Vaginal thrush signs, symptoms and treatments

Introduction

  

What is a vaginal yeast infection?

causes of vaginal yeast infection

This is the first question that comes to mind after you learn that a yeast infection is to blame for your discomfort.

So, what exactly is a vaginal yeast infection? Simply put, it is a type of vaginal infection caused by a yeast. It occurs when there is an overgrowth of yeast in the vaginal area.

An overgrowth of yeast happens in cases where the usual balance between bacteria and yeast is disrupted -- taking antibiotics is a good way of disrupting this balance. It also occurs when an existing medical condition, like HIV, weakens the body's immune system.

In other cases, it is usually a matter of an existing condition providing an environment in which the yeast can thrive. A good example is diabetes and pregnancy. The hormonal and blood sugar fluctuations that happen when someone has either of these conditions increases the sugar levels of the cells that line the vagina. And since yeast tends to feed on sugar, a full-blown candida vaginal yeast infection is bound to take place.

However, there are times when a yeast infection happens simply because of lifestyle choices. Take habits like douching and use of scented pads or tampons, for example. They usually end up killing the bacteria needed to keep yeast in control. An overgrowth, and eventually a yeast infection, occurs simply because there is nothing to keep the yeast on a leash.

In short, a vaginal yeast infection is a fungal infection that affects the vaginal area. It is caused by a fungus called candida. And although there are different types of candida, candida albicans is the most common one. It is estimated that this type of candida is responsible for over 90% of the vaginal yeast infection cases. In a way, this also explains why a vaginal yeast infection is sometimes referred to as candida vaginitis, candida infection or simply candida yeast infection.

Is it possible to have a "yeast infection" without symptoms?


Yeast infections in women - Learn more about candida

Yes, you can have yeast cells in your vagina and not experience any candida yeast infection symptoms. According to Medicinenet, a lot of healthy women have yeast in their vaginas without experiencing any symptoms.

In fact, WebMD is clear that the presence of a few yeast cells is a hallmark of a healthy vagina. It is estimated that over half of healthy women have vaginal yeast without experiencing any discomfort.

How is this possible? Well, a yeast infection is only said to have occurred when yeast growth gets out of control. For as long as there is a healthy balance in a woman's vagina, no infection will happen. This is because of the existence of useful bacteria and other healthy organisms that control the rate at which the candida yeast multiplies.

For as long as this balance is maintained, nothing will happen. No itching. No cottage-cheese vaginal discharge. No reddening of the vulva or the vagina. Just a healthy and happy vagina.

What causes a yeast infection?


What causes a yeast infection?

Why does a yeast infection occur? When does it happen?

To answer this question, we have to keep in mind that a healthy woman can have yeast in her vagina. She can go on with her day to day activities without experiencing any of the signs and symptoms of candida yeast infections.

Since the mere presence of yeast in a vagina does not cause a vaginal yeast infection, what does?

It is only when there is an imbalance between the activity levels of the bacteria and the yeast that a yeast infection is said to have occurred. This is because when something messes with this balance, for whatever reason, an overgrowth of yeast occurs. This is what then causes most of the common signs associated with yeast infections.

A good example of something that can mess with this balance is antibiotics. Taking them will indiscriminately kill bacteria in your body. This includes useful bacteria such as Lactobacillus acidophilus.

According to WebMD, this bacteria is useful when it comes to controlling the population of the yeast in your vagina. Simply put, when you take antibiotics, you literally destroy the one thing that keeps the yeast in check. A full-blown yeast infection is therefore unavoidable in such a case.

How common are yeast infections?

How common are yeast infections?

Candida yeast infections are common. Vaginal yeast infections too.

For starters, a lot of healthy women have this fungus. They have it and they may never know simply because they won't experience any symptoms. This is as high as over 50 percent of healthy women. It is essentially one in every two women that you know! All these women can go on with their day to day activities without any worry.

Why? Because for as long as there is a healthy bacteria-yeast balance, they won't experience any devastating yeast infection symptoms. This alone makes having a yeast infection almost normal. Not having it falls in the abnormal side of things 🙂

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that over 75% will have at least an encounter with one or more of the vaginal yeast infection symptoms. According to the organization's website, as high as 40 - 45% of women will have at least more than one encounter with a candida vaginal infection.

