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Yeast infections are an uncomfortable, but common occurrence. Despite the normality of this condition, most of us would rather avoid it.
What’s the best way to prevent a yeast infection? Probiotics are a great option.
I’m going to discuss some of the best probiotics for yeast infection on the market today and hopefully help you prevent this unpleasant infection long term.
What Exactly is a Yeast Infection?
Yeast infections are caused by a fungus called candida. While this fungus is naturally found in our bodies, when candida becomes overpopulated, it can cause an irritating infection often known as candidiasis.
Though these infections can technically occur anywhere in the body, what’s referred to as a ‘yeast infection’ is typically found in the vagina. Though a candida infection is definitely awkward and potentially embarrassing, it’s very rarely harmful.
Some symptoms of vaginal yeast infection include abnormal vaginal discharge, itching and burning in the area, painful intercourse and urination, and redness and swelling of the outside of the vagina.
The infection is typically diagnosed by a pelvic exam where your doctor will check for classic symptoms.
What Causes Candida Infections?
Infection is caused by an overgrowth of one of the strains of candida. Candida albicans is the most common variety of fungi to cause everyday yeast infections.
This overgrowth is caused by the conditions in which the yeast grows becoming more appropriate or a failure of the immune system.
Candida infection of the mouth is extremely common in infants, although it’s certainly not unheard of in adults. This condition is characterized by white patches in the mouth and on the tongue. The patches may resemble milk or cottage cheese stuck to the mouth, but they don’t wipe off.
While these white patches can be painful, they are not typically dangerous in any way. They may cause infants to refuse food, though, and that can be a problem.
This type of yeast infection is also very contagious, which means bottles and pacifiers need to be sanitized frequently.
Penile yeast infections, yeast infections between skin folds, and yeast-caused diaper rash are also fairly common, though less well known.
Although, as I mentioned, yeast infections are rarely harmful, their contagiousness means that it’s very important to treat them. If left alone, it can spread to other body parts and people.
What Treatments Are Used for Yeast Infections?
There are several common over-the-counter treatments available for various types of yeast infection.
For vaginal yeast infections, miconazole, tioconazole, and butoconazole are common types of medication that are available over the counter.
For thrush in infants, nystatin is commonly prescribed, combined with good oral hygiene and the sterilization of anything that goes in baby’s mouth.
In adults, nystatin, troches (lozenges), and fluconazole (pills) can be used alone or in concert to treat oral yeast infections.
Clotrimazole is the most commonly used cream for yeast infections of the skin such as diaper rash. It will heal best if the area is kept clean and dry, as well. Simply wash the infected skin with soap and water, pat the area dry, and take care to avoid excess buildup of moisture.
How Can You Prevent Yeast Infections?
There are a few ways to help prevent yeast infections all together. Wearing loose fitting, light clothing can help. Keeping skin clean and dry can help as well.
You may also be able to help prevent yeast infections by changing your diet – eating less sugar and dairy in particular.
If you’re getting yeast infections regularly despite preventative care, you may need to see your doctor. It is possible that you have a condition that increases the odds of yeast infection. Though yeast infections on their own are not likely to cause harm, underlying conditions that lead to them can be dangerous.
What Else Can Help?
Probiotics are also a fantastic way to prevent yeast infections. The theory behind this involves building up the “good” bacteria in your body so that it outnumbers the “bad” bacteria.
Taking probiotics regularly can help your general health by keeping the microbiome (bacterial make-up) healthy and balanced. There is some evidence to show that probiotic supplements help the immune system function better, as well, which can help prevent yeast infections and help your body fight them.
Probiotics may also contribute to the health of your immune system. Some doctors now believe that much of your immune system is contained in your gut. This means that improving the health of your gut can boost your immune system. This will help your body prevent infections – including overgrowth of candida.
As is always the case, consult your doctor about supplements or alternative treatments you want to try, particularly if you are already being treated. This can help you avoid potential drug interactions or adverse effects on your health.
Let’s check out some vaginal yeast infection supplements.
Final Thoughts on the Best Probiotics for Yeast Infection
For me, the LoveBug probiotics are definitely my pick for the best probiotics for yeast infection of the vagina. This company seems to have really made an effort to understand and support the health needs of women, and the results seem pretty good.
Though this supplement is fairly expensive, you’ll find that many women’s supplements (really, gender specific products in general..search pink tax) are higher in price than gender neutral, so that’s sadly to be expected. However, they quality of this supplement and its targeted formula makes it worth the extra dough.