Candida albicans. Redness and itching are the predominant symptoms, and conventional drugs like fluconazole and miconazole might not be effective against these uncommon species. You are more likely to get one of the uncommon Candida species if you have HIV or use immunosuppressive medications. To find out what species of yeast is infecting you, consult your doctor about a laboratory culture. Some medications can be used to treat uncommon strains.

11. You may not have a yeast infection

American women spend millions of dollars annually on over-the-counter treatments for persistent yeast infections. Free medical exams were provided to those taking over-the-counter yeast infection medications; only one-third had yeast infections. Over 13% of the women had no infection, while the rest had trichomonas, vaginitis, or bacterial vaginosis.

Whether you're suffering from a yeast infection or anything else, a microscopic analysis of samples and potentially a culture of the infectious agent can inform doctors what is causing your discomfort so you may obtain an appropriate prescription.

Updated on: 20-Jan-2023


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