This literally makes not ever having a yeast infection abnormal ( if you never have it in your lifetime, you will be in the minority 25%). Therefore, if you get the infection, take heart for you are not alone. It's nothing unusual.

Is it possible to prevent and treat a yeast infection?


The good news is that while this type of infection is common, it is easy to get rid of. Preventing it is also easy. All you have to do is keep away from the things that can upset the balance between the bacteria and the yeast in your body, while also doing or taking things that help promote a healthy balance between the fungal and bacterial populations in your vagina (and other parts of the body).

For example, if you avoid over-relying on antibacterial medication, you will spare the useful bacteria from an untimely death. And since the bacteria help to control the population of yeast, they will protect you from the harmful effects of an overgrown candida (yeast) population.

Since stress can also mess the balance in your body, avoiding stressful situations will also keep your body infection-free. Some foods, such as yogurt, help to boost the number healthy bacteria in the body. They can therefore come in handy in helping to keep yeast populations in control. And if that fails, there are a host of natural home remedies that will definitely eliminate the infection. There is also the option of taking anti-fungal medications.

When it comes to preventing and treating yeast infections, the options are literally endless.

What are the different types of yeast infections?


Yeast infections can occur on almost any part of the body. As a result, these infections are usually classified depending on the part of the body that they affect.

Vaginal

The most common type of yeast infection is the vaginal yeast infection. This is a type of fungal infection that affects the vagina. Several terms are usually used to refer to it. It is sometimes referred to as candidal vaginitis. Some people use yeast vaginitis, while others use candidal vulvovaginitis.

Thrush

The other types of infections also get their names depending on the area that they affect. Oral yeast infection is one that affects the mouth. The term "thrush" is also used to refer to yeast that affects both the mouth and the throat. This type of infection is characterized by white patches.

Others

Since some forms of diaper rash occur due to a yeast overgrowth, the term can be said to also refer to a yeast infection. And since it can also affect any part of the body including the skin, gastrointestinal tract, breast , tongue, armpit, anus, urethra, groin, eye, mouth, clit and the lips; you can simply add the word "yeast infection" in front of the part affected and you have a different type of yeast infection.

It is important to note that the word type is being used loosely in this case. This is because the same fungal infection that is to blame, at least in 90% of the cases. According to Medicinenet, candida albicans is the fungus that is responsible for over 90% of yeast-related infections. And the term that is generally used to refer to all the yeast infections that it causes is candidiasis.

How do you know if you have a yeast infection?

 

vaginal thrush candida symptoms

The first way you can know if you are suffering from a yeast infection is through observation. You may note the symptoms that you are experiencing. Looking at the appearance of your skin or your vagina is also a common way of detecting the condition. When you pay a visit to your doctor, he or she can also carry out a number of tests in order to reliably tell whether a yeast infection is to blame for your suffering.

What does a yeast infection look like?

A yeast infection usually has a visible effect on the area that it affects. According to WebMD, one of the most common effects of the infection is the formation of white patches on the affected area. A white discharge that looks like cottage cheese is common in the case of a vaginal yeast infection. Appearances of redness and swelling is also a common symptom of this a candida infection.

Symptoms of yeast infection

In addition to the above visible effects of this type of infection, you may also experience pain during urination. Painful sexual intercourse is also common. And so is a burning sensation and itching.

Yeast infection tests

candida albicans tests

Medical history

There are different ways through which a doctor can diagnose a yeast infection. The first step is simply to check your medical history. A doctor will start by inquiring about the discomfort you are experiencing. If any of what you are feeling falls under any of the common symptoms of a yeast infection, you are likely suffering from the condition.

He or she may ask about your sexual infection history. This information will be useful in helping to rule out some infections and diseases whose symptoms are similar to those caused by candida infections.

Vaginal exam

The effects of an infection caused by yeast are usually visible.Swelling, redness and signs of a discharge are all likely indications of an infection that needs to be kept under control.

In order to be able to effectively check for the infection, the health professional will have to conduct a speculum examination. This examination starts with the health professional asking you to lay on your back. You will then part your legs and rest your feet in a stirrup.

