Because vaginal yeast infection or, vaginal thrush as it is more often referred to, is extremely common, it is wise to follow the old adage, ‘prevention is better than cure.’ Although many women fail to realize it, there are steps you can take to prevent yeast infections either occurring or recurring, which can be incorporated into your everyday lifestyle with the minimum of fuss or effort.
The main reason women get genital yeast infections more often than men is simply due to the ‘design’ of the female nether regions. It is the ideal environment – warm, dark and moist – for yeasts to accommodate and thrive. So a large part of what you are looking to do is to make that environment less hospitable to yeasts.
Here are Ten Tips to remember when either preventing thrush or when trying to rid yourself of it:
1. By allowing air to circulate you are making the environment more hostile to yeasts. Wear loose fitting clothing wherever possible. This includes tight, heavy trousers and, more importantly, nylon underwear. Nylon doesn’t allow the body to breathe in the same way that cotton does. So exchange the nylon for cotton and the trousers for skirts whenever you can.
2. A steaming hot bath or jacuzzi might seem the ideal way to relax but the heat can encourage yeast overgrowth, and, in women who already have it, make the region extremely irritated. Take warm baths over hot ones and, whenever you can, shower!
3. If you need to wear trousers in the daytime consider having a shower in the evening after work. This way you can change into less formal garments and shift straight into a dress or skirt with no hose after bathing. The same rule applies after swimming. Change into something light and made of a natural material so the air can circulate between your legs.
4. Avoiding alcohol together with sweet desserts and candies is a must if you want to send that infection on its way. Alcohol is known to exist in many people with microflora dysbiosis and Candida just simply thrive on the sugary goodies. Remember that it won’t be for ever and, after your yeast infection has gone, most people often find that they crave candy a lot less than they did before anyway.
5. My Candida Crusher Program gives in-depth advice and guidance about how to treat recurring yeast infections as well as how to prevent them starting. But remember that foods which contain yeasts, and not only alcohol, can also contribute to making a Thrush infection worse. Avoid breads, and cookies wherever possible.
6. Probiotics are essential if you have to take antibiotics. Antibiotics are one of the major causations when it comes to gut dysbiosis and this fact has been realized for decades. When it comes to taking probiotics many patients only continue with them for as long as they are taking the drugs – and it simply isn’t long enough. Remember my x6 rule. For however long you take antibiotics you must take probiotics for 6 times longer. You are on antibiotics for 1 week, then take probiotics for 6 weeks. The beneficial bacteria take longer to be replaced than it does to wipe them out.
7. Oral contraceptives are also becoming recognized as causing thrush. If you are concerned, and particularly if you have recurring thrush, speak to your clinician about possible alternatives. For those women who don’t see any reasonable alternatives to the pill then consider adding a good quality probiotic to your daily diet.
8. Avoid becoming overheated. Whether you are having a day on the beach or when you are playing sports, consider just how overheated your body is becoming. Remember to shower, dry yourself carefully and to dress yourself in loose fitting clothing to allow yourself to cool off. It should go without saying to avoid saunas. That amount of heat, together with the moisture provides an ideal breeding ground for Candida.
9. When sitting, and particularly for long periods, try not to cross your legs. Letting the air circulate even when you are doing nothing is very important. You have no need to sit like a jock but can retain femininity by crossing your legs at the ankles – which is considered very elegant in some circles!
10. I don’t recommend douches under normal circumstances but do provide details of both my anti-microbial and probiotic protocols in Candida Crusher. These are specialist douches which can be used without encouraging further overgrowth.
Remember that although you can hold Candida at bay if you practice these simple rules, it is much more difficult to Crush Thrush once it has gained a foothold. Most of the time it is necessary to practice these habits for at least 6 months to ensure that Candida does not recur.