Curious if it’s possible to get rid of yeast infections forever? If you’re reading this with a horrible itchy burning sensation between your legs, you’re probably willing to give anything a try. Especially since yeast infections are incredibly common, particularly among women and the statistics reveal that Candida (a yeast) is the leading infection on a global scale.
Yeast infections are highly contagious and it’s easy to pick them up simply from entering a public space. That’s not to say you’re being unhygienic – sometimes they can happen as a result of over cleaning yourself. Even when your natural hormonal levels peak during the month, it makes you more susceptible to contracting a yeast infection.
For many, yeast infections can lead to a nasty downward spiral. Men can also get yeast infections, so if you or your partner are contaminated, you can easily keep re-infecting each other. Yeast infections are also recurrent in those who like to eat lots of sugar, have compromised immune systems or who take antibiotics without supplementing with probiotics after.
After prolonged infections, yeasts tend to travel up the urinary tract, eventually ascending to the bladder and then the kidneys. In the worst cases, this can result in kidney failure, which is why it’s a good idea to catch a yeast infection very early.
So how do you banish them from your life permanently?
Knowing how to avoid yeast infections and other UTI’s will save you a lot of time, medical bills and discomfort. These 12 best kept secrets will ensure that you keep yeast infections under control permanently!
While there is inconclusive research about the connection between hydration and yeast infections, every doctor will tell you to stay hydrated while you have one.
I would say drinking water is highly important for assisting in both recovery from and prevention of candida and other yeasts. This is because water helps the body to eliminate virtually everything, as well as function optimally, both of which contribute to a fabulous immune system.
It is also often speculated that being dehydrated will cause your vagina to be too. A dry vagina can cause itching and unpleasant friction, which has been shown to contribute to developing a yeast infection.
The vagina also needs fluids to maintain a healthy eco system in there! It has a microbiome of it’s own, similar to the one in your gut. Without the ability to secret ampoule fluids, your vagina can’t defend itself properly or function optimally.
There are two issues revolving around hygiene when it comes down to yeast infections: over cleaning and under cleaning.
If you over clean your vagina, you could possibly be altering it’s natural pH as well as destroying the natural flora your have in there. Just like inside your gut, your vagina mostly comprises of the probiotic bacteria known as lactobacillus.
Douching has been shown to both destroy the natural pH (which should be lower than 4.5) as well as flush out much needed lactobacillus. This then makes a perfect environment for invaders.
The truth is that you do not need to clean your vagina with special equipment. If your immune system is functioning well and if you are eating a healthy diet, your vagina is capable of cleaning itself.
Under cleaning is another problem however! Not washing your hands before and after you touch yourself down there is one of the leading causes of infections. This includes before and after you go to the bathroom or have some intimate time with your partner (or yourself for that matter).
Make sure to keep your hands (or your partners hands) clean before you touch down there. Your partner should adopt the same practice, otherwise he keep re-infecting you with either his hands or his privates.
You should also still wash your vagina in the shower or bath, but do not use a douche. Rather buy an all-natural skin-friendly soap that does not have a pH of higher than 5.5 and then only use it to wash your body and the skin on the outside of your privates.
Lastly, if you happen to accidentally scratch yourself on the inside down there, use a gentle oil such as coconut or olive oil to help repair it.
Getting vaginal cuts or scrapes is quite common from sexual activity and if you don’t know how to keep them clean, they are likely to get infected very easily. Add 1 drop of rosewood or lavender essential oil to disinfect it if it feels itchy.
The next few secrets to permanently getting rid of yeast infections revolve around ways to keep your immune system strong and healthy, like…
Before, during or after the course of a yeast infection, eating a balanced healthy diet is crucial to maintaining unbelievable vaginal health.
Your body needs large amounts of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants from fresh fruits and vegetables to function at it’s best. Eating a balanced diet will help to keep your hormones in check, bolster your immune system and quickly repair any damage inside your vagina which is likely to harbor infections.
Berries, citrus fruits, pomegranates, beetroots and leafy green vegetables are all exceptionally good immune boosting foods that aid women fight against yeast infections. Incorporating wholesome vegetable juice or green smoothies into your diet is an easy way to include more of these essential nutrients.
Juicers – even slow, masticating juicers – are much more affordable than they used to be. So making your own green juices at home is a brilliant way to do this.
Cranberries have been used for centuries to ward off bladder, urinary tract and vaginal yeast infections. In a few studies, cranberry was shown to be more effective than antibiotics against urinary tract infections.
The specific proanthocyanidins found in cranberries prevent bacteria and fungi from latching onto the urethra, bladder and vaginal walls. Cranberry is effective against more infections than just yeasts, also aiding in the prevention of Bacterial Vaginosis, E.Coli, Staphylococcus Saprophyticus and Helicobacter Pylori.
Cranberry products were noticeably more effective when combined with increased hydration. This allows the body to flush out all the detached yeast or bacteria from the urethra or vaginal walls.
Hibiscus is another effective natural treatment for yeasts and other vaginal infections.
In a study done women with UTI’s, hibiscus extract was able to prevent bacteria from adhering to the urinary tract walls. Hibiscus, like cranberry, is also loaded with similar pronathocyanidins.
Hibiscus has more antibacterial compounds than cranberries however, including gossypetin, which is touted as having particularly potent antibacterial properties. In a study done, women who supplemented with hibiscus received a 77% reduction in UTIs.