With the doctor having a better access to your vagina, he or she will insert a speculum into your vagina and then use it to spread the walls of your vagina. The doctor will then be in a better position to examine both your cervix and your vagina for the common signs of a yeast infection. He or she can also use the speculum to collect any tissue or discharge samples for further analysis.

Wet mount test

According to WebMD, this test is necessary in cases where you are displaying symptoms that aren't common in yeast infection cases. This test is also useful when the health professional is looking to rule out any other causes of yeast-like infections. This test will come in handy when it comes to the detection of any other organisms that might be to blame for your suffering.

This test starts with the collection of a vaginal discharge using a speculum. A salt solution is then applied to the sample of the discharge. The resulting mixture is then placed on a slide and thereafter examined under a microscope for signs of high yeast cell populations.

KOH slide test

Although this can sometimes be classified as a wet mount test, it is different from the above test. The difference is that instead of using a salt solution, a potassium hydroxide solution is used. Since this solution is effective as far as destroying vaginal and bacterial cells, yeast cells will be left behind in cases where the sample is from a woman with a yeast infection.

Vaginal culture test

With a vaginal culture test, the sample collected from the vagina is added to a substance that helps to promote the growth of the yeast cells. This mixture is left for a while and later on put under observation. If the population of yeast increases at a fast rate, then a yeast infection is to blame for any discomfort.

This is a test that your doctor will opt for if the symptoms are too severe. He or she will also use it when dealing with a case of recurring yeast infections.

Blood test

Symptoms of yeast infections manifest only in cases where there is an overgrowth of yeast cells. This is something that happens when there is an imbalance in your body. One of the common causes of imbalances that promote yeast growth is having a weak immune system. This is common where one has an existing condition such as diabetes. A disease that can weaken your immune system, such as HIV, will also leave your body susceptible to a recurring yeast infection.

A blood test will come in handy in helping to determine whether a weak immune system is to blame for your discomfort. This is so especially in cases where your yeast infection is persistent and which is simply not going away.

Pap test

It is not typical for a doctor to use this test when diagnosing a yeast infection. However, while this test is commonly used to test for cancer, it can also be used to detect changes or increases in yeast cell populations.

What causes a yeast Infection?

 

candida yeast infection

Overview

It is quite simple: you only get an infection when there is an overgrowth of yeast cells. Therefore, anything that encourages an increase in the levels of yeast growth in your vagina will cause you to suffer from a yeast infection. The following are some of the things which may encourage yeast cell overgrowth and are thus likely to blame for your suffering.

Sexual intercourse

A yeast infection is not a sexually transmitted infection (STI). A person who is celibate can get it. This is because yeast cells can exist naturally in a healthy vagina. It is only when there is an imbalance in the body that these yeast cells overgrow, causing a yeast infection -- a condition that is accompanied by symptoms such as itching, a cottage-cheese like discharge and painful sex.

However, this doesn't mean that you cannot have a yeast infection after sex. According to WebMD, a woman having a yeast infection can cause an increase in the population of yeast in a man who doesn't have it. Also, a man with a yeast infection can cause increased yeast growth in a woman's vagina if he has sex with her.

This is because yeast is contagious. It can be passed from person to person through touch ( any contact, in this case it is genital contact ). And while this doesn't necessarily guarantee that you will have a yeast infection, it can serve as a contributing factor. Why? Because the increase in the number of yeast cells as a result of genital contact ( you can also get an oral yeast infection / thrush through oral sex) may be too much for your body to handle. The yeast will overwhelm your body, leading to an infection.

Diabetes

Several studies have shown a relationship between diabetes and yeast infections. Women with diabetes are more likely to have a vaginal yeast infection when compared to those who don't have diabetes. This was true both in women with type 1 and type 2 diabetes .

It is not that diabetes actually causes yeast. It is more of diabetes increasing the likelihood of existing yeast cells overgrowing. This has to do with the fact that when you have diabetes, you blood sugar levels fluctuate. Having spikes in sugar levels is not unusual. This is a problem since yeast feeds on sugar. Yeast overgrowth is therefore more likely to happen during these periods of blood sugar level spikes.

