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How to Avoid the 5 Main Causes of Yeast Infections In Women

It's a well known fact that yeast is always lurking inside of our bodies.  Generally it's harmless bacteria but sometimes something goes awry and these Candida yeast cells just take off causing us women some uncomfortable problems.  By following some preventative measures women can lessen their chances of getting a yeast infection.  After all, its women that are four times more likely to get a yeast infection than men.

1: Sexual Intercourse and Yeast Infections

Couple RelaxingThe first most common cause of a vaginal yeast infection can be the act of sexual intercourse.  Partners can transmit bacterial infections to each other every time they have sex unless they both seek adequate treatment to cure the yeast infection, or use condoms to avoid any bacterial transfer.

A man's semen can also change the ph balance of a woman's vagina and may cause the gardnerella bacteria (found in small quantity in the vagina) to multiply and resemble Bacterial Vaginosis (vaginal yeast infection or thrush).  Gardnerella infection symptoms are similar to a typical vaginal yeast infection which can include a thick watery discharge with a strong and unpleasant  fishy odor. The vaginal discharge may look greyish or green in color but can also be of a brown or yellowish appearance.

Women also need to be aware that some birth control methods and the use of prophylactics during intercourse can also make you prone to a yeast infection.  For example, spermicides that lubricate condoms such as nonoxynol-9 can offer some women possible side effects such as irritation, itching, or a burning sensation of either partner's sex organs.  Having said that, these side effects are not common and only found in a small percentage of women that use spermicides.

My best advice here is to talk to your Doctor or Specialist about the best options for protecting yourself against yeast infection, bacterial vaginosis or urinary tract infection (UTI) for that matter.

2: Personal Hygiene and Yeast Infections

personal hygienePersonal hygiene plays such a big part in the prevention of yeast infections in women and can also help protect against UTI's.

Here's some handy tips to ensure you do your utmost to avoid getting a vaginal infection:

  • Keep your vagina clean and dry as moisture or wetness will encourage the growth of yeast.
  • Avoid wearing tight clothing that doesn't allow any air circulation around the vaginal area.  Tight pants, pantyhose,  spandex undies or lycra sportswear can generate unwanted moisture and harbor bacteria.
  • Cotton underwear should be worn at all times to prevent build up of any additional moisture.
  • Avoid douching – most Doctors, Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommend that women don't douche. Douching can change the delicate balance of vaginal flora (organisms that live in the vagina) and acidity in a healthy vagina.
  • Avoid products with added scents or feminine sprays that can cause irritation.
  • Use unscented pads and avoid using tampons – it's advisable to stay away from all scented or deodorized feminine products, especially if you are prone to yeast infections.
  • Once you have been to the toilet, always remember to wipe from front to back to avoid any transfer of bacteria from the anus to the vagina, which of course can encourage an infection – and only use unscented, white toilet paper.
  • When showering don't share towels and machine wash towels regularly, especially while recovering from a vaginal yeast infection.
  • If you enjoy water sports or swimming its imperative that you get out of your swimwear or wet suit as soon as you have finished your water sport activity.  A wet or damp vagina in a tight wetsuit or bikini for prolonged periods of time can be the perfect environment for fungus overgrowth.

3: Diet and Yeast Infections

very weet dessertDiets high in sugar and carbohydrates can make you more prone to diabetes which can also make you more susceptible to getting yeast infections.  Limit your intake of alcohol, fast foods and processed foods to avoid creating a perfect environment for Candida overgrowth.

For women suffering from Candidiasis (Candida yeast overgrowth), it's suggested that a diet high in fiber and protein be introduced to promote a healthy body and avoid Candida overgrowth.

