7 Surprising Ways to Prevent a Yeast Infection
It’s safe to say that almost every woman has suffered from the gnarly yeast beast at least once in her life. And while there’s no way to ensure you’ll never get one again, there are several things you can do to prevent them. From doctor-approved methods to old wives’ tales that women swear by, here’s how to steer clear of future infections.
Eat Less Sugar
Fact: Yeast thrives off of sugar. The glucose in these foods encourages yeast to grow and stick to vaginal cells. So limit sugar consumption and even try the Candida Diet, which limits some fruit (like bananas), grains (like wheat) and sweeteners that are particularly high in sugar, if you’re prone to these infections.
Try a More Alkaline Diet
Fruits and veggies, organic soybeans and tofu, and some nuts, seeds and legumes are alkaline-promoting foods that can help balance your internal pH. Yogurt and other probiotic foods like sauerkraut and kimchi also regulate good bacteria that defends against candida overgrowth. Acupuncturist and alternative medicine specialist Alexis Keklak recommends integrating these foods into your diet to keep yeast at bay. They all contain live cultures of lactobacillus acidophilus, a natural "friendly" bacteria, that may help prevent yeast infections.
Change Out of Your Sweaty Exercise Clothes ASAP
Any damp environment is an ideal place for a yeast infection to grow. The longer you sit in your sweaty clothes, the greater the chance that you’re providing a breeding ground for this unwanted friend. So strip down, shower and dry off as soon as you’re finished working out.
WEAR THE RIGHT UNDERWEAR
We’re not saying you have to wear granny panties, but choose underwear lined with cotton, which absorbs moisture better than synthetic fabrics and will help keep a dry environment. Avoid prolonged wear of panty liners and think twice about thongs—they can cause microscopic tears that could set the stage for infection, Keklak says.
Reduce Your Stress Level
This isn’t the first time we’ve heard that stress is the root of all evil. Taking time out to relax helps keep your immune system in tip-top shape and prevents infections of all kinds, including vaginal yeast infections.
Avoid Scented Tampons
Nope, don’t even think about 'em. Scented tampons contain chemicals and perfumes that upset the natural balance of good bacteria and other micro-organisms. So look for fragrance-free and organic feminine-care products if you want to stay yeast-free.
Get More Sleep
Your body needs restful sleep in order to do its job, notes OBGYN Robert Goldfarb. A solid eight hours of shut-eye can help keep the acidity levels in the vagina stable and lower the rate at which yeast grows, both of which prevent infections. Now go take a nap—it’s for your health.