HIV

HIV weakens the immune system. It cripples it making it almost impossible to fight off even the mildest of infections. This, in addition to the overall imbalance that a HIV infection has on the body, increases the rate at which yeasts grow. A woman with HIV is therefore likely to suffer from yeast infections.

Given the body's weakened state, such infections are also bound to be more persistent. Chances of them being recurring are high, something that has even led the US Public Health Service to advice women that persistent or frequent cases of vaginal fungal infections may be an early sign of a HIV infection.

If you have HIV, treating the yeast may be tricky. Common over-the-counter medication may not be enough to give your body a fighting chance. Your doctor will therefore have to prescribe as special combination of medications that will be effective enough to keep the yeast infection from coming back.

Pregnancy

Pregnancy can cause a yeast infection. This is because when you are pregnant, your body releases an increased amount of estrogen. Estrogen helps to prepare your body for the coming baby.

Unfortunately, an increase in estrogen levels leaves your body vulnerable to a yeast infection attack. Why? Because according to the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, estrogen increases the concentration of glycogen in the walls of your vagina. Therefore, it provides the substance that the yeast needs to thrive.

Since yeast cells tend to thrive in glycogen-rich areas of the body, they will overgrow. The imbalance that occurs as a result of this will then manifest as a vaginal yeast infection. You will then experience one or more of candida infection symptoms. These include having an odorless discharge that looks like cottage cheese, a vaginal rash, soreness and pain in the vaginal area, general swelling and and redness, a burning sensation and irritation -- all in the vaginal area.

Treating this type of infection during pregnancy isn't complicated. Therefore, you should see your doctor immediately you notice any of these symptoms during your pregnancy. This is because of two things.

i. Serious candida yeast infection symptoms

The first is that when left untreated, these symptoms can become way more serious. For example, consistent itching will cause cracks and tears in your skin. These can then lead to further infections that will then lead other infections.

ii. Risk of passing the yeast infection to the baby at birth

The second reason why immediate treatment of a candida yeast infection is advisable is because of the risk to your baby. While the infection poses no risk to your pregnancy, there is always an ever-present of transferring the infection to your baby.

This infection usually affects a baby's mouth. And it is referred to as thrush. The good news is that it is easily treatable. However, minimizing the risk of infecting your baby with a yeast infection is a way better strategy. Simply treat it before it poses a threat to your baby.

Periods

Periods sometimes cause candida yeast infections. It is not unusual for you to experience a flare up of yeast infections simply because of the effect that menstrual cycles have on the pH levels of the vaginal area. These changes affect the yeast and bacteria populations in this area, something that then causes an overgrowth of yeast cells.

In fact, in some women, the recurrence is usually so bad to an extent that they experience yeast infection symptoms every time a period rolls in.

Recurring candida yeast infection due to periods - menstrual cycleThis is a question from Parents(dot)Com

However, it is important to note that it is not normal for candida yeast infections to recur. If yours appears every time you have a period, it means that there is an underlying reason. Something other than your period is to blame.

It might be that you never really got a complete treatment the first time round. Factors such as stress and bad habits such as douching and using of bath oils and perfumed soaps might also be to blame. Medical conditions like diabetes and HIV are also common in most recurring cases. You should therefore go for a medical checkup if you experience yeast infection symptoms every time you have your period.

Antibiotics

Use of antibiotics causes vaginal infections. This has to do with the fact that antibiotics never discriminate between good bacteria and bad bacteria. When used, they indiscriminately get rid of bacterial organisms in the body. This is bad news for good bacteria, and also for the body.

There are types of bacteria that help to keep the body healthy. In an area such as the vagina, these bacteria come in handy in helping to keep a healthy balance between the organisms that exist there.

A good example is Lactobacillus acidophilus. This is a type of bacteria that helps to keep yeast cell populations in check. Taking antibiotics kills them. This then gives the yeast the freedom to multiply, something that leads to overgrowth. Eventually, this leads to full-on candida infection. Medical intervention will then be necessary to get things back in control.

What this means is that if you are suffering from vaginal thrush ( another name for candida vaginal yeast infection), you might be to blame. This is especially so if you tend to experience the associated symptoms every time you take antibiotics. Want to get rid of the yeast overgrowth? Simply keep away from the antibacterial medication. It does no good to your vagina.