The daily dietary intake should consist of around 65% in High fiber foods.  Steamed vegetables for example that are rich in fiber such as broccoli, cabbage, asparagus, celery, radish, ginger root, kale and turnips should be included in your candida diet.  Raw garlic and onions are also a great source of natural anti-fungal properties. 20% of your diet should include high protein foods, such as fish, eggs, chicken, duck, nuts, and seeds .  Around 10% of your diet should include complex carbohydrates such as rice, oats and beans and 5% of your diet should include fresh low sugar fruits, such as berries (all kinds), apples, grapefruit, and melon.  Fruit portions are minimized in a candida diet to avoid loading up on fructose sugar and its advised to stay away from dried fruits.

4: Antibiotics and Yeast Infections

antibioticsIf you're taking antibiotics you may lose some of your ability to fight yeast infections.  Yeast and bacteria work together to keep your body in a healthy balance.  Antibiotics can cause an upset in the delicate balance as they will not only destroy the bad bacteria but will also destroy the good bacteria that helps to keep yeast infections at bay.

One way to counteract the effects of antibiotics is to take a probiotic to replenish your body with additional good bacteria to help fight any uprising of fungus growth or Candida.  Probiotics are live micro-organisms that are naturally present in the digestive tract and vagina.  Some studies have shown that low levels of Lactobacilli in the vagina have been associated with yeast infection.  Therefore any probiotic that contains Lactobacillus acidophilus would be advisable as a means to replenish your body with good bacteria in order to preserve the flora balance in your gut and in your vagina.

5: Pregnancy and Yeast Infections

pregnant womanIf you're pregnant, your estrogen levels are increased and your vagina will begin to produce more glycogen. This creates a perfect environment for yeast to grow in.  Most pregnant women have at least one yeast infection during their pregnancy. These infections generally strike during the second trimester and are difficult to prevent.  However you can help to prevent them by the types of clothing you wear.  Choose clothing that is loose fitting and made of natural cotton which absorbs moisture, especially underwear.  Don't take baths and limit your sugar intake, which is best described as Candida fuel!  For more info, read this article about curing yeast infections during pregnancy.

 



Bob Boilen's Year In Concerts : All Songs Considered : NPR St. Vincent's Annie Clark, who played Bob Boilen's favorite concert of 2014, on stage at the 9:30 Club in Washington, D.C. on March 2, 2014. Bob Boilen/NPR hide caption toggle caption pre bonded hairBob Boilen/NPR St. Vincent's Annie Clark, who played Bob Boilen's favorite concert of 2014, on stage at the 9:30 Club in Washington, D.C. on March 2, 2014. Bob Boilen/NPR

