In most cases, recurring yeast infections are caused by continued exposure to an irritant or bacteria. Another common cause for chronic yeast infections could be an allergic reaction to certain types of birth control. In some cases, the yeast infections could be caused by a more serious underlying condition, such as human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). Typically, the causes of recurrent and isolated yeast infections are often the same. The primary difference with recurrent cases is that the cause has not been identified, so the condition continues to happen repeatedly.
Yeast infections are typically caused by bacterial buildup in the area of the crotch. This is also true with recurring yeast infections. A certain amount of bacterial buildup around the crotch is considered normal, but sometimes the bacteria count escalates and the result is a yeast infection.
Causes of the escalations of bacteria are often related to wearing underwear or pants that are too tight. This disrupts the circulation of air around the crotch and improves bacterial breeding conditions. If tight clothing is the reason for the yeast infections, the infections will likely continue until looser clothing styles are adopted. Recurring yeast infections can also be caused by poor hygiene. Wearing soiled underwear or not bathing enough can cause bacteria to spread.
In some instances, getting yeast infections over and over again may be caused by certain diseases and conditions, such as diabetes, HIV, and multiple sclerosis. Women with diabetes seem to have a higher incidence of yeast infections, and this is believed to be caused by higher glucose levels in fluids emitted from the vagina. HIV and multiple sclerosis are both conditions that can affect the immune system and the body’s response to bacteria.
Many women attempt to treat yeast infections without the help of a physician. Many over-the-counter treatments have been proven effective in fighting the bacteria that cause the infections. Generally, if the infection does not improve within 7-10 days, a doctor should probably been seen. Sometimes yeast infections that do not respond to over-the-counter treatment may not be yeast infections at all, but a slightly more serious condition called vaginitis. Vaginitis has most of the same symptoms as a yeast infection, but often includes a bad odor and a burning sensation.
Some health professionals believe that diet may play a role in recurring yeast infections. Women who eat diets high in sugar and carbohydrates seem to be more prone to yeast infections than those who eat diets high in protein and fiber. In addition, some medical experts believe that eating yogurt on a daily basis may help keep vaginal bacteria from multiplying.