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Stress, Anxiety and Yeast Infections

When talking about stress and anxiety, people usually think of problems related to work, finances, studies or the family. Will the words “yeast infection” come to mind? Probably not. But after thinking about it for quiet some time, I finally concluded that yeast infection will definitely cause a lot of stress and anxiety to any woman like me.

When do we consider our jobs or studies to be stressful? Personally, I consider something to be stressful when its demands are already too much for me to bear. My anxiety, on the other hand, is triggered when I feel that there is a looming problem I am trying to avoid but still has a possibility of occurring. Both these situations can be related with yeast infection and having it. To understand this better, it is important to learn more about this health problem.

Yeast is a type of fungus and is scientifically known as Candida. The kind of fungus specifically found in the women’s genital area is called Candida Albican. Yeast is naturally found in moisture-rich parts of a person’s body like the mouth and, for women, their vagina. Aside from yeast, normal protective bacteria are also found in that area of a woman’s body. Yeast infection results from an overgrowth of Candida Albicans or a diminished amount of normal protective bacteria such that the “good” bacteria are outnumbered. Several factors may cause either an increase in the amount of yeast or a decrease in the number of protective bacteria.

Taking antibiotics to eliminate the disease-causing bacteria also affects the protective bacteria in the vagina which will cause it to decrease. A high level of blood-sugar among people with diabetes and women who have their menstruation triggers the proliferation of yeast. Hormonal changes that pregnant woman experience also cause the blood-sugar level to increase resulting as well to a growth in the amount of yeast. A weak immune system resulting from lack of sleep or poor diet will not be able to fight against infections and make it easier to take place. Yeast also thrive in areas that are warm and moisture-laden which is common in situations when women wear tight clothing or sweat excessively.

When a woman has yeast infection she will experience itching, irritation and soreness in the areas affected. She also feels pain during urination and sexual intercourse. Rashes form in the affected areas and vaginal discharges occur. Itching is extremely bothersome especially during instances when one is already preoccupied with other important tasks. The irritation must be very difficult to handle in situations where it is embarrassing to scratch one’s self but feels a great need to do it. The pain you avoid to experience despite the strong urge to urinate just might be too much to bear. When placed in these kinds of situations, I imagine that it is not impossible for a woman to feel stressful.

Fortunately, there are ways to avoid having yeast infection. Oral and topical medications such as clotrimazole, ketoconazole and miconazole can be taken or applied to decrease or eliminate yeast proliferation. Some medications, however, have adverse side effects such as nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, loss of appetite and unusual fatigue and may trigger negative reactions with other medications. Another option to address yeast infections is through lifestyle and diet modifications which requires wearing of cotton-made materials, avoiding the use of tight clothing, eating yogurt and decreasing the consumption of sugary foods. Through regular and strict observance of these modifications, chances of having yeast infection may be limited.

However, it is already part of a woman’s system to regularly experience having menstruation. It can also be expected for women to get pregnant at a particular time. These events can make a woman vulnerable to having yeast infections again. The possibility of experiencing difficulties brought about by being infected, I believe, can make any woman anxious.

Does this mean then that women cannot avoid having yeast infection? Maybe or maybe not. Though if it is true that every woman will experience having this problem at least once in their lives, stress and anxiety must be expected to go with it as well. Common stress management techniques most likely will not be effective in this situation, but proper hygiene and medication surely will.

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