I missed another year of TV shows. I missed every single Netflix and HBO series. I did, however, see four times as many movies in 2014 as I did in 2013: four, instead of just one. What I did see once again was a whole lot of live music, 662 performances to be exact. (I count each band as a show or performance.) In a year packed full of concerts, I saw 555 different bands in 144 venues across 16 cities. It turns out I saw exactly the same amount of shows this year as last, which made me laugh ... guess I've hit my ceiling. Each time I go to a show I hope for a unique experience, that marriage of venue, audience and performer. I don't get that from any other medium. I madly love it. When I look back at my favorite shows of the year I find a commonality: Every one of those top bands/acts owns their sound. There's a vision pouring out of the speakers, hearts and instruments. Their lives compel them to do what they do. It's not casual — it's a pure and absolute commitment. Whether it's Paul Janeway of St. Paul and the Broken Bones down on his knees; Perfect Pussy's wall of noise; Dave Grohl's guitar solo on the bar of the 9:30 Club; Nick Cave literally standing in the arms of his fans; James Blake's soulful soundscapes; Moon Hooch's never-ending breath-filled squeals, squawks and drop dead starts and stops — these come off as extraordinary acts of human expression. They touch me and keep me coming back in hopes of that singular unforgettable moment. I saw so much worth sharing. Below is a list of my top 20 shows, starting with the best concert I saw all year. Following that is a chronological list of the other performances I loved (I deleted duplicates, so even though I saw Courtney Barnett play three times, I only listed my favorite one). If you'd like to see the crazy list of all 662 shows I saw, click here and prepare to feel exhausted. Tomorrow I'll post my favorite concert photos of 2014. 1. St. Vincent9:30 Club in Washington, D.C. (March 2) Nothing was better than this show. It was a perfect blend of new songs, brilliant, inventive guitar sounds and engaging, sometimes funny choreography that took Annie Clark's already charismatic character, St. Vincent, to places I'd never seen her even dip her toes in. A huge growth for a young artist who is already musically mature. 2. Moon HoochHoly Mountain in Austin, Texas (March 14) I don't think anyone at SXSW had a clue what they were in for late one evening in Austin. There were looks of amazement while this trio — two saxophones and one monster drummer — made a magic mix of jazz, rock and electronica. No one makes music like this and the fusion of improvisation and turn on a dime stops and rhythmic starts seemed beyond human. This band is a must see! 3. James Blake The Lincoln Theatre in Washington, D.C. (June 12) No venue ever sounds better than during a James Blake show. He and his crew understand how to use bass in a profound, body-rattling way. Unlike other bands that use that big bottom end to bolster their sound, Blake's bass doesn't bury the subtlety that is present in his music. You can hear every click and snap of the drum, every texture of the guitar (which never sounds like a guitar) and then all the words, so soulfully sung. remy hair extensions4. Courtney Barnett The Black Cat in Washington, D.C. (Oct. 18) I've seen Courtney Barnett probably six times since CMJ in 2013. She's grown immensely over the past year-and-a-half as a guitar player and as a singer of the best words in rock music today. On this night her band was on fire. Keep a close eye on her this year — there'll be new music and a show that's not to be missed. 5. alt-JLe Poison Rouge in New York City (Sept. 2) They have been my favorite rock band of the decade since I first saw them in the fall of 2012. Alt-J plays quirky art rock with funny, sometimes disturbing words that always have depth and imagination. Their songs are filled with more songs that shift abruptly but with purpose. And this year there were new tunes and a brilliant new album. They don't let me down; they thrill me. 6. ProtomartyrThe Knitting Factory in Brooklyn, N.Y. (Oct. 23) I didn't see this coming. I was so-so on Protomartyr's album and then they rocked my world. This Detroit band reminded me of the punk futurism of Pere Ubu in the '70s. Front man Joe Casey — in suit and tie, with drink in hand — conjures images of a salesman one drink over the line, stumbling accidentally on a stage but spouting unforgettable poetry. I'm a lover of words that summon imagery and spark thought. Get someone singing about their love of their "baby" and I'm gone but sing me a line like, "And I'll try to live defeated / Come and see the good in everything / Outside, outside, animals sound / Come and see then lead us all to heaven," and I'm there. Joe Casey and Protomartyr, I'm all yours. 7. Public Service Broadcasting The Black Cat in Washington, D.C. (March 4) On the opposite end of the lyrical spectrum here's a band that never utters a word of their own. The entire lyrical content of PSB's songs is appropriated from British public service films from the middle of the last century. It's hilarious (and informative) and the music that glues the films and language together is a fun mix of electronica and rock. The duo's motto is its mission: Inform - Educate - Entertain. 8. Foo Fighters9:30 Club in Washington, D.C. (May 5) OK, so most everyone in the room was probably a bigger fan of Foo Fighters than I, but by night's end I was one of them. This band is undeniable, its attitude is winning and the playing is extraordinary. Washington has a fair claim on Dave Grohl as one of our own: He grew up in the D.C. suburbs and saw many of his early shows at the old 9:30 Club and the Black Cat. On this night, he made himself right at home with a performance that included a rock guitar solo on the bar of the club that was legendary.