Birth Control

Birth control pills work by messing with your hormonal levels. They keep you from getting pregnant by tricking your body into believing that you are already pregnant.

The first way in which birth control pills cause yeast infections is by causing an increase in pregnancy-related hormones in your body. These hormones increase the level of glycogen in your vaginal cells. And since yeast cells feed on this, it helps speed up the process that the yeast cells multiply. This overgrowth then leads to an infection.

The second way that the birth control pills cause candida vaginal infections is by messing with the balance in the vaginal area. By causing a sudden spike and drops in hormones in the body, these medications mess with the general environment existing in the vaginal area.

As the body tries to regain its balance as a result of the tail spin that the birth control puts it through, yeast cells sometimes take advantage of this chaos. They multiply. They overpower other organisms. And they cause symptoms such as itching, swelling, and abnormal vaginal discharges -- candida infection symptoms.

Foods

Some foods cause yeast infections. They do this by accelerating the rate at which the yeast cells multiply. Taking these foods causes an overgrowth of the candida yeast population. This then causes you to experience one or more of the symptoms associated with vaginal yeast infections.

David L. Katz, MD, answered this question. A reader asked him: "Can I Avoid Yeast Infections by Changing My Diet?". When answering the question, he noted that yeast thrives on sugars. Any food that provides it with sugars is therefore bound to increase the risks of having a yeast infection.

According to him, limiting intake of starchy snacks, simple sugars and white flour is something you should do to avoid recurring yeast infection incidences. Doing this will starve the yeast. It will then help keep the growth of the yeast in control.

Lifestyle

Lifestyle choices also cause yeast infections. What you eat has an effect on the balance in your vaginal area. If you are constantly stressed, your vaginal environment won't be at an optimal level. Same thing happens is you use scented soaps, douche or do anything that will disturb the delicate balance between bacteria and yeast in your vagina.

Upsetting your vaginal balance may cause candida yeast cells to multiply at a faster rate. When this happens, they will overrun your vagina and cervical area. Itching, an abnormal vaginal discharge, pain during sex, pain during urination and any other yeast infection symptom may then follow afterwards.

How do you prevent vaginal candida yeast infections?

Candida yeast infections are common. The CDC estimates that over 75% of women have it at least once in their lifetime. It also estimates that 40-45% of women will have it more than twice. This makes candida yeast infections very common.

Question is: Can you prevent a candida yeast vaginal infection?

Even though this type of vaginal infection is common, it rarely carries life-threatening symptoms. It is also easy to prevent.

All you have to do in order to keep your vagina free from candidiasis (yeast infections are caused by candida) is to stay away from the things that encourage yeast overgrowth. You also have to stick to a diet and a lifestyle that helps maintain the balance in your body. And if you have an underlying condition that makes you vulnerable to yeast attacks, properly managing this condition will help keep your vagina free from any candida albicans attacks.

To sum it up, you need to:

  1. keep away from things that increase your risks of infection
  2. get on a yeast-preventing diet
  3. manage any preexisting conditions that may make you vulnerable to a vaginal yeast infection

Keep away from things that increase your risks of vaginal yeast infections

One of the easiest ways of prevent a vaginal yeast infection is to keep away from things that are known to increase the chances of a yeast overgrowth in your vagina. Here are some things that you should definitely avoid if you want to get rid of all the symptoms caused by candida infections:

  1. Using antibiotics

  2. Using tight clothing

  3. Using scented tampons and pads

  4. Using hot tubs

  5. Douching

  6. Birth control pills

  7. Sexual intercourse

  8. Diet that promotes a healthy bacteria-fungi balance

Antibiotics and vaginal yeast (candida) infections

Antibiotics kill bacteria. They do this indiscriminately. As a result, even useful bacteria fall victim to their onslaught. This includes those that help to keep yeast growth in check.

With the things that control yeast growth out of the way, yeast cells will multiply at a faster rate. They overrun the vaginal area and eventually cause most of the symptoms associated with vaginal yeast infections.

Keep away from antibiotics whenever you can. Avoiding them will ensure that the useful bacteria in your body thrive. These bacteria will then shield your body from getting vaginal yeast infections.

