What are Common Causes of Recurring Yeast Infections?

Susan Grindstaff

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.

Women may develop yeast infections as a result of an allergy to certain types of birth control.
Women may develop yeast infections as a result of an allergy to certain types of birth control.

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.

Yeast infections may develop as a result of wearing too tight underwear.
Yeast infections may develop as a result of wearing too tight underwear.

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.

Women with diabetes have a higher risk of developing yeast infections.
Women with diabetes have a higher risk of developing yeast infections.

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.

A woman's diet may lead to the development of a yeast infection.
A woman's diet may lead to the development of a yeast infection.

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 medical experts believe that eating yogurt on a daily basis may help keep vaginal bacteria from multiplying.
Some medical experts believe that eating yogurt on a daily basis may help keep vaginal bacteria from multiplying.

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.

Multiple sclerosis has been linked to recurring yeast infections.
Multiple sclerosis has been linked to recurring yeast infections.

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Discussion Comments

bluedolphin

@SarahGen-- Some people think that frequent sex is a cause of yeast infections because sex can upset a women's pH balance. The penis and semen have a different pH than a woman's vagina. And pH levels have a lot to do with yeast infections. When the pH level is out of balance, it is more likely to get yeast infections. That's why probiotics are recommended to women as a yeast infection remedy. Because probiotics help restore this balance.

I'm no a doctor though, so you should speak to your gynecologist about this for the most accurate answer.

bear78

@SarahGen-- Yes, it is, but usually because the partner has a yeast infection. When one sexual partner has a yeast infection, the other one most often does too because people pass it to one another. Your sexual partner may not have many yeast infection symptoms and may not even be aware of it.

When I was diagnosed with a vaginal yeast infection, my doctor wanted my husband to use the same cream so that I wouldn't get reinfected after the infection cleared up. We weren't allowed to have sex during treatment anyway and the infection did not return when we started having sex again.

SarahGen

Is intercourse a recurring yeast infection cause in women? I seem to get a yeast infection whenever I am sexually active.

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