What Causes Yeast Infection?

Yeast infections, also known as candidiasis, are caused by an overgrowth of the fungus Candida, typically Candida albicans. This fungus is naturally present in the human body, especially in the mouth, gastrointestinal tract, and vaginal area, without causing any problems in small amounts. However, under certain conditions, Candida can multiply rapidly, leading to an infection. Some common causes of yeast infections include:

  1. Antibiotics: Antibiotics can disrupt the natural balance of bacteria in the body, including those that keep Candida in check. This can lead to an overgrowth of yeast, resulting in an infection.
  2. Weakened immune system: A weakened immune system due to conditions like HIV/AIDS, cancer, or certain medications can make the body less capable of controlling Candida overgrowth.
  3. Hormonal changes: Fluctuations in hormone levels, such as during pregnancy, menstruation, or while taking birth control pills, can create an environment favorable for yeast overgrowth.
  4. High blood sugar levels: People with uncontrolled diabetes, especially those with poorly managed blood sugar levels, are more susceptible to yeast infections because yeast thrives in high-sugar environments.
  5. Poor hygiene: Lack of proper hygiene, especially in the genital area, can contribute to yeast infections.
  6. Tight-fitting clothing: Wearing tight, non-breathable clothing, especially in the genital area, can create a warm and moist environment that promotes yeast growth.
  7. Sexual activity: Although not considered a sexually transmitted infection, yeast infections can be passed between sexual partners.
  8. Use of irritants: The use of scented products, douches, or certain soaps in the genital area can upset the natural balance and lead to an increased risk of yeast infections.

It’s essential to note that while yeast infections can occur in various parts of the body, the most common types are vaginal yeast infections, oral thrush (in the mouth), and skin infections in moist and warm areas, like the armpits and under the breasts. If you suspect you have a yeast infection, it’s best to seek medical advice for an accurate diagnosis and appropriate treatment.