Normally, yeast infections are considered a private topic, but the majority of women experience yeast infections in their lives.
Many people don’t realize that over-the-counter (OTC) treatments only treat the symptoms, but don’t address the underlying causes of yeast infections. That’s why in some cases, OTC creams and suppositories only provide temporary relief.
Perhaps if it wasn’t such a taboo area for discussion, more women would spread the word that conventional treatments fall short.
In this article, you’ll learn how to treat yeast infections, plus what happens if you don’t take care of this issue.
What Causes Yeast Infections?
The primary causes of vaginal yeast infections (also called vulvovaginal candidiasis) are a compromised immune system and the use of antibiotics.
Your immune system can be compromised by stress, a pre-existing parasitic infection, an allergy to food, or an autoimmune disorder. When your immune system is unable to fight off foreign invaders, you’re more likely to experience Candida overgrowth.
The reason antibiotics raise your risk of yeast infections is because they kill off good bacteria that keep your vaginal lining healthy and balance its pH. As a result, opportunistic organisms like Candida can colonize it.
Along with the top two causes, here are some other factors that can predispose you to a yeast infection:
Using douches or other scented “personal care” products
Other reactions caused by chemicals or topical allergens
- Sleep deprivation
- Being on your period
- High blood sugar
Now, let’s discuss why addressing yeast infections is vital.
What Happens If You Don’t Treat Yeast Infections?
#1: Worsening of Symptoms
The symptoms of a yeast infection are no walk in the park. They typically include a combination of:
- Vaginal itching
- Whitish discharge
- Irritation and inflammation
- Burning during sex and urination
- Vaginal rash
The longer you go without treating a yeast infection, the worse your symptoms are likely to get.
And while vulvovaginal candidiasis doesn’t cause permanent damage or scarring to your reproductive tissues (unlike sexually transmitted infections), it can severely diminish your enjoyment of life.
#2: Intimacy Suffers
This point may seem obvious, but it’s an important one.
When your vagina is inflamed, itchy, and exudes a whitish discharge, it’s hard to feel like being intimate with a partner.
According to a scientific paper published in 2013, most women report “moderate to severe impact” on their love lives.
If this description rings a bell, fortunately you can do something about it!
#3: Complications in Pregnancy
Yeast infections can delay pregnancy or interfere with it in other ways. So if your goal is to get pregnant in the future, it’s best to address any yeast infection ahead of time.
For one thing, when Candida colonizes your vaginal lining, it can prevent sperm from implanting properly. Doctors aren’t entirely sure why this is, but it may be due to the fact that yeast changes the natural pH of your vagina.
And a condition called Candida chorioamnionitis can lead to premature birth and other adverse outcomes for your baby, including neurological impairments and death.
Fortunately, only about 0.3-0.5% of women will experience it. However, even a normal vaginal yeast infection can cause problems during pregnancy.
One study found that compared to women who experience yeast infections during the first trimester of pregnancy, those who have vulvovaginal candidiasis in the second trimester are twice as likely to have preterm labor and babies with lower birth weights (10% versus 18% of women).
#4: Candidemia or Systemic Candidiasis
The worst-case scenario for a yeast infection is when it invades your body. When yeast enters your bloodstream it’s called candidemia, and systemic candidiasis occurs when one or more internal organs is colonized by Candida yeast.
These conditions can be life-threatening. In most cases, people who get them are severely immunocompromised, but this isn’t always the case. Long-term antibiotic usage is also a risk factor.
Luckily, the most severe forms of yeast infection are also the rarest. But while only about 25,000 people per year will receive a diagnosis of systemic candidiasis, it has a mortality rate of nearly 80%.
How To Treat Yeast Infections: The Candida Cleanse
The Candida Cleanse is the best way to treat yeast infections. Unlike OTC medications, this protocol addresses the underlying circumstances that lead to vulvovaginal candidiasis.
Part 1: Strict Elimination Diet
During your Candida Cleanse, it’s time to address food allergies and other food sensitivities to give your body the best chance of clearing Candida. During this phase, you steer clear of problem foods and drink nothing but spring water.
Here’s what to avoid:
- Pasta, rice, breads
- All Dairy
- Anything Processed
- Fruit juices
- Sugars (sugar cane, molasses, maple syrup, honey, and corn syrup)
- Soy Sauce
- Peanut Butter
Some of these foods are potential allergens, while others harbor mold and fungus or change your body’s natural pH balance.
After the initial strict period of two weeks, you can cautiously add foods back one at a time and monitor your symptoms.
Part 2: Parasite Cleanse
The other equally important component of eliminating Candida for good is to target parasites and yeast directly.
While there are quite a few effective products out there for these purposes, not everything works, and some can be counterproductive.
The best way to learn what is appropriate for your situation is by consulting an expert.
Along with a Candida Cleanse, you can also lower your risk of recurrent yeast infections by sleeping enough, reducing your stress levels, and decreasing your blood sugar with an anti-inflammatory diet and exercise.
If you’d like help setting up a comprehensive Candida Cleanse customized to your needs and medical history, Complete Care Health Centers has over 15 years of experience helping patients get rid of vulvovaginal candidiasis.