Dear Dr. Kate,
Is there any way to prevent yeast infections?
– Itchy & Scratchy
Not completely. The biggest risk factor for getting a yeast infection is having a vagina â€” not an easy risk factor to modify. But the more gently you treat your vulva and vagina, the less likely you are to get a yeast infection. This means three things: Limit your chemical exposure â€” no perfumed products like bubble baths and sprays, use simple soap in the shower, no daily pantilinersâ€¦and for godâ€™s sake, no douching. Keep yourself dry, and let your vagina breathe â€” cotton underwear over nylon, no undies at night, get out of your workout clothes as soon as youâ€™re done working out, change your tampons and pads frequently during your period. And limit your exposure to irritants â€” use just your fingers to clean yourself in the shower, no puffs or washcloths, and use a liquid clothes detergent over powder.
– Dr. Kate
Dr. Kate is an OB/GYN at one of the largest teaching hospitals in New York City. She also lectures nationally on womenâ€™s health issues and conducts research on reproductive health. She generously shares her medical wisdom withÂ EM & LO readers every few weeks. Check out more of her advice and ask her a question at Gynotalk.com.