Preventing yeast infections starts with taking good care of yourself which includes avoiding stress, getting enough rest, and consuming a healthy diet. If someone has diabetes, keeping the blood sugar level under control is important. Uncontrolled levels of blood sugar can elevate the risk of yeast infections and may make it difficult to get rid of them. If someone is taking antibiotics or consuming birth control pills, it is important to ask a doctor if probiotics should be taken along with them so that the “good” bacteria can be protected from destruction. That way the yeast won’t overwhelm the different parts of the body. In addition, good hygiene is helpful for the prevention of an environment that is suitable for the growth of yeast.
Following are certain steps that can be taken to prevent yeast infection:
- Practice good hygiene
- Wear the right clothes
- Avoid scented sprays and bath products
- Don’t douche
- Avoid certain medications (when possible)
- Maintain a proper diet, sleep, and exercise
- Keep the vagina clean and dry (1)
These preventive measures are essential for those who experience three or more yeast infections every year, a condition which is called chronic or recurrent yeast infections. (2) Following are the detailed daily habits that can help in the prevention of yeast infection, especially in summer:
- Clothing Habits for Avoidance of Yeast Infection In Summer:
Wear loose-fitting underwear and pants. Leave some room for airflow.
Wear absorbent cotton or silk underwear instead of nylon or other synthetic fabrics.
Cotton and silk underwear are good at absorbing moisture and keeping the skin dry.
On the other hand, nylon and other synthetic fabrics hold moisture close to our skin, encouraging the growth of yeast. Underwear made of synthetic material may also result in allergic reactions or hypersensitivity that may lead to an alteration in the vaginal environment and contribute to the development of yeast infection.
Pantyhose, tights, and leggings can cause heat and moisture to build up in the crotch area.
Avoiding snug-fitting pyjamas is a good option. A loose, flowing nightgown is better and preferable. And going without underwear while going to sleep will help keep the genital area dry and discourage yeast growth.
If wearing a pantyhose is essential, be sure to wear cotton panties underneath, or choose a pantyhose with a cotton crotch.
- Cleanliness and Hygiene Habits for Avoidance of Yeast Infection:
Prevention of yeast infection requires keeping the body parts clean. For preventing yeast infection in the vagina it is important to keep it clean which will not only keep the individual smelling fresh but it will also help prevent the yeast infections.
Avoid cleaning your genital area with soap. Instead, rinse thoroughly with water only and dry completely with a soft towel. If wanted, you may use a mild soap.
Cleaning the inside folds of the vagina when bathing reduces the chances of yeast growth as the folds are more prone to get these kinds of infections. As yeast can thrive in a moist environment, it is vital to dry the entire area of the vagina after taking a bath or shower. (3)
Sanitary pads and tampons which are scented should also be avoided. Avoiding the use of printed or colored toilet paper is also a preventive measure as dyes can also cause irritation.
Douching should be done sparingly as it has a destructive effect not only on the harmful bacteria but also on those which are helpful to keep the growth of yeast in check. Products used for douching also wash away the natural protective lining of the vagina which leaves the skin of the vagina more susceptible to yeast and other vaginal infections. They also result in the introduction of harmful substances that may cause allergic or hypersensitivity reactions and alter the normal pH balance (acidic) of the vagina.
Take extra care during menstruation. Keep your genital area clean. Use pads instead of tampons if you are prone to yeast infections. If you use tampons, change them frequently.
Bathe smartly. Stay out of hot tubs. Limit your time soaking in a hot bath. Thoroughly rinse after using products like bath salts.
Always use condoms if you aren’t in a committed relationship.
If you have a yeast infection, you should avoid intercourse until your symptoms clear. Vaginal sex can make symptoms of itching, soreness, and dryness worse.
Although a yeast infection isn’t technically a sexually-transmitted disease, it may be possible to get it from your partner during sex. Generally, it doesn’t get passed that way, but when women keep coming back with recurrent infections sometimes doctors do ask the partner to get treated to see if that helps.
