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Simple ways to prevent a yeast infection

Michele Borboa, MS is a freelance writer and editor specializing in health, fitness, food, lifestyle, and pets. Michele is a health and wellness expert, personal chef, cookbook author, and pet-lover based in Bozeman, Montana. She is also...

Tips to avoid a yeast infection

If you're suffering from a yeast infection, you aren't alone. Up to 75 percent of women will have a yeast infection in their lifetime and over 40 percent of women get more than one.
Woman eating yogurt

If the itching, burning, discharge and other discomforts of this medical condition are a regular occurrence, see your doctor for treatment and take the following precautions to reduce your risk of getting a yeast infection.

Boost your immune system

Your immune system helps fend off all types of infections, including yeast infections. Taking care of your health is one of the best ways to ensure your body is functioning at its peak. Adopt a healthy lifestyle that includes a balanced diet, regular exercise, adequate sleep and effective stress management tactics to boost your immunity.

Opt for yogurt

Probiotics get a lot of press for promoting good bacterial balance in the digestive tract, but probiotics may also help you avoid getting a yeast infection. Read labels and reach for yogurt that contains "live and active cultures." Since taking antibiotics can also put you at risk for a yeast infection, be sure to have an extra serving or two of probiotic-rich yogurt while you're taking them.

Stay dry

Resist the temptation to hang out and chat with your BFF after spin class. Meet her after you hit the locker room and change into dry clothes. The warm dampness of your sweaty workout wear is an ideal environment for a yeast infection to grow.

Cotton is the way to go

Since yeast thrives in damp environments, breathable fabrics like cotton can help prevent yeast infections. Wear only cotton underwear or undies with a cotton panel in the crotch. Same goes for pantyhose -- wear only the kind with a cotton panel.

Loosen up

Tight pants are fine for that special date or outing, but wearing tight-fitting attire every day can put you at risk for a yeast infection. This doesn't mean you're sentenced to a life of thin, baggy pants. Simply wear clothing that allows your female region to stay cool and dry. Swap out your tight pants for a flattering dress -- you'll be more comfortable and might prevent an infection.

Don't douche

Douching may sound like a great idea to stay clean but it actually puts you at a greater risk of a yeast infection and can even cause an infection to spread beyond your vagina. The chemicals in douches and scented feminine products can cause an imbalance of bacteria in your vagina, which may lead to a yeast infection.

Wipe right

To keep bacteria from getting transferred from your anus to your vagina, wipe from front to back after using the restroom.

More on women's health

Diet tips for easier periods
Diet tips to prevent menstrual cramps
6 Simple tips for an easier period

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