What are the risk factors for vaginal candida infections?
- Recent treatment with antibiotics
- Uncontrolled diabetes
- High-estrogen contraceptives
- Disorders affecting the immune system (such as HIV and organ transplantation)
- Thyroid or endocrine disorders
- Corticosteroid therapy
- Vaginal douching
How can I prevent vaginitis?
There are certain things that you can do to decrease the chance of getting vaginitis. If you suffer from yeast infections, it usually is helpful to avoid garments that hold in heat and moisture. The wearing of nylon panties, pantyhose without a cotton panel and tight spandex or jeans may lead to yeast infections. Good hygiene is also important.
There is little scientific evidence that yogurt and probiotics containing lactobacillus will reduce vaginitis infections. Some also recommend limiting sugary foods to prevent the growth of yeast. Discuss with your doctor if this is something that he or she would recommend for you.
Because they can cause vaginal irritation, most doctors do not recommend vaginal sprays or heavily perfumed soaps for cleansing this area. Likewise, repeated douching may cause irritation or, more importantly, may hide a vaginal infection.
Safe sexual practices can help prevent the passing of diseases between partners. The use of condoms is particularly important.
If you are approaching menopause, have had your ovaries removed, or have low levels of estrogen for any reason, discuss with your doctor the use of hormone pills or creams to keep the vagina lubricated and healthy.
Good health habits are important. Have a complete gynecologic exam, including screening for cervical cancer at regular intervals discussed with your doctor. If you have multiple sexual partners, you should request screening for sexually transmitted diseases.