Every day, the prevalence of vaginal yeast infections rises. A woman’s vagina contains a healthy balanced population of bacteria and yeast. A yeast infection is the outcome of an imbalance between these two. The causes include low immunity, diabetes, overuse of antibiotics, and hormonal imbalances.
The lack of regulation of the good vaginal bacteria is the primary cause of yeast infection. In this article, we will understand what yeast infection is and whether it can delay your periods or not.
Do yeast infections affect periods? The Link Between Them
A fungal infection of the skin or mucous membranes is known as a yeast infection. This frequently causes excessive itching, irritation, and inflammation in the vaginal cells.
Female vaginal yeast infections also referred to as Candida vaginal infections, are more common before and during your menstrual cycle because of changes in skin pH and hormonal fluctuations. Their common symptoms include a burning sensation when urinating, thick, white vaginal discharge, itching in the vaginal region, and pain during sexual activity.
A yeast infection can throw off the delicate balance of your reproductive system since it is caused by an excess of fungus in the vagina. Hormonal imbalances resulting from this disturbance may impact the regularity of your menstrual period. Therefore, although yeast infections might not directly cause a delayed period, they can play a role in the hormonal changes that do.
Since we have established that delayed periods are not always a direct result of yeast infections, it is important to note that the same thing that caused your yeast infection may be the cause of your menstrual delay. For instance, using some birth control pills, particularly those that raise the body’s estrogen levels, is one of the primary causes of yeast infections.
So, If you are taking a birth control pill and happen to experience a yeast infection and notice that your period is delayed, the change to your period may not have to do with your yeast infection. Rather, it may be because of the birth control pill and how the elevated levels of estrogen are affecting your usual menstrual cycle.
What causes yeast infection before and during your period?
The hormonal fluctuations that occur during your menstrual cycle can create an environment that is conducive to the growth of yeast, which can result in an infection, and this is important to keep in mind when trying to figure out what causes a vaginal yeast infection before your period.
The rise in estrogen levels is one of the key things that can cause a yeast infection before your period. One hormone that is essential for controlling the menstrual cycle is estrogen. Estrogen levels can surge during specific times of the cycle, which can cause an overabundance of yeast in the vaginal area.
The drop in progesterone levels in the days before your menstrual cycle is another potential reason. In the vagina, progesterone aids in preserving a balanced population of yeast and bacteria. This state of balance may be upset by an overall decrease in progesterone, which could allow yeast to grow and spread and result in an infection.
During your cycle, the moist environment can cause yeast infections to increase and result in intense itching and irritation. This is because the pH balance in the vagina can be affected by the hormonal changes that women experience throughout their periods. You are more susceptible to developing a yeast infection when the pH of your vagina is noticeably elevated.
other notable causes of yeast infections include:
- Weakened immune system: Your immune system’s ability to fight off infections, including yeast infections, declines when weak. Your immune system can be weakened by things like stress, poor diet, and some drugs, which increase your susceptibility to infections.
- Poor vaginal hygiene: This can lead to an environment that is more conducive to the growth of yeast. It’s essential to maintain the vaginal area dry and clean and to avoid using harsh soaps or douches that could upset the body’s natural equilibrium.
- Antibiotics: Using antibiotics can upset the vagina’s normal bacterial balance, which can lead to an overgrowth of yeast and an infection. You have to be mindful of this possible risk if you have just completed an antibiotic treatment course.
How to prevent yeast infections?
Some of the measures you can take to prevent frequent yeast infections include;
- Maintain Good Hygiene: This helps to keep the vaginal area clean and dry. Take regular baths and change your pants every day.
- Wear Breathable Clothes and underwear: To prevent sweating, wear cotton trousers and light, breathable clothing. Avoid using nylon or any other synthetic material as they retain moisture, which creates the ideal conditions for yeast growth.
- Avoid usage of Scented Products: Use fragrance-free bath bombs, sprays, and soaps to prevent irritation in your vaginal region.
- Avoid Douching: Douching can seriously upset the delicate balance of yeast and bacteria in your vagina. Also, if you douche while you already have a yeast infection, the infection could end up entering the uterus through the cervix. You only need a little lukewarm water to clean the area surrounding your vulva.
- Reduce frequent Antibiotic Usage: To maintain the normal balance of microorganisms, use antibiotics only when it is necessary.
- Consume a Balanced Diet: To maintain the proper balance of bacteria, including fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and probiotics, such as yogurt.
Although they don’t directly cause a delay in your period, yeast infections can affect the color, consistency, and smell of your menstrual discharge.
Preventing and treating yeast infections begins with being aware of the factors that may contribute to an infection before your period. You can reduce your chance of having a delayed menstrual period as a result of a yeast infection by leading a healthy lifestyle, using appropriate hygiene practices, and getting treatment as soon as needed.
Hormonal imbalances caused by yeast infections may contribute to a delayed period, therefore, it is necessary to take into account additional factors including the use of specific birth control methods or underlying medical issues. Seeking advice from a healthcare professional for a comprehensive assessment and suitable direction is always a good idea if you’re worried about a delayed period.