As mentioned above, the vagina is full of microflora which largely consist of lactobacillus.
When the balance of probiotics is healthy inside the vagina, it is difficult for any invasions to occur. Probiotics have been shown to inhibit the growth of candida and other yeasts, as well as preventing them from adhering to any cell surfaces.
The best probiotic cultures that you can opt for when thinking to repopulate the vaginal microbiome are the strains Rhamnosus and Reuteri. These are specifically the probiotic organisms that make for the best tenants down there!
If you’ve had the flu lately and have taken antibiotics, it is important to supplement with probiotics to avoid yeast infections. Antibiotics have the ability to destroy infections, but also to destroy the beneficial bacteria inside your gut and your vagina.
Eating fermented foods like sauer kraut will also help boost your probiotic activity. Just make sure that you avoid sugar when considering sweeter fermented foods like yoghurt.
Essential oils contain a wealth of antioxidants and other helpful compounds to help you counteract yeast infections.
In particular, tea tree, lavender, myrrh and rosewood essential oils are the best when fighting a yeast infection. For quick relief, apply 1 drop of one or more of these in some coconut or olive oil and rub gently just outside the vaginal opening.
Oregano oil is also a very potent antibiotic and antifungal essential oil, but it’s far too strong to apply externally! Dilute 1-2 drops in a gallon of water and drink 2-4 glasses a day until the infection subsides. Be sure to use probiotics after this point to prevent recurrent infections (as is the case with antibiotics).
Both coconut and olive oil have antimicrobial, anti-estrogenic (see hormones below) and anti-inflammatory properties.
Both coconut and olive oil have been shown to destroy yeast infections and a host of other bacteria. Coconut oil was shown in a study to be more effective than fluconazole, a common anti-candida pharmaceutical extract.
If taken internally, both of them will improve your immune system, reduce inflammation and aid with metabolism. The best part of both of these is that they can be applied internally without disturbing vaginal flora. If you feel itching or burning, apply inside your vagina for instant relief.
Ever wonder what feeds yeast? Well, the answer is sugar.
Cut down on your sugar intake to help kill all the unwarranted yeasts in your body. This includes honey, xylitol, maple syrup, agave syrup and any other natural sources you may think is acceptable – yeast don’t mind, they will eat any form of sugar!
Even eating too much fruit (unless cranberries) can allow a yeast infection to flourish. Maintaining a low sugar diet will also help prevent future yeast infections and has multiple other health benefits, increasing the quality of life in general.
Hormones play a role in how your body defends itself against infections. This means that at certain times of the month, women are more susceptible to picking up yeast infections.
Eating a healthy diet and keeping your hormones balanced will do a lot of good for stabling your vaginal eco-system and not having to deal with frequent unwarranted invasions.
During the luteal phase of the menstrual cycle and during pregnancy, women have a higher chance of coming down with minor forms of vulvovaginal candidiasis.
The luteal phase occurs directly after menstruation, when levels of estrogen are higher. Estrogen appears to reduce the vaginal epithelial cell’s ability to defend against it by a small portion.
In other words, keeping your estrogen levels in balance can aid your vaginal wall to defend itself against yeast infections. Some of the best estrogen balancing foods include:
These foods will help to balance excessive estrogen levels, including fake estrogens that tend to disrupt your natural cycle.
At the same time, it is known that males are highly susceptible to fungal infections too, due to high levels of testosterone. Testosterone acts as an immune suppressant, weakening your immune system when fighting infections.
Women have testosterone levels too, some more than others. For those who have hirsutism, polycystic ovarian syndrome, are eating hormonally disrupting foods or who are ovulating, you will have heightened levels of testosterone. Too much testosterone will create a dip in your immune system, which may allow for yeast infections to flourish.
Androgen-regulating foods will help to lower your levels of testosterone during these times. Foods that have potent testosterone lowering effects include Licorice, Mint, Spearmint or Peppermint. Feel free to sip on them in tea form!
Flaxseeds and soy have been touted to lower testosterone levels, but because they come with exceedingly high estrogenic properties, they should be avoided (unless you have hirsutism or PCOS).
It is a good idea to avoid hormonal disruptors, where possible.
Unfortunately, in the day and age we live in, the majority of our food and many other conventional resources come wrapped in plastic.
Plastic contains plastic compounds (surprise?) that all largely contribute to messing around with hormones and disrupting the endocrine system. Of these compounds BPA, BPS, BPF and phthalates such as PET have gained the most infamous reputations in this regard.
Avoid contact with plastic as much as possible and make sure to stock up on some of the estrogen balancing foods above!
Another food that will disrupt your hormones is soy. Not only is soy full of xenoestrogens (fake estrogens) but it interferes with iodine uptake into the thyroid gland. The thyroid is necessary for a healthy hormonal balance and having an out of balance thyroid will lead to low levels of hormones in the body.
Lastly, organic food is key. The chemicals and adjuvants used in pesticides have been shown to disrupt the endocrine system and contribute to hormonal disorders. For those who can’t access organic food, food-grade hydrogen peroxide and a few other commercially available vegetable cleaners are available, intended for pre-soaking fruit and vegetables to remove residue sprays from them.
In summary, the key to avoiding yeast infections lies in keeping yourself well hydrated, eating well, avoiding hormonal disruptors and take charge of your vaginal health with plenty of probiotics!