Yeast infections


A yeast infection is a fungal infection caused by a yeast-like fungus called Candida or Monilia. This fungus resides typically in one's body (the immune system keeps this fungus under control usually). If you get sick or are taking antibiotics, then this fungus can become an infection because your body’s natural defense is decreased. 

Many gap year students don’t hydrate enough or are unaware of how to prevent yeast infections, therefore, it is common among them.

What causes a yeast infection?

Many things can cause yeast infections; here are a few examples:

  1. Antibiotics – some antibiotics can cause an imbalance in the natural vaginal flora. 
  2. Pregnancy 
  3. Diabetes that is not under control (Yeast feeds off sugar. If your diabetes is not under control, then your sugar levels spike. The increased sugar levels can cause yeast to overgrow)
  4. Sexual activity 
  5. Taking birth control pills (in some cases)
  6.  Using new detergents, fabric softeners, or perfumed soaps
  7.  Douching


  • Itching and irritations on the vagina
  • A burning sensation (especially during urination)
  • Redness 
  • Vaginal pain 
  • Vaginal rash 
  • Thick, white, odorless vaginal discharge
  • A fishy smell from the vagina
  • A discharge that looks like cottage cheese


Every infection is different, and the treatment varies according to the severity of your symptoms. Doctors might ask you to go to the local lab and do a urine sample or a vaginal swab. Based on the results, then a doctor might prescribe an antibiotic. 


The best thing you can do is try to avoid getting yeast infections; here are some useful tips:

  1. Wear breathable underwear (preferably underwear that is made of cotton)
  2. Don't use a douche – when you use a douche, the water disturbs the balance of good bacteria in your vagina that helps fight against infections. 
  3. In the bathroom, always wipe from front to back – wiping from back to front can allow for microscopic pieces of stool to enter the vagina.
  4. When on your period, change your pads and tampons often. 
  5. If you are taking antibiotics, then try taking probiotics. This will help balance the normal flora of the vagina 
  6. Hydrate!! Hydration is an easy way to keep your body balanced, and it can help against yeast infections!
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