Tight clothing and vaginal yeast (candida) infections

Tight clothing can also encourage vaginal yeast infections. Avoiding them, or at least reducing the frequency with which you wear them is therefore an easy way of preventing a vaginal yeast infection.

According to Tami Rowen, MD (in an interview with Self.Com) this all has to do with the fact that tight clothing affects the breathability of moisture. It also traps moisture. And since bacteria and candida yeast thrive in areas with moisture and which lack aeration, this encourages an overgrowth that then leads to irritation, itching, abnormal discharge and reddening of the vagina.

Scented tampons & pads and vaginal yeast (candida) infections

This is one of the main things that doctor Tami Rowen observed to be the underlying cause in cases of increased candida infections in women who wear tight clothing.

Scented tampons and pads cause vaginal yeast infections because they affect the pH of the vagina. This disturbs the normal balance in the vagina. And part of the effect of this disturbance is sometimes an accelerated rate at which candida yeast cells multiply. If you do nothing to stop this overgrowth, you will start experiencing the symptoms associated with yeast infections.

Hot tubs and vaginal yeast (candida) infections

Causes of vaginal thrush?

In response to a question about whether a brand-new hot tub can cause one to have a yeast infection, Dr. Angelina Postoev responded that it really didn’t matter whether the hot tub was new or old. Whether it had been used before was never a factor as far as causing yeast infections because the infection (candida yeast) does not arise because of how clean or dirty the hot tub is.

Hot tubs cause vaginal candida yeast infections simply because they mess with the vaginal environment. According to her, it is the temperature, soaps and salts in bathtubs that one should be wary of. In addition to changing the pH of the vagina, they can also kill the good bacteria in your vagina. This may then encourage a candida overgrowth. When this happens, it is only a matter of time before you start experiencing symptoms of vaginal yeast infections.

The chances of developing a vaginal yeast infection after using a hot tub depends on a number of factors. It depends on:

  1. how much time you spend in the hot tub
  2. the temperature of the hot tub
  3. the types of salts and soaps you use

Douching and candida yeast infections

According to the Office of Women's Health, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, douching is inadvisable because of the effects it has on the environment in the vagina. It is bad for your vaginal health for two reasons:

  1. It changes the existing balance of bacteria and other organisms that live in the vagina
  2. It changes the pH (the level of acidity) of the vagina

Since acidity helps protect the vagina from attacks like those from harmful bacteria, a change in acidity will leave it vulnerable. Bacteria that wouldn’t have thrived before will start thriving in the vagina. This change can also be harmful to the good bacteria in the vagina.

The act of douching, in and of itself, also ruins the balance between the good bacteria and the bad bacteria. It can kill good bacteria, something that will also leave the vagina susceptible to attacks.

Douching causes yeast infections because it alters the natural balance of the vagina. Since it kills the good bacteria that exist in the vagina, it gives room for yeast cells to increase in number. This increased growth is what then causes yeast infection symptoms to manifest.

Birth control and vaginal yeast infections

Not every type of birth control causes yeast infections. Only the types that prevent pregnancy by manipulating the body’s hormones do.

Some forms of birth control that cause vaginal yeast infections include: the vaginal ring, the patch and birth control pills. Since this is not an exhaustive list, just know that anything that manipulates your hormonal levels puts you at risk of getting candidiasis.

Hormones play a central role in determining the functioning of the human body. This includes the health of the vagina. By messing with your hormones, hormone-based methods of birth control disrupt the balance that exists in the vagina area. The imbalance that results then creates an environment that is perfect for candida growth. A vaginal candida yeast infection is thereafter inevitable.

Sexual intercourse and yeast infections

A vaginal yeast infection is not classified as a sexually transmitted infection. According to WebMD, this is because people can get yeast infections without having sex. It all has to do with the fact that yeast cells exist naturally in the vagina, and a yeast infection is only said to exist if there is an overgrowth of the cells.

With that out of the way, let’s move to the next question: can you get a yeast infection through sexual intercourse? Can sex cause you to have a candida infection?

Even though vaginal yeast infections are not classified as STIs, you can get an infection as a result of sexual intercourse. This also applies in the case of oral sex -- in which case you will get an oral yeast infection (usually referred to as thrush).