Uncircumcised men have a slightly higher chance of passing on yeast since their foreskin creates a dark, damp area where it can hang out. Your risk also goes up every time you have a brand-new partner because everyone has different flora
- Maintaining a Healthy Immune System This Summer:
Finally, a healthy immune system will keep the growth of yeast in check this summer. Keeping a regular sleep schedule and avoiding heavy meals, caffeine, and exercise within three hours of bedtime are healthy daily habits for preventing yeast infections. Stress reduction techniques such as regular exercise, meditation, and yoga should be practiced to reduce high levels of stress which leads to a compromised immune system.(4) As sugar is a prime food source for yeast proliferation, persons having diabetes should keep their blood sugar levels under control. (1, 4)
- Diet Habits for Avoidance of Yeast Infection This Summer:
According to some evidence, it has been proven that sugar helps in the promotion of yeast growth. Yeast’s affinity for sweets has prompted some experts to suggest that diet may be a risk factor for some women when it comes to developing yeast infections.
There is a diet so-called yeast infection diet or anti-candida diet which is being followed by many people. This diet is based on the theory that excluding some foods may help in the elimination or at least immensely reduce the risk of overgrowth of yeast.
Supporters of such regimens have claimed that a yeast infection diet assists in curing or preventing yeast infections by excluding:
- Anything which is fermented by using yeast such as alcoholic drinks
- Certain dairy products which include whole milk too
- White flour and other grains which are glutenous in nature
- Foods that contain simple sugars which include many fruits
It is recommended on this diet that sticking to foods like protein (from chicken, beans, grass-fed beef, eggs, and wild-caught fish), green vegetables, herbal tea, and nuts is beneficial for the prevention of yeast infections. (5) Although the Candida diet has not been yet supported by rigorous scientific research, it only makes sense to not feed something you are trying to prevent or get under control.
It is also recommended on the candida diet that consuming probiotics or yogurt which contains live cultures of the renowned friendly bacteria called Lactobacillus acidophilus. Probiotics are also considered a popular choice for preventing or curing yeast infection. They include both the home remedies as well as the natural products which are hostile to conventional means.
Good sources for probiotics are:
- Yogurt with live bacterial cultures
- Fermented foods such as kimchi, kefir, sauerkraut, and pickles
- Supplements containing lactobacillus or acidophilus
Some women have success in preventing and treating yeast infections when they consume yogurt (or a probiotic supplement) regularly.
About the Author
Dan Jackowiak, Nc, HHP, is the Founder of Yeast Infection Advisor. Dan is a Holistic Healthcare Practitioner and Nutritional Consultant that personally suffered from yeast and bad bacterial overgrowth of the gut for most of his life. The information on his website is a combination of his own nutrition and holistic training, life experiences, collaboration with fellow experts on his team, and over 18 years of studying medical research on candida yeasts infections of all types, which has allowed him to take his life and health back help others overcome yeast-related health problems and digestive problems of all kinds.
1. Gonçalves B, Ferreira C, Alves CT, Henriques M, Azeredo J, Silva S. Vulvovaginal candidiasis: Epidemiology, microbiology and risk factors. Crit Rev Microbiol. 2016;42(6):905-27.
2. Sobel JD, Barbieri RL, Eckler K. Patient education: Vaginal yeast infection (beyond the basics). UpToDate. Inc Updated February. 2019;7.
3. Blaganje M, Barbič M. Vaginal Yeast Infection. Current Bladder Dysfunction Reports. 2020:1-7.
4. Moshfeghy Z, Tahari S, Janghorban R, Najib FS, Mani A, Sayadi M. Association of sexual function and psychological symptoms including depression, anxiety and stress in women with recurrent vulvovaginal candidiasis. Journal of the Turkish German Gynecological Association. 2020;21(2):90.
5. Harvey C. What is a Candida Diet?
- Vulvovaginal candidiasis: Epidemiology, microbiology and risk factors – PubMed (nih.gov)
- Patient education: Vaginal yeast infection (Beyond the Basics) – UpToDate
- Vaginal Yeast Infection | SpringerLink
- Association of sexual function and psychological symptoms including depression, anxiety and stress in women with recurrent vulvovaginal candidiasis (nih.gov)
- Pea Protein and the Anti-Candida Diet – Nuzest USA (nuzest-usa.com)