Summer is finally here! It’s time to enjoy the sun, the beach and cooling off in the pool. What also might come during this time? Those annoying yeast infections! Over the last few weeks, many patients have complained about this problem and I wanted to share my top tips.
1. Take it off! Remove wet swimsuits or sweaty underwear immediately after work-outs. Rinse off your swimsuit and put on fresh, clean clothing. By lingering in wet and/or sweaty clothes, yeast can flourish with the heat and moisture in the area.
2. Let it Breathe.Wear cotton underwear that allows this area to breathe and stay dry. Many synthetic materials, like polyester, don’t allow the vulva and vaginal tissues to get adequate aeration. This again leads to added moisture and heat, which yeast thrive on.
3. Keep it Loose. Try to avoid snug fitting pants, tight leggings and binding underwear.
4. Keep it Simple. Avoid feminine hygiene products. Many contain toxic chemicals and irritants, which can lead to yeast infections.
5. Don’t Douche. The vagina has its own self-cleaning system to keep the good bacteria, known as Lactobacilli, at healthy levels to maintain an acidic pH. Douching disrupts this natural process, wiping out this delicate balance, leading to a higher risk of developing yeast or any other type of vaginal infection.
6. Skip the Hot Tubs and Jacuzzis. Both are notorious for irritating the genital area and disrupting the vaginal flora.
7. Hydrate. Drink at least ½ of your body weight in ounces of water per day - more if you’re sweating and/or exercising. This helps the vagina perform its self-cleaning function and lets the healthy bacteria thrive.
If you’re following these tips and still getting yeast infections, it may be time to talk to your doctor about possibly changing your diet, adding a probiotic and getting tested for diabetes or a weakened immune system. A vaginal sample can be sent for culture to see what is the true cause for your symptoms – it might be yeast or a different culprit such as bacterial vaginosis. By taking this simple test, a proper diagnosis can be made and treatment given if needed.
One of the best probiotics that I’ve found to maintain vaginal health for many of my patients is Women’s Ultra Flora.
One pill taken orally everyday can help maintain a healthy balance of Lactobacilli and stave off any type of vaginal infection, including yeast.