You can get a candida yeast infection from sex simply because yeast cells are transferable through contact. Sex is a form of contact. The cells can therefore be transferred from one partner to another.

However, this does not mean that there is a guarantee that you will have the infection. Remember, it is possible for candida (yeast) cells to exist in your vagina and body without causing any symptoms. This transfer (sex) simply introduces the cells into your body. It doesn’t cause the infection.

What this means is that it is only when these cells overrun your vagina that an infection can be said to exist. Therefore, if you have a strong immune system, if the balance in your vagina is optimal, and if you don’t have a pre-existing condition or habit that can encourage an overgrowth, you are safe.

On the other hand, if your vaginal environment isn’t healthy enough to handle a few more yeast cells or if you have a condition or habit that is likely to encourage an overgrowth, you will get a yeast infection.

Get on a yeast-preventing diet

A candida yeast infection occurs when your body has a weak immune system. It also occurs when there is a hormonal imbalance. Anything that destroys good bacteria also creates an environment in which yeast can thrive. And so does anything that makes it easy for yeast to feed and grow.

Your diet plays an important part in determining your hormonal balance. It determines your vagina pH, the balance between good and bad bacteria, the sugar level in cells lining the vagina and the strength of your immune system. In short, it plays a significant role as far as your susceptibility to a candida vaginal yeast infection is concerned. It determines whether your body will be able to control the yeast population in your vagina.

The following food are known to prevent vaginal yeast infections. This list has been compiled based on recommendations that the doctors and health professionals have provided on their respective websites.

Dr. Joseph Mercola on foods that will prevent occurrence and recurrence of vaginal yeast infections

He is a New York Times bestseller of The Great Bird Flu Hoax, The No-Grain Diet, and Effortless Healing. He is an osteopathic physician who has served as the Chairman of Family Medicine at St. Alexius Medical Center.

With a fellowship from American College of Nutrition (ACN), and extensive training in both natural and traditional medicine, he is well-qualified to give advice on how to prevent vaginal yeast infections.

Here are the foods that he believes will boost your chances of fighting off and preventing recurrence of candida yeast infections.

The Most Effective Natural Diet To Prevent Vaginal Candida Yeast Infections

This is what Dr. Mercola, a New York Times bestselling author, an osteopathic physician and the former Chairman of Family Medicine at St. Alexius Medical Center, recommends in his website: Mercola.Com

  Food Why it works
1 Apple cider vinegar It works because it has antifungal properties. Yeast is a fungi. It therefore falls within what apple cider vinegar can kill. If you take it orally, it will also kill any candida yeast in your gut. Raw organic apple cider vinegar shows the best results.
2 Shiitake Mushrooms Even though it is a fungi, it is the good kind. It has lentinan, a protein that not only fights candida yeast fungi, but has shown promising results in preventing tumor growth. This is according to a Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine study. Add to this the B vitamins that it has and you also have s source of antioxidants and energy
3 Coconut Oil It contains medium-chain fatty acids. These help get rid of fungi in the gut. It also helps in weight and cholesterol-level management
4 Natto It is a dish -- a Japanese one -- that has fermented soybeans. It is great at treating and preventing candida yeast infections because it is a rich source of probiotics. The vitamin K2 that it comes with also helps reduce inflammation.
5 Yogurt It comes with a lot of good bacteria. The bacteria are effective are effective at preventing candida yeast. As a bonus, it also contains vitamins B, calcium, proteins and conjugated linoleic acid. If you want to see results, make sure that it is organic grass-fed milk
6 Garlic

Raw garlic has a lot of nutrients. Studies have shown that it has properties that help in preventing colds, flud, cancer and cardiovascular disease.
More impartant is that it contains allicin. This compound is an effective at destroying candida yeast. You can take it orally to kill any candida yeast in the gut. You can also rub it directly on the rashes.

Dr. Josh Axe advice on diet for preventing vaginal candida yeast infections

Dr. Josh Axe, is the bestselling author of Eat Dirt, The Real Food Diet Cookbook and Essential Oils Ancient Medicine. He is a clinical nutritionist and a certified natural medicine doctor.

