When it comes to fertility, all women want the experience to be smooth, healthy and problem-free. There are many factors which contribute to women’s fertility and there are as many that can pose a problem. One of them is the presence of yeast infections and many women may wonder if their fertility can get adversely affected by its presence. To understand the implications of yeast infections on fertility, let us discuss vaginal yeast infection at first.
What is a Vaginal Yeast Infection?
Candida Albicans is a type of yeast and it belongs to a species of the fungus family. Candida is thought to be the cause of vaginal yeast infections. Candida Albicans is very much a part of the virginal flora in more than 50% of women. Other species such as C. tropicalis and C. glabrata can also cause vaginal yeast infections and to determine the type of fungus one needs to undergo tests which will exactly identify the fungus.
Not many are aware about the existence of nearly 20 species of Candida amongst us. Candida Albicans occupies a large part of the virginal flora in most women. At most times the presence of yeast in the vagina does not pose a problem. It is only when the concentration of Candida in the vagina grows out of control, women begin to portray symptoms. Usually, yeast grows in a moist and warm environment Sexual intercourse can transfer yeast infection and if one partner has the infection it can spread to another after sex. Symptoms of Candida infection show up in men only in severe cases. It is advisable to seek medical opinion in the event of recurrent yeast infection to check for any serious underlying conditions.
Symptoms of Yeast Infection in women
- Irritation and swelling of the vulva
- Itching in the vagina, especially in the vulva
- Thick white discharge
- Burning sensation during urination or after sexual intercourse
Risk factors for yeast infection
- Polyester or synthetic tight fitting underwear
- Excessive consumption of alcohol
- Oral sex
- Pregnancy, menstruation, sexual intercourse and anything that alters the environment in the vagina
- HIV, AIDS and other illness which can leave the immune system weak
- Bad diet high in sugars
How Can Yeast Infections Affect Fertility?
Yeast infections that are not so recurrent – which is about once or twice a year can cause discomfort due to itching but will not pose a problem for fertility.
If vaginal infections caused by overgrowth of Candida are recurrent, it could upset the balance of internal vaginal flora. This makes it tough for the sperm to reach the uterus. Since the infection alters the consistency of the cervical mucus, it could make it very tough for the sperm to reach the cervical opening.
Any imbