Tired of that recurrent yeast infection? Is Your Birth Control To Blame?

Approximately 75% of adult women have a “yeast infection” at least once in their lifetime, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention. “Yeast infections” also known as vulvovaginal candidiasis (VVC) occurs when there is an overgrowth of the normal yeast in the vagina. Is your birth control increasing your risk?

Diagnosing Yeast Infections

According to Dr Erika Ringdahl’s article in American Family Physician, “women who have persistent or recurrent vulvovaginal candidiasis often present to their family physician with intense vaginal discomfort. Other presenting symptoms may include an odorless vaginal discharge, pruritus, dyspareunia or dysuria. Frequently, these women express their frustration with ineffective treatments}.

What causes yeast infections?

There are many culprits for yeast infections. Here are some common culprits:

  • Women who take oral contraceptive pills have a higher rate of vulvovaginal candidiasas or “yeast infections” according to the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology 
  • Spermicidal gels and cream increase the risk of infection by altering the vaginal flora and thus attracting Candida organisms,
  • Research in Obstetrical & Gynecological Survey  states that “antibiotics are often implicated as a cause of recurrent vulvovaginal candidiasis. Frequent antibiotic use decreases protective vaginal flora and allows colonization by Candida species”.
  • Hormonal changes are also a risk factor for yeast infections or Candida. Hence women are often contracted by yeast infection during menstruation, pregnancy or even menopause.

If you believe you have a yeast infection, please see your doctor.

What treatment options are out there?

According to the Journal of Reproductive Medicine, boric acid, administered in a 600-mg vaginal suppository twice daily for two weeks and then daily during menstruation, has been effective in the treatment of women with resistant infection. “For uncomplicated yeast infections, my top-shelf treatment is boric acid,” says Dr. Cullen in an article in Prevention magazine. Laurie Cullen, ND, is a naturopathic physician and a professor at Bastyr University.

Additionally, the use of nystatin has been demonstrated to be effective in the treatment of recurrent vulvovaginal candidiasis (RVVC) according to a 2014 study.

Can probiotics help with vaginal infections caused by bacteria (bacterial vaginosis or BV)?

Clinical research shows certain strains of Lactobacillus might help treat bacterial vaginosis when applied inside the vagina. Researchers have found Lactobacillus acidophilus suppositories may be effective. Researchers also found that vaginal capsules Lactobacillus gasseri and Lactobacillus rhamnosus, seem to lengthen the time between infections. Women with yeast infections who use vaginal suppositories containing 1 billion live Lactobacillus GG bacteria twice daily for 7 days in combination with conventional treatment often report their symptoms improve.

Great Earth Pharmacy will work with you to find the best and most effective course of treatment. Unmanaged hormones may also contribute to yeast infections, call us today to have your hormone levels tested.