Vaginal yeast infections are inconvenient, potentially embarrassing, and surprisingly common. As many as 75% of all women are likely to be diagnosed with yeast infections at least once in their lives. (1) Fortunately, there are a number of options for these infections, along with some natural ways to reduce your chances of developing the condition.
This includes the smart and straightforward addition of the right probiotic supplement to your daily diet. But first, let us go a little deeper into what vaginal yeast infections are and how they can affect your life.
What Causes Yeast Infections?
Normally, there are small amounts of yeast present in the vagina, and these do not cause any symptoms or inconvenience when a quantitative balance is maintained. Yeast infections occur when there is a fungal infection due to the overgrowth of one of the several types of yeasts (fungi) in the tissues of your vaginal opening. Generally, the responsible species of yeast is Candida albicans, which is why the condition is also called candidal vaginitis. (2)
Common causes of yeast infections include a number of underlying risk factors such as immune system disorders, an excess intake of antibiotics (prescribed or in food), uncontrolled high blood sugar/diabetes, hormonal changes like during pregnancy, use of vaginal sprays, consuming birth control with high doses of estrogen, and sometimes even through sexual intercourse. Women with one or more of these factors are at an increased risk of developing vaginal fungal infections.
Signs and Symptoms of Yeast Infections
Common symptoms of a yeast infection include intense itching, irritation such as swelling and redness in the vaginal area, vaginal pain, and thick or watery odorless vaginal discharge—things that can be both annoying and painful—as well as stand in the way of everyday living. In addition, some women also experience a burning or painful sensation during urination or intercourse.
If you have extensive or long-lasting soreness, redness or itching that causes sores and tears in the skin, it may be a case of a complicated yeast infection. Seek medical advice at the earliest chance to get relief from the condition. Taking a daily probiotic can support vaginal health and work to maintain a healthy balance of bacteria and yeast levels.
How Probiotics Can Help Support Healthy Yeast Levels
While there are several ways to treat a yeast infection—doctors will commonly prescribe antifungal medications or vaginal cream and you can find tons of home remedies online such as tea tree oil or over-the-counter medicine—it would be better if you could keep it from happening in the first place. This is where probiotics can offer support. Probiotics help restore the balance of good bacteria for overall microbiome diversity – which is one of the best ways to support healthy levels of yeast in the body + vagina.
Research has found that consuming products that have the Lactobacillus acidophilus strain can reduce the occurrence of vaginal infections. (3) These beneficial bacteria work on raising the number of good bacteria in your body and maintaining a healthy pH balance in the vagina, thus restricting the growth of harmful and infection-causing bacteria.
Some women also experience recurring infections, and this can cause further damage if left untreated. Experiencing four or more yeast infections in a year is known as recurrent vulvovaginal candidiasis (RVVC), and probiotics, such as Yeast is a Beast, can help restore beneficial Lactobacillus bacteria. Studies indicate that regular intake of the right probiotic strains can help avoid recurrent yeast and vaginal infections. (4) Taking probiotics is a more natural approach that does not have as many side effects as antibiotics, which are often prescribed as a treatment for yeast infections. Antibiotics detrimentally affect the body’s microbiome, whereas probiotics strengthen it.
Tips for Vaginal Yeast Infections
Taking a probiotic supplement specially formulated to maintain healthy yeast levels and maintain proper urinary function are excellent ways to avoid an overgrowth of yeast. There are also a few other simple things that could help in avoiding vaginal infections. Here are a few tips:
- Choose cotton underwear: Yeast thrives in humid conditions, which is why vaginal infections are a common occurrence during the hotter months of summer. Keeping your genital area dry is important, so invest in good cotton underwear as the material absorbs perspiration and moisture.
- Maintain good vaginal hygiene: Adopt a regular cleansing routine. However, refrain from using scented products and douching, as this may cause imbalances in your vaginal bacteria. If you go swimming, change out of your wet swimsuit as soon as you are done and rinse away any chemicals.
- Choose a healthy diet: Eating healthy has many health benefits, but it can also go a long way in preventing vaginal infections. Certain food regimens (avoiding sugar) aim to restrict the growth of the candida and yeast in your body to promote good gut health.
- Get enough sleep: Since your immune system needs to be strong to keep yeast infections away, getting sufficient sleep is vital. When you sleep, your body gets busy doing several maintenance tasks including maintaining acidity levels in the vagina.
Probiotic Support for Women’s Health
With so many women struggling with recurrent yeast infections and candidiasis, choosing a quality probiotic supplement that is specifically designed to support vaginal health is a smart choice. Different strains of probiotics have different effects so it’s important to know which ones are the most targeted to the conditions or aspects of health you want to improve. For example, Lactobacillus rhamnosus is best for reducing diarrhea and skin ailments.
Yeast is a Beast is an oral probiotics supplement comprised of a proprietary blend of five Lactobacillus strains that are found naturally in the vaginal tract combined with Cran-Gyn™ (Cranberry Extract) and D-Mannose. This formula was created with women’s health in mind—designed to help with urinary tract infections, support healthy levels of yeast, and support a healthy vaginal flora.
LoveBug’s patented BIO-tract® technology works to ensure that a high number of organisms reach the digestive tract to streamline the digestive and urinary functions in women efficiently. The targeted strains in this probiotic supplement are L. plantarum, L. gasseri, L. fermentum, L. reuteri, and L. brevis. The small addition of a probiotic pill to your daily diet can go a long way toward supporting vaginal health.
- “Yeast Infections.” Healthy Women. https://www.healthywomen.org/condition/yeast-infections.
- “Vaginal Candidiasis.” Centers for Disease Comtrol and Prevention. Last modified April 12, 2019. https://www.cdc.gov/fungal/diseases/candidiasis/genital/index.html
- Hilton, E., H.D. Isenberg, P. Alperstein, K. France, and M.T. Borenstein. “Ingestion of yogurt containing Lactobacillus acidophilus as prophylaxis for candidal vaginitis.” Ann Intern Med 116, no. 5 (1992): 353-7. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1736766.
- Palacios S., J. Espadaler, J. M. Fernández-Moya, C. Prieto, and N. Salas. “Is it possible to prevent recurrent vulvovaginitis? The role of Lactobacillus plantarum I1001 (CECT7504).” Eur J Clin Microbiol Infect Dis. 35, no. 10 (2016): 1701–1708. doi: 10.1007/s10096-016-2715-8.