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Yeast Infections

Q: I get recurring yeast infections several times per month!  It's so annoying and disruptive to my sex life.  What can I do about this?  

 A: 
Thank you for writing!  I hear this complaint all the time.  It's very important that you get more medical attention for the matter because it does not seem that you are getting the medical care that you require.  Here are some common solutions to this issue:

  1. Wash underwear in hot water to kill bacteria.

  2. Wear cotton underwear.

  3. Avoid thongs, as they move bacteria from the rectum to the vagina.

  4. Avoid using sanitary napkins to deal with general vaginal discharge when you are not menstruating (or even during menstruation) because they can trap the moisture due to the lining.  Instead, change your underwear more often or use a silicone menstrual cup if needed.

  5. Urinate after sex.

  6. Wipe from front to back.

  7. Wash your vagina with water after sex.

  8. Shower daily and do not use douches or use soaps near your vagina. 

  9. Keep the area clean and dry, especially being careful to avoid wet bathing suits.

  10. Most of these cases I see are actually mis-diagnosed.  You may be assuming you have a yeast infection and running out to buy an over-the-counter remedy.  Instead, the next time you get this alleged infection, get tested right away at a gynecologist.  VERY often, they find another infection such as bacterial vaginosis, UTI, or strep in the vagina instead of yeast.  The symptoms can be so similar.  Treating with over the counter meds may temporarily relieve itching which can make you believe the infection has been treated.  However, when you end the treatment or a few days or weeks pass, the symptoms will re-arise.  You may believe this is a new infection rather than the old one.  Get the proper medical evaluation to determine if this is in fact a yeast infection.  

  11. Many women experience these infections the day after they have sex.  If this sounds like you, it could be a skin irritation on the vulva actually caused by dryness and vaginal atrophy that was irritated due to sex (which can feel very similar to a yeast infection).  Many gynecologists find a significant reduction in alleged "yeast infections" after a patient uses Estrace or Premarin (topical estrogen creams) regularly.

  12. Some patients find taking D-Mannose Vitamin Supplement, a type of sugar that is related to glucose, is effective in reducing yeast infections. 

  13. Consider the medications such as birth controls you are taking to see if they may be causing frequent infections.  You may want to change your birth control.

  14. Eat yogurt that contains active live cultures promotes the "good bacterias" in your system. 

  15. In some cases, a doctor will prescribe a prescription pill to take after sex in order to prevent yeast infections.   


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