Best methods of preventing vaginal yeast infection
October 16, 2004 9:07 PM   Subscribe

Ladies of AskMe: Help! What are your best tried & true methods of preventing a yeast infection?
posted by anonymous to Health & Fitness (20 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

Wearing plain cotton underwear. Eating a cup of yogurt (with live cultures) every day.

Don't wear tight clothes, don't take antibiotics that you don't need to take, don't leave wet clothes or swimsuits on too long. Don't use perfumed anything on/near your crotch.

Sometimes you get yeast infections from the men you have sex with, who probably don't even know that they have them and are infecting you. (You can get it from the women you sleep with too, but they'll probably know if they have one, and then you know to avoid/mitigate contact with protected sex and lots of washing.) Condoms might help prevent re-infection after treatment, but some spermicides or latex can make the problem worse.
posted by Melinika at 9:28 PM on October 16, 2004

The Yeast Infection Homepage is a good resource, by the way.
posted by Melinika at 9:29 PM on October 16, 2004

Acidophilus. You can get it in capsules in the chilled vitamin area of your health food store. Acidophilus milk and yogurt with live cultures will work, too.
posted by stefanie at 9:31 PM on October 16, 2004

Always pee after sex.
posted by Zosia Blue at 10:41 PM on October 16, 2004

All of the above, and douche with vinegar.
posted by kamylyon at 10:57 PM on October 16, 2004

No no no! Douching is bad! The vagina is a self-cleaning orifice!

Also, avoid lubes that are sugar based, as they will upset the balance in your vagina (yeast loves sugar)
posted by sugarfish at 11:18 PM on October 16, 2004

My grandmother says that vogurt is good for both the outside and the inside.
posted by jb at 12:04 AM on October 17, 2004

posted by jb at 12:04 AM on October 17, 2004

Daily acidophilus and yogurt are my methods, too.

As for relief when prevention has failed, jb's grandmother is right. It helps to spread some yogurt around the afflicted area, or even insert a little, if you've got a really bad case. You can use the fingers of a latex glove or an empty tampon applicator to make frozen yogurt-sicles that are easy to insert. It sounds somewhat weird and/or gross, but damned if it doesn't stop an infection in its tracks.
posted by vorfeed at 12:29 AM on October 17, 2004

I'm not a lady (sorry!), but my wife is and her doctor told her to not drink so much tea (because of the caffeine) after she started getting infections. She cut way back on tea and the infections all but disappeared.
posted by shoos at 12:33 AM on October 17, 2004

This question comes up on the Glitter boards every now and then. Here are the first two threads I pulled up after a quick search. I can remember other discussions where people mentioned using things like garlic (actually inserting a bulb!) and tampons soaked in tea tree oil.
posted by web-goddess at 3:32 AM on October 17, 2004

Avoid sweets during the week before your period or whenever you start feeling, um, yeasty.
posted by whatnot at 6:42 PM on October 17, 2004

What everyone else said, with the added refinement of not just cotton underthings and loose trousers, but the preferable option of going commando under skirts, to support my favorite quote ever on the subject: keep that shit aired out. There are times when vulgarity = good mnemonic, and this is one.

Web-goddess, I know you are only reporting the news here, but I think a tampon soaked with tea tea qualifies as torture under the Geneva code. It'd be like pouring nail polish remover on an orchid. I wince using that stuff neat on my less sensitive skin, so proceed with utmost caution.

(The image of marinating a garlic bulb this way is amusing in the extreme and seems like the starter instructions for casting a very desperate love spell, but at least it shouldn't, you know, scorch anything.)
posted by melissa may at 8:35 PM on October 17, 2004

Always wash the area, with warm water only, after sex. Always, always, always!
posted by Lynsey at 9:07 PM on October 17, 2004

For years I had this problem, and I did everything that Melinika & others mentioned, to no avail, when I was struggling with frequent yeast infections.

I don't know your story, anonymous, but I can tell you that the only thing that really worked for me was leaving that lying, cheating sonofabitch.

I'm just sayin'...
posted by ambrosia at 11:02 PM on October 17, 2004

on the Tea Tree Oil thing ..

I have had one yeast infection in my entire life (damn penicillin) and I used the tea tree oil / tampon method to great advantage.

My sister tried it after me and had a burning sensation when I only had a tingling sensation.

so it is definitely a YMMV situation.
posted by Julnyes at 6:49 AM on October 18, 2004

I had a doctor recommend drying "the area" thoroughly after a shower with a hair dryer on the coldest setting.
posted by nprigoda at 6:55 AM on October 18, 2004

Have mercy, Julnyes, if this is one place where I though YM could not V it was this! Live and learn.

I still think that I would have had to exhaust the powers of yogurt, dryers, pharmaceuticals, Nobel-winning gynocologists, and several covens before giving internal Tea Tree a go. On top of the yeasty misery, I would surely hate to find myself in the "burning sensation" percentile.
posted by melissa may at 10:01 AM on October 18, 2004

gynecologists, grr...forgive the neurosis posting but I can't misspell it without feeling like I've terribly betrayed the sisterhood.
posted by melissa may at 10:58 AM on October 18, 2004

Air, air, air!

My mother raised me with two hard rules: 1. No douching. 2. Always nightgowns, Never pajamas. I have had very good results.

My (very) few bouts seem to be tied in with prolonged pantyhose-wearing, so you might consider switching to thigh-highs or even garter belts with stockings. Not nearly as uncomfortable to me as pantyhose.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 8:41 AM on October 19, 2004

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