What are the Causes of Yeast Infections?

Many women develop yeast infections in their lifetime, and yeast infections can even develop in men and small children. Unfortunately, these infections can become very uncomfortable. You may be wondering what actually causes a yeast infection to occur. Yeast infections occur due to the overgrowth of candida within the body, which is usually kept under control by good bacteria. Although Candida overgrowth causes the infection to occur, several things may cause the overgrowth to occur. There are several effective treatments for yeast infections, however this article reviews the causes of many yeast infections.

#1 – Taking Antibiotics

One of the factors that may lead to the candida overgrowth that causes yeast infections is taking antibiotics. Since antibiotics treat bacterial infections, they kill off harmful bacteria within the body. However, antibiotics also kill beneficial bacteria. The reduction in beneficial bacteria can allow candida to start growing out of control, and the disruption in the balance can cause a vaginal yeast infection or even ‘oral thrush,’ a type of yeast infection that occurs in the oral cavity.

#2 – Pregnancy

Pregnancy brings about many hormonal changes within the body and sometimes those hormonal changes can alter the pH of the vagina. These changes may also lead to higher levels of blood sugar. Both of these problems can lead to the overgrowth of Candida, especially within the vagina, making yeast infections a common problem for women who are pregnant.

#3 – Poorly Controlled Blood Sugar

 Candida albicans

Candida albicans

Poorly controlled blood sugar can cause an overgrowth of candida, resulting in a yeast infection as well. This is especially problematic in individuals that have diabetes. Individuals who have uncontrolled or poorly controlled diabetes can have too much sugar within their body, offering plenty of food for Candida. In some cases, recurrent yeast infections in the vagina or oral cavity may lead to a diabetes diagnosis in some individuals.

#4 – Impaired Immune System

An impaired immune system can also allow candida to grow out of control, which leads to a yeast infection. Individuals that have certain diseases and illnesses that suppress the immune system may not have enough good bacteria in their body. This leaves them susceptible to yeast infections.

#5 – Wearing Tight or Damp Clothing

For women, wearing tight or damp clothing around the vaginal area can lead to a yeast infection. When clothing is too tight, it can cause irritation in the vaginal area. Tight clothing can also cause excessive sweating, causing dampness in the area, offering a warm, damp place where candida can easily grow. Wearing damp underclothing after swimming can also be problematic. It can allow yeast cells to begin multiplying, causing a vaginal yeast infection. Keeping the vaginal area clean and dry, as well as wearing loose clothing, can help to prevent a yeast infection from developing in the first place.

 #6 – Other Hormonal Imbalances

Although the hormonal changes of pregnancy can be the root cause of a yeast infection, other hormonal imbalances may cause candida overgrowth and lead to the development of a yeast infection as well. Some women may see a rise in estrogen while ovulating, which could make a woman more susceptible to a yeast infection. Birth control pills and other forms of hormone therapy may also change hormone levels and cause candida overgrowth within the body.

Of course, these are only a few of the potential causes of yeast infections. It is important to note that if you continue getting yeast infections on a regular basis, you should visit your doctor. You could have an underlying problem that is contributing to the regular yeast infections. Always see a doctor to confirm the diagnosis of a yeast infection if you have never had a yeast infection before. While there are many causes of yeast infections, remember that many helpful, effective treatments are available to relieve the problem. A good review of these yeast infection treatments is available.