Vaginal Thrush Causes

Vaginal thrush is a yeast infection which is mainly due to an overgrowth of the yeast Candida albicans within the vagina. This organism is usually present in a healthy vagina, but is kept under control by yeast-inhibiting bacteria. However, if something happens which {changes the pH (acid / alkaline) balance within the environment of the vaginal, the yeast is able to start reproducing out of control, creating the thrush infection.

Here is a list of vaginal thrush causes:

1. Being run down / weak immune system: When you are run down, from fatigue, stress, illness, due to antibiotics, poor nutrition, or because your body is busy fighting another infection, yeast may seize the opportunity to multiply. This is why anyone suffering from HIV can be particularly prone to vaginal thrush.

2. Antibiotics: In addition to fighting infections, antibiotics can kill "friendly" bacteria such as lactobacilli, the very things that keep yeast under control. Antibiotics do not affect the yeast themselves, but, by killing the bacteria, will change the environment enough to encourage candida growth.

3. Diet: Many types of foods have an impact on thrush. The yeast feeds on sugar, so anything that encourages a sugary environment can encourage yeast overgrowth.

4. Diabetes: Diabetes-sufferers have a much greater chance of getting thrush, because diabetes increases blood sugar levels, which can then increase the sugar in vaginal secretions. In addition, diabetic women also tend to have high sugar levels in their urine, and this may contribute to thrush by feeding yeast in the genital area just outside of the vagina.

5. Contraception: Some studies suggest that women who use the Pill have a greater chance of developing thrush, and have recurrent thrush, because it affects hormones that can affect a female's ability to metabolise (process) the sugar that the yeast feeds on. Women who use an IUD may also have an increased risk of contracting vaginal and uterine infections, which can lead to thrush.

6. Periods: Some women will get thrush just before or after their periods. Menstrual blood can change the acidity of the vagina, and, as a result, some women get thrush during their periods. Tampons and towels can also play a part in creating the right environment for thrush. For example, if a tampon is left in too long (more than about 12 hours), it can cause the vagina to dry out, change the pH balance and trigger thrush. Unchanged towels can also create a moist, warm environment around the vulva, and yeast thrives under these conditions.

7. Pregnancy: Women often have their first attack of thrush when they become pregnant. Dramatic changes in hormone levels occur during pregnancy, which will led to high levels of sugars in vaginal secretions. If these extra sugars do not get broken down quickly, candida will feed on them to grow.

8. Perfumes, deodorants and washing: Perfumed soaps, douches, vaginal deodorants, disinfectants and scented bubble baths can all irritate or cause damage to the delicate tissues of the vagina and vulva, or can change the pH in the vagina. In addition, too much scrubbing of the area, excessive washing or rubbing hard with a towel may do damage. These can all cause vaginal thrush.

9. Sex: Even though vaginal thrush is not a sexually transmitted infection, sex can still be involved in its development. Penetrative sex can create a lot of irritation to the vagina, particularly if there is little or no lubrication. In addition, semen may change the acidity of the vagina which can then cause thrush. Some studies suggest that oral sex increases a woman's risk of developing thrush.

Thrush can also be passed on to a partner during sex, although it is men who are more likely than women to get thrush through sex.

10. Tight / synthetic clothing: Tight trousers, leggings, synthetic knickers or tights will prevent air from circulating and will encourage a warm, moist environment, which is perfect for thrush to develop.

This list covers most of the causes of vaginal thrush. Knowing these causes is a good start to helping you avoid, or cure with any vaginal thrush infection in future.