Avoid Yeast Infections With a Variety of Strategies During COVID-19 Social Distancing Times

  1. Health behaviors are hard enough when you are on a normal schedule, but faced with stress and being cooped up, it’s time to be extra vigilant about your tricks to avoid getting yeast infections. Sugar consumption, yes, moderation is reasonable when you are trying to bake that comfort food. But look for hidden sugars that you aren’t counting (like that goblet of red wine in your hand!)

2. Right now we are seeing patients with acute medical problems, most often we diagnoses Diabetes and glucose intolerance on a routine visit. So pay attention to symptoms like chronic yeast infection.. This is the consequence of your body having sugar it cannot metabolize regardless of how reasonable your diet is.

3. Antibiotic overuse, a ubiquitous American Problem. The FDA even has had to weigh in on dog antibiotic overuse! This could be from dietary exposure, think twice before taking antibiotics for respiratory conditions that may be viral. That being said the COVID-19 pandemic has shown us that viral conditions can lead to bacterial infections, so appropriate antibiotics are important, even in cases where we have the risk of a minor issue such as secondary yeast infection.

4. Untreated gut yeast colonization, this is the ultimate reservoir that causes many infections. Your gut health is one of the most important ways we control all infections. When raiding your storage pantry, still consider balanced meals!

5. Untreated vaginal dryness or atrophy, possibly the best reason to have vaginal rejuvenation procedures that can keep the lining tissue healthy without introducing hormones to your body that you may not need. At Women’s Health Practice we have several technologies such as MonaLisa Touch, ThermiVa, and Emsella chair available for appropriate patients.

6. Wearing chronically tight clothing and not changing out of wet workout gear can lead to yeast infections, but I want to be sure you are making time to exercise even when cooped up at home during forced closures.

7. Weak immune system: from too much stress, to too many cigarettes, to too many late nights, any health behaviors that weaken your immunity will lead to less resistance to infection, even yeast infections. Binge on TV only part of the day, get out and walk!

8. New partners: not completely confirmed, men have yeast (more typically in a foreskin rather than someone circumcised) they could pass on, but we actually have our own colonies that we harbor that are more likely the cause. So condoms, and condoms with spermicide might be protective against yeast infections.

9. Wearing tampons too long: not confirmed either, but anything that changes pH of the vaginal environment can have the effect of triggering another yeast infection.

10. Hormonal imbalances. Oral contraception can balance some women’s hormones, and yet for some women the balance is tipped in the direction of getting infections. Pregnancy hormone levels are far greater, and being pregnant can predispose a woman to yeast infections. For some women hormone optimization with the Testosterone Pellets may help to balance your system and have the extra benefit of fewer yeast infections. This is a matter to work out with your private gyno.

Prevention is easier than treatment! And in a report issued in September there are over 2 million infections each year in the USA that are resistant to antibiotics! The CDC is warning people regarding these infections and the consequences of overuse of antibiotic treatments. Once we thought all fungal (yeast) infections were very susceptible to the treatments available and that testing for susceptibility (like the culture tests we do for UTIs to say whether the antibiotics should work) didn’t have to be done. But we are finding more cases of resistance, an there is a known way to check for susceptibility. But these tests are difficult, they may not be available in every laboratory, and they are mostly used for extremely ill individuals with systemic infections. For the average chronic yeast sufferer, the best advice is to not self diagnose.



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Suzanne Trupin, MD, Board Certified Obstetrician and Gynecologist and owner of Women's Health Practice, Hada Cosmetic Medicine, and Hatha Yoga and Fitness

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