9. Sylvan EssoDC9 in Washington, D.C. (Jan. 28) For every band that becomes something of a household name there's an unforgettable moment in some club on some night in which the group moves from obscurity to fame. I believe this was that night for Sylvan Esso. The duo of Amelia Meath on vocals and Nick Sanborn on electronics had just released their single, "Coffee." That song, with a bit of the classic rock tune "Hanky Panky," was an ear worm for everyone in the audience that night and when they launched into it and heard a crowd sing back the words, the look on their faces was priceless. 10. Nick Cave and the Bad SeedsConstitution Hall in Washington, D.C. (July 23) Nick Cave needs to perform as much as you and I need to breathe. I can't think of another performer more compelling than he. At age 57 he out performed every 20 and 30 year old I saw on my list. I believe that some time, perhaps in his late 70s, Nick Cave will be surfing in the crowd and will die in the arms of his fans. It would be his perfect poetic final exit. 11. St. Paul & The Broken BonesRock & Roll Hotel in Washington, D.C. (March 29) Terrifically fun live big band with a bank-teller-turned-soul-singer down on his knees pouring out his heart and soul. 12. The Front BottomsThe Lab in Arlington, Va. (Jan. 29) In the six or so times I've seen this band, Brian Sella has never failed to get a crowd to become a community. We all sing/scream back his words as cathartic acts of love and release. Group rock therapy. 13. Randy Newman as FaustNew York City Center in NYC (July 1) Randy Newman resurrected his cynical, modernized and truly funny musical version of the classic tale of Faust. From the moment he walked on stage wearing devil horns, I wore the biggest grin. 14. Rodrigo AmaranteSixth & I Historic Synagogue in Washington, D.C. (June 28) This mans sings with his eyes, lures you in as a true romantic. Simply transporting. perruques cheveux naturels15. Perfect PussyRock & Roll Hotel in Washington, D.C. (Aug. 30) I saw this band four times in three cities on two continents. Their show, a (maximum) 25 minute blast of fierce noise led by Meredith Graves' impassioned, poetic growl feels almost as good when it stops as when it starts. Hard to explain; best to experience. 16. SaintsenecaThe Black Cat in Washington, D.C. (Jan. 14) A new discovery for me, this Ohio band was easy to love, with foot stomping tunes played on banjo, baglama, bulbul, balalaika, bowed banjo, baritone ukulele, bass and bouzouki. (Oddly, the third St./Saint band on my list ... What's up with that?) 17. DakhaBrakhaWebster Hall in New York City (January 12) Calling them a Ukrainian folk quartet makes them sound quaint. They're not. With hats that resemble a handful of Marge Simpsons in a performance art band, these folks rock. 18. Bo NingenPianos in New York City (Oct. 24) A sonic/visual shock. This Japanese psych/metal/punk/prog band of four Japanese dudes with waist-length hair, wearing long dresses, making faces like blowfish while playing pummeling tunes of wonder. Wow. 19. LulucHouse concert in Silver Spring, Md. (Aug. 8) This Australian folk duo made my number one album of the year. This intimate house concert was the perfect setting. 20. The ShackletonsMuchmores in Brooklyn, N.Y. (Oct 25)

