Yeast Infection Causes

A yeast infection, or candidiasis is a condition that affects many people, mainly adults and children. It is of crucial importance to know the various yeast infection causes, rather than simply treating it when it manifests. This is because the problem might keep recurring or it could be a sign of a more serious underlying condition. The causes of yeast infection can be categorized into 4 broad categories:

• Changes in the skin, mouth or vaginal environment.
• Injuries in these regions.
• Having a weakened immune system.
• Sexual transmission.

1. Changes in the skin, mouth or vaginal environment

There are certain environmental conditions that promote the rapid growth of yeast cells. Some of these include increased heat and moisture, increased pH, changes in hormone levels, allergic reactions, increased sugar levels and a reduction in the population of bacteria that are normally present along with the yeast. These environmental changes can be brought about by the person because of their habits or may be due to forces beyond the control of the person. Some of the factors that lead to these changes in environment can be further subdivided into the following groups:

a) Antibiotics
There are certain bacteria in a woman’s vaginal area that help to control the population of other micro organisms, like yeast. However, when antibiotics are taken to treat another condition, they may kill both the unwanted bacteria as well as the essential bacteria. As a result, the yeast cells rapidly multiply resulting in a yeast infection. Anti bacterial soaps also cause the same effect.
Oral antibiotics may also kill the essential bacteria in the mouth leading to an oral yeast infection, or thrush

b) Clothing
Yeast cells thrive in warm and moist conditions. As a result, wearing of tight, non cotton or dirty clothes that trap heat and moisture can lead to a yeast infection. Babies who wear diapers may also suffer from a yeast infection, which is manifested as a diaper rash, because of the warm and moist conditions. Women who wear tights, dyed, bleached or non cotton underwear are especially prone to yeast infections. Cotton is usually the recommended material as it is ‘breathable’, as opposed to others like leather.

c) Chemicals
There are certain chemicals that upset the normal vaginal environment and hence could lead to a yeast infection. This is because they kill the bacteria that help to control the population of yeast. Some of these chemicals are found in commercial products like scented soaps, scented toilet papers, scented tampons and sanitary pads, laundry detergents, fabric softeners as well as feminine deodorant sprays.

Some condoms come packaged with a lubricant which contains a chemical called nonoxynol-9, a spermicide that kills the HIV virus. However, studies have linked this chemical to yeast infections. Condoms can also be classified among yeast infection causes if the woman is allergic to latex.

d) Diet
Some people believe that eating yeast containing foods are a contributing factor in yeast infections. This has, however, not been scientifically proven. In people who have diabetes, though, eating large quantities of sugary foods can lead to a yeast infection, if the person does not take the diabetes medication as required. This is because the person’s urine becomes sugary and this promotes growth of yeast.

e) Hormonal changes
Naturally occurring hormones as well as artificially introduced hormones, such as those found in contraceptives and steroids affect the growth of yeast. Pregnant women are particularly susceptible to yeast infections because of their fluctuating hormone levels. Likewise, women who take contraceptives or steroids are likely to suffer a yeast infection for the same reason. An important note here is that menstrual blood does not favour growth of yeast and hence the yeast infection may subside during a period and then recur afterwards.

f) Behavioural Habits
Some common activities like exercising, jogging, cycling etc in hot, humid environments raise the temperature and moisture in the vagina considerably and therefore make the woman more susceptible to yeast infections.
Other habits like lack of sleep, overstress and poor diet are also known to indirectly contribute to one having a yeast infection.

2. Injuries – one of the common yeast infection causes

The skin surface normally prevents entry of yeast micro organisms into the body. However, the yeast may find an avenue into the body through cuts, bruises or open wounds.

Injury to the vulva and vaginal membranes can lead to a vaginal yeast infection. This can be caused by too much friction in these areas or certain treatments like chemotherapy.

Some injuries or disabilities may indirectly make a woman to have a yeast infection. For instance, a lame woman who is always sitting may develop a yeast infection because of the warm and moist conditions that are found in her vaginal area.

3. Having a weakened immune system

Some diseases and conditions compromise the immune system of a person and therefore predispose him/her to yeast infections. Some of these include diabetes, leukaemia and HIV/AIDS. In such patients, the yeast infections keep recurring even after being treated.

4. Sexual transmission – one of the less likely yeast infection causes

On rare occasions, yeast infections are transmitted from an infected woman to her male partner. The man will then experience irritation on the head of his penis.

Yeast infections may also be transmitted from woman to woman sexually. This is in the case of lesbians who may share contaminated sex toys.

2 Responses to “Yeast Infection Causes”

  1. Michael M. says:

    Hey… thank you for a great post on “Yeast Infection Cause and Treatment Options”. This website has helped us a lot (my wife and I). For some reason she keeps having recurrent yeast infections which we could not actually tell where they were coming form or what we could do to stop them. But after reading through this site, I think we kind of identify with some of the stuff you mentioned above that can be the cause of this infection to re-occur. We also bought and downloaded a copy of the Yeast Infection No More Guide you recommended – God.. it has helped us so much….

    A million thanks…

    • admin says:

      Always great to read such positive feed-backs. In fact that is exactly why we are running this website; – to help people treat and completely get rid of their YI. Good to know that the guide is helping your wife! It is a good manual; – that’s is why we recommend it here.

      keep us posted