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Why do I keep getting yeast infections?

By Anonymous January 8, 2016 - 10:14am
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Recently I have been getting several yeast infections and I never used to get them before. I've noticed I get them usually right after or toward the end of my period. Why am I getting so many yeast infections? Do you have any prevention tips for reducing my chances of getting them?

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HERWriter Guide

Hi Anon

Thanks for your question and welcome!

Your question is a great one - many women do see more yeast infections around the time of their periods than at any other time.

Yeast infections – the growth of a common fungus Candida albicans – are caused by a variety of different factors that range from emotional stress or diet choices to medications or certain soaps you use. Because Candida is just one of many small microorganisms (along with bacteria) that naturally grows in a healthy body, a change in the vagina’s pH (level of acidity) is one major cause of yeast infections.

Normally, your vagina maintains a pretty high acidic level between 3.5 and 4.5 on a 14 point pH scale. Just for a frame of reference, this range is comparable to the acidity level of grapefruit, soda or acid rain. This allows the body to “keep a balance between healthy and unhealthy bacteria, fungi and viruses in that area” (www.earthtym.net). If the vagina becomes too alkaline (basic), fungi like Candida are able to grow and thrive.

Unfortunately for us, the pH level of blood is much more basic – around 7.4 on the pH scale. (As a side note, so is semen.) Thus, during menstruation, the vagina’s environment is prone to changes in pH and thus to yeast infections as well. Often, tampon use exacerbates the problem, as they only retain the fluids that cause pH to increase for prolonged periods of time.

However, RepHresh, a manufacturer of feminine health products and tools, believes they have discovered an new way to prevent yeast infections from developing as a result of menstruation. And the solution is something many women use every month anyway.

This feminine product is called RepHresh Brilliant and it went on the market in 2010. With two active ingredients: citric acid and L-lactide, the tampons have not yet been shown to have any dangerous side effects.

According to their website, “after insertion, the pH tampon provides a rapid reduction of pH to within the normal range.

Then, as the pH tampon absorbs more fluid, the pH-Reducing Micro-Ribbons’ flow-release technology provides additional support as the body needs it to maintain the pH reduction throughout the tampon usage period.”

Like a regular tampon, RePhresh Brilliant must be changed every 4 to 8 hours and should not be used except during menstruation.

There are other ways for you to maintain a healthy vaginal environment during your period. Taking a probiotic can keep a good balance between bacteria and fungus and prevent yeast from getting too comfortable. Probiotics come in the form of pills, topical creams and suppositories. Eating yogurt is a well-known natural remedy as well (because yogurt is chock full of lactobacillis, a good bacteria that not only keeps fungal growth in check but also keeps your digestive tract healthy.

Cotton underwear is important to allow your body to breathe and fresh foods as well as pro-biotics. Don't use scented washes or use something like Summer's Eve that isn't too hard on the lady parts! Don't hang out in damp exercise clothes or swimsuits once you've finished working out.

Give it a couple of months to see if there is improvement.


January 8, 2016 - 4:03pm
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