Do Vaginal Yeast Infections Affect Fertility?

May 25, 2022
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Vaginal Yeast Infection

A superlative form of itchy embarrassment, specifically restricted to the nether regions.


"I think I have a yeast infection."

"Oh, you poor thing. I'm glad I don't have to itch the twitch."

With vaginal yeast infection, it isn't uncommon to feel an itchy, twitchy saga unfolding in your deep, dark yonder. If you've been subject to the condition before or associate with some of its symptoms, it is worth delving into its causes, risk factors and its effect on fertility.

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Understanding Vaginal Yeast Infection

Vaginal yeast infection is caused by fungal agents and includes many manifestations like irritation, itching, inflammation and smelly vaginal discharge. Up to 75% of women contract the infection at least once during their lifetime, with many experiencing up two episodes. Vaginal yeast infection is most commonly stimulated by a fungus known as Candida albicans, which composes up to 92% of all cases. Although this fungus preexists in the body, its multiplication can exacerbate symptoms. In fact, up to 50% of women are carriers of the infection but display no symptoms.

Causes of Yeast Infection

The natural balance of microorganisms in the vaginal area can be skewed by many factors. Some of these are included below:

  • Antibiotics: These can annihilate good bacteria that protect the vagina or change the natural bacterial composition
  • Steroids: Much like antibiotics, steroids can have damaging effects on the natural bacterial environment in the vagina
  • Diabetes: This disease can reduce glycogen levels in vaginal cells and also raise the pH balance within the vagina, making it more conducive to fungal infections
  • Immunity-depleting elements: Diseases like HIV/AIDS, chemotherapy and strong drugs can hamper immunity
  • Vaginal wounds: Vaginal insertions can cause wounds that expose the bloodstream to bacterial and fungal agents
  • Tight  underwear: Tight, synthetic underwear can promote warmth, moisture and irritation
  • Hormonal shifts: Ovulation, menopause, pregnancy, hormone therapy and birth control pills can all alter hormone levels

Symptoms of Yeast Infection

Symptoms of yeast infection can overlap with other vaginal infections, so it is important to seek a definitive diagnosis for your condition before you pursue treatment. Some symptoms are included below:

  • Itching: Itching of the vulva may range from mild to severe, depending on the degree of severity of the condition
  • Vaginal discharge: Thick, clumpy, whitish discharge with an odour reminiscent of bread or yeast
  • Inflammation: An inflamed vulva with redness or irritation
  • Burning: Pain during intercourse or urination

The Correlation Between Yeast Infection and Fertility

Yeast infection that appears sporadically and is easily treated is likely to have no bearing on your fertility. The only way it may affect you is by limiting your inclination to have intercourse. However, recurrent episodes of yeast infection can hamper the consistency of cervical mucus and the natural vaginal environment, and pose greater challenges to sperm in reaching the uterus. In severe cases, it can lead to infertility and increase the need for fertility treatment. It is important to remember to be infection-free when you conceive a baby, because not only can the condition transfer to your partner, it can also pass down to your baby.

Measures to Minimize the Effects of Yeast Infection

Yeast infection can be curbed through a combination of dietary changes and topical medications, as explained below.

  • Dietary Changes

Refined grains, sugars and alcohol can all serve to create a breeding ground for fungal infections, so it's best to avoid them entirely while you undergo treatment. Stock up on fresh vegetables, whole grains, fresh fruits and organic yogurt. Speak to your doctor about taking a probiotic and multivitamin supplement to build immunity and ward off bacteria. Dietary changes can take up to 6 weeks to exhibit noticeable results.

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  • Topical Medications

There are many home remedies that you can resort to, to reduce the effects of yeast infection. Tea tree oil is an effective antiseptic, antifungal and antibacterial agent that can work wonders in bath water. Add about 10 drops to your bucket every time, but remember to never apply it directly to the vaginal region. Also, speak to your gynaecologist, about topical applications that you could use to alleviate symptoms.

Save yourself the irritation and embarrassment of yeast infection, and put an end to those strains of melancholy coming out of your nether regions. With an effective treatment plan, you can manage the condition and guard yourself against its effects.

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