Yeast Infection in Women and Men (cont.)

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How can vaginal yeast infections be prevented?

Because yeast can be present normally in the vagina of healthy women, not all yeast infections can be prevented. However, it is possible to take preventive measures that may reduce your risk of getting a yeast infection. These include always cleaning the genital area from front to back and changing out of wet bathing suits or damp clothes as soon as possible. Wearing loose-fitting cotton underwear can help reduce moisture and prevent yeast infections. Since chemical irritants can influence the balance of bacteria in the vagina, avoiding products with potential irritants like douches or scented tampons can also help. Regular baths or showers are an adequate way to cleanse the vagina, and douching is not recommended and may actually increase your risk of yeast infection.

Some evidence shows that consumption of foods with probiotics (healthy bacteria that are normally found in the body) like probiotic-containing yogurt may help prevent yeast infections.

What about recurrent yeast infections?

A recurrent yeast infection occurs when a woman has four or more infections in one year that are not related to antibiotic use. Recurrent yeast infections may be related to an underlying medical condition such as impaired immunity and may require more aggressive treatment. This can include longer courses of topical treatments, oral medications, or a combination of the two.

How can you protect yourself from contracting a yeast infection from your sexual partner?

Condoms may help prevent transmission of a yeast infection from women to men, but they are not completely effective since there may be contact with areas of the body not covered by the condom. Avoiding intercourse when a woman has symptoms of a yeast infection is the best way to prevent spreading of the infection.

REFERENCES:

Eckert, L. Acute Vulvovaginitis. New N Engl J Med 2006; 355:1244-1252.

Medscape. Medscape, Vulvovaginitis

MedscapeReference.com. Vaginitis.


Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 2/17/2015

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