He is best known for being the founder of the widely popular DrAxe.Com, for working with the Wellness Advisory Council and generally working with athletes like Michael Phelps in order to improve their performance. He has also created several popular programs like The Adrenal-COrtisol Solution, Healing Leaky Gut and Essential Oils Ancient Transformation.

Here are his recommendations for a diet that will help prevent and treat candida yeast infections in women and men. 

16 Best Natural Foods To Prevent And Treat Candida Vaginal Yeast Infections

This is what Dr. Josh Axe, the bestselling author, clinical nutritionist and certified natural medicine doctor, recommends in his website: DrAxe.Com

  Food Why it works
1 Cooked Vegetables How good your immune system is plays a huge role in determining your susceptibility to infections. This includes candidiasis ( any infection caused by candida yeast).
Taking healthy cooked vegetables such as cauliflower, broccoli and asparagus will boost your body's immune system. It will give it enough to help ward off a yeast infection.
2 Apple Cider Vinegar It is rich in enzymes and acids that help to destroy candida yeast. It helps keep the fungi that causes candida vaginal yeast infections in check.
3 Garlic Garlic is rich in sulphur compounds. These compounds have properties that kill a wide variety of fungi. Candida yeast is one of the fungi that they kill.
4 Coconut Oil Coconut prevents and heals candida because it contains both caprylic acid and lauric acid. It works as a treatment and can be either ingested or topically applied.
5 Cultured Dairy Cultured dairy falls under the healthy probiotic foods category. If you take cultured dairy, like goat milk kefir, you will increase the population of healthy flora in your body. This will eliminate incidences of yeast infection recurrence and attacks because the flora will keep the growth of the candida in check.
6 Stevia Stevia is effective at helping your body avoid yeast infection because it serves as an alternative to sugar. Using it will deny your candida yeast what it needs to grow and multiply. And with nothing to overfeed on, it won't be able to overgrow. This will save you from the discomfort that usually comes with yeast infection symptoms.
7 Ground Flaxseeds & Chia Seeds Chia seeds and flax seeds have polyphenols. These compounds encourage probiotic growth. They therefore help as far as controlling candida growth is concerned.
8 Green Veggies & Green Drinks Candida yeast cells thrive in acidic environments. Vegetables help alkalize the body. They therefore control yeast overgrowth. There is also the fact that yeast don't contain sugar -- something that yeast feeds on. And don't forget the generous amounts of magnesium (good for detoxification), chlorophyll ( a natural cleanser), and vitamin C (perfect for the immune system) that they usually supply the body with.
9 Unsweetened Cranberry Juice Cranberry juice is useful in helping the body maintain its optimal pH. Since a change in pH is one of the reasons why a vagina yeast infection can arise, this juice will help keep your body candida-free.
10 Sauerkraut & Fermented Foods Sauerkraut is a type of fermented food. It, and other fermented foods, is rich in various types of microflora that are key to protecting the intestines. When taken, these foods boost the immune system, making it capable of handling yeast growths in the vagina and other parts of the body.
11 Cinnamon Cinnamon can also prevent and treat candida yeast infections. This includes yeast infections that attacks the mouth (oral thrush). Studies show that taking people who take cinnamon have less vaginal yeast infection attacks than those who don't.
12 Pau D’arco Tea Doctor Axe names this as a must-have when you are are suffering from a vaginal candida yeast infection. It has a number of antifungal compounds that actively help in the fight against candida albicans. One of the key components it contains is lapachol.
13 Bone Broth Bone broth has great health benefits. it improves gut health. The better your gut health, the better your chances of fighting off a candida infection.
14 Organic Meat According to Dr. Axe, organic meat contains healthy proteins and fats. It will therefore play a role in helping ensure that the body id strong enough to fight off most infections. This includes vaginal candida infections.
He emphasizes that you should get organic, free range meat. This is because factory-farmed meats may contain ingredients that promote yeast growth. Taking them will be counterproductive if you already have a yeast infection.
15 Turmeric Turmeric contains curcumin. This is an active ingredient that has proven effective in controlling both candida albicans and other types of candida. It will keep vaginal yeast infections at bay since the yeast won't have the chance to overgrow.