Stress Q&A by Dr. Stöppler

Can stress cause a yeast infection?

Answer:

The term "yeast infection" most commonly refers to vaginal Candidiasis, an overgrowth of the fungi that normally live on all surfaces of the body. Vaginal Candidiasis is most commonly caused by antibiotic and steroid use that alters the normal microenvironment of the vagina and allows overgrowth of the fungi. Other conditions that interfere with the function of the body's immune system, such as diabetes, HIV, or cancer, can also predispose a woman to developing a vaginal yeast infection.

Severe or chronic stress is known to have a negative effect on the immune system and could plausibly increase the likelihood of getting a yeast infection. Additionally, there have been some studies which support the link between stress and vaginal yeast infections.

Thank you for your question.


Last Editorial Review: 1/18/2007