This is commonly know as thrush and is a very common vaginal infection. It is caused by yeast (candida) which lives naturally in the bowel and, in small numbers, in the vagina. Listed below are some tips on preventing vaginal candidiasis and its recurrence. Be more careful about following these tips before your menstrual period or if you are stressed.


The time of the month when you are most susceptible to a yeast infection is the week before your periods. Other times are when you are stressed or when you are pregnant.

  1. Wear loose cotton underwear
  2. Avoid pants, especially tight pants.
  3. Wipe front to back when you urinate or have a bowel. Yeast thrive in your intestinal tract. If you wipe your back to front, you could be re-infecting yourself.
  4. Thoroughly dry the vaginal area after bathing or swimming.
  5. Eat yoghurt. A study reported in the Annals of Internal Medicine suggested that eating yoghurt with active cultures of L.acidophilus may prevent yeast infections. Make sure, however, that the yoghurt has active cultures and is not pasteurised. Another source of L.acidophilus are pills available in health good stores.
  6. Avoid food that is high in sugar concentration.
  7. Stop using birth control pills.
  8. Use condoms and avoid having sexual intercourse if you are experiencing symptoms of yeast infection. You can pass the infections to your sexual partner who could then re-infect you. You can prevent this from happening by not having sex if you have symptoms of yeast infection.
  9. Have your sexual partner treated.
  10. Sterilize (or replace) your underwear. If you’ve had yeast infections and are wearing the same underwear you could be re-infecting yourself with your underwear. Normal washing does not remove yeast. Yeast can only be killed by using high heat. Some ways to do this are by boiling, soaking in a bleach solution and steam ironing.
  11. Use tampons instead of sanitary napkins. Use of sanitary napkins reduces the air flow in the vaginal area and leads to more yeasts infections. Use non-deodorant tampons instead (but be sure to leave them in for no more than 4 hours).
  12. No chemicals in the vaginal area. Chemicals such as douches, perfumed bubble baths/ soaps and even the deodorant on deodorant tampons can irritate the vagina causing an allergic reaction which can trigger an infection. Do not use douches at all.
  13. Boost your immune system. Yeast infections occurrence is more common in women who have weakened immune systems. Proper nutrition, an exercise program, stop smoking and a daily multivitamin with minerals (inclusive of iron and zinc) can help boost your immune system and thus, may reduce yeast infections.
  14. Ask your doctor to test you for other health problems. A recurrent yeast infection can signal other health problems such as diabetes, HIV or other infections.
  15. Only take antibiotics or steroids if absolutely necessary.
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