How to keep that summer yeast infection away

How to keep that summer yeast infection away


Monday, July 06, 2020

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THE summer months are synonymous with warmer temperatures… and, well, fun and relaxation galore — from lazy days on the beach or by the poolside showing our bikini bodies, to water sports and other outdoor activities. Sadly, particularly for women, obstetrician-gynaecologist Dr Robyn Khemlani says that this warm, inviting temperature carries an increased risk for yeast infections.

“Yeast infections occur when there is an overgrowth of yeast in an area. The fungal nuisance, which often presents with symptoms including an odourless, cottage-cheese looking vaginal discharge and itching, thrives in dark, moist places,” Dr Khemlani told All Woman.

She explained that yeast infection complaints rise in the summer for obvious reasons —increased humidity, we are sweating more, and we often wear wet and sweaty clothes for longer periods.

If you are particularly prone to these infections, Dr Khemlani says it doesn't have to ruin your summer. Here's how to prevent this pesky infection.

Stop wearing wet clothing for extended periods

It's tempting to sit in your bikini, other beachwear, as well as your gym attire long after you have finished swimming or working out — it's cute and you just want to chill for a while. But that might not be the best idea.

“Wet clothes encourage the growth of the fungus so if you can, wash off and get into some dry clothes,” Dr Khemlani said.

Choose breathable underwear

The fabric used to make your undergarments can also affect your vaginal health. “Wearing cotton panties is recommended to help reduce the risk of yeast infection; this is because this fabric is more breathable,” Dr Khemlani explained. Some fabrics such as lace or garments like thongs can also irritate the area.

Take a pass on the hot tub

Even if it's just a few days for your vacation, it's important that you just skip the hot tub, and even extra hot baths. These tubs are a haven for bacteria which might not cause yeast infections, but they alter your vagina's pH which results in the growth of yeast.

Wipe front to back

Wiping the wrong direction or back to front can lead to yeast infections. When you wipe this way you bring germs from your anus to your vagina which leads to a disruption of your pH levels (flora) which leads to an overgrowth of yeast.

Don't douche

Doctors recommend that you avoid douching. “A healthy vagina has good and harmful bacteria. The balance of bacteria helps maintain an acidic environment. The acidic environment protects the vagina from infections or irritation,” Dr Khemlani advised. Douching can cause an overgrowth of harmful bacteria. This can lead to a yeast infection or bacterial vaginosis.

Stay away from certain feminine products

Many feminine products prevent the growth of the healthy bacteria required to fight off infection and therefore are also not recommended.

Always urinate after sex

Peeing after sex will help to rid your urethra of some of the harmful bacteria that might have entered your body during the activity. This will reduce the chances of yeast build-up as well as urinary tract infections.

Take stock of your health

Conditions like diabetes, especially poorly managed, and excessive use of antibiotics, can increase your chances of getting a yeast infection.

Ditch the pantyhose

Pantyhose are a key part of the professional attire of many women, but unfortunately, the fabric is tight and is not breathable. It may increase your chances of sweating in your intimate areas, making it more likely for you to develop a yeast infection.

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