Vagina Healthpregnancy healthSex Health

Causes of Vaginal Yeast infections

The fungus candida albicans is responsible for most vaginal yeast infections.

Your vagina naturally contains a balanced mix of yeast, including candida, and bacteria. Certain bacteria (lactobacillus) act to prevent an overgrowth of yeast.

But that balance can be disrupted. An overgrowth of candida or penetration of the fungus into deeper vaginal cell layers causes the signs and symptoms of a yeast infection.

Causes

The fungus candida albicans is responsible for most vaginal yeast infections.

Your vagina naturally contains a balanced mix of yeast, including candida, and bacteria. Certain bacteria (lactobacillus) act to prevent an overgrowth of yeast.

But that balance can be disrupted. An overgrowth of candida or penetration of the fungus into deeper vaginal cell layers causes the signs and symptoms of a yeast infection.

Overgrowth of yeast can result from:

  • Antibiotic use, which causes an imbalance in natural vaginal flora
  • Pregnancy
  • Uncontrolled diabetes
  • An impaired immune system
  • Taking oral contraceptives or hormone therapy that increase estrogen levels

Candida albicans is the most common type of fungus to cause yeast infections. Yeast infections caused by other types of candida fungus can be more difficult to treat, and generally need more-aggressive therapies.

Risk factors

Factors that increase your risk of developing a yeast infection include:

  • Antibiotic use. Yeast infections are common in women who take antibiotics. Broad-spectrum antibiotics, which kill a range of bacteria, also kill healthy bacteria in your vagina, leading to overgrowth of yeast.
  • Increased estrogen levels. Yeast infections are more common in women with higher estrogen levels — such as pregnant women or women taking high-dose estrogen birth control pills or estrogen hormone therapy.
  • Uncontrolled diabetes. Women with poorly controlled blood sugar are at greater risk of yeast infections than women with well-controlled blood sugar.
  • Impaired immune system. Women with lowered immunity — such as from corticosteroid therapy or HIV infection — are more likely to get yeast infections.

Source
MayoclinicWebmd

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Back to top button
Please complete this form to exercise certain rights you may have in connection with the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) . Once we have received your request and verified your identity we will process your request as soon as possible.