Singer Mark Redding has something to get off his chest. The show is a raucous therapeutic ride of frustration, happiness and tears that goes beyond the self, turning strangers into friends. The Rest of the Best: 63 More Shows I Loved Priests at DC9 in Washington, D.C. (January 8) Mother Falcon at Littlefield in Brooklyn, N.Y. (January 10) Fanfare Ciocarlia at Webster Hall in New York City (January 12) Yasimine Hamdan at Webster Hall in New York City (January 12) The Gene Clark - No Other Tour at 9:30 Club in Washington, D.C. (January 24) Black Clouds at The Black Cat in Washington, D.C. (February 2) Luray at Iota in Arlington, Va. (February 7) Asaf Avidan at Sixth & I Historic Synagogue in Washington, D.C. (February 19) Deafheaven at Empire in Springfield, Va. (February 20) Pile at The Black Cat in Washington, D.C. (March 6) Landlady at Trinity Hall in Austin, Texas (March 11) perruques cheveuxDiane Coffee at Victorian Room at The Driskill in Austin, Texas (March 13) San Fermin at Metro Gallery Baltimore, Md. (March 22) Colin Stetson at Kennedy Center Millennium Stage in Washington, D.C. (March 24) Nils Frahm at The Mansion at Strathmore Bethesda, Md. (March 28) Kraftwerk at 9:30 Club in Washington, D.C. (April 4) Juana Molina at Jammin' Java Vienna, Va. (April 16) Downtown Boys at Rock And Roll Hotel in Washington, D.C. (April 24) Alabama Shakes at 9:30 Club in Washington, D.C. (April 25) Strand of Oaks at World Cafe/WXPN Philadelphia, Pa. (May 16) HighAsAKite at The Black Cat in Washington, D.C. (May 18) Lucius at 9:30 Club in Washington, D.C. (May 21) Conor Oberst at 9:30 Club in Washington, D.C. (May 23)

The Orwells at Shea Stadium in Brooklyn, N.Y. (June 9) Tweedy at The Lincoln Theatre in Washington, D.C. (June 10) The Family Crest at Artisphere in Arlington, Va. (June 20) Randy Newman at New York City Center in New York City (July 1) Pokey LaFarge at The Birchmere Alexandria, Va. (July 10) Phox at The Hamilton in Washington, D.C. (July 19) Beck at Merriweather Post Pavillion Columbia, Md. (July 24) Hozier at Newport Folk Festival in Newport, R.I. (July 26) The Oh Hellos at Newport Folk Festival in Newport, R.I. (July 26) Nellie McKay as Billie Tipton at Jammin' Java Vienna, Va. (July 31) Agnes Obel at 9:30 Club in Washington, D.C. (August 13) Arcade Fire at Verizon Center in Washington, D.C. (August 17) Dan Deacon at Verizon Center in Washington, D.C. (August 17) lace front wigsBellows at The Black Cat in Washington, D.C. (August 31) New Pornographers at Brill Building in New York City (September 4) Jack White at Merriweather Post Pavillion Columbia, Md. (September 14) Ty Segall at 9:30 Club in Washington, D.C. (September 15) Madisen Ward and the Mama Bear at Third Man Records Nashville, Tenn. (September 18) Sturgill Simpson at City Winery Nashville, Tenn. (September 18) Anthony D'Amato at The Basement Nashville, Tenn. (September 20) Valerie June at Sixth & I Historic Synagogue in Washington, D.C. (October 2)

Helado Negro at DC9 in Washington, D.C. (October 8) Perfume Genius at The Hamilton in Washington, D.C. (October 9) Sunflower Bean at Pianos in New York City (October 21) Immigrant Union at Santos Party House in New York City (October 22) Gem Club at The Knitting Factory in Brooklyn, N.Y. (October 23) Adult Jazz at Brooklyn Bowl in Brooklyn, N.Y. (October 25) Happyness at Cake Shop in New York City (October 25) Ásgeir at Harpa Reykjavik, Iceland (November 5) Samaris at Kaffibarinn Reykjavik, Iceland (November 6) Moses Sumney at Frikirkjan Reykjavik, Iceland (November 7) Son Lux at Gamla Bio Reykjavik, Iceland (November 8)cosplay wigs The Flaming Lips at Vodaphone Center Reykjavik, Iceland (November 9) Absolutely Free at DC9 in Washington, D.C. (November 11) Alvvays at DC9 in Washington, D.C. (November 11) TV On the Radio at 9:30 Club in Washington, D.C. (November 16) The New Pornographers at 9:30 Club in Washington, D.C. (November 21) Cymbals Eat Guitars at DC9 in Washington, D.C. (December 10) Gogol Bordello at 9:30 Club in Washington, D.C. (December 27) Creepoid at DC9 in Washington, D.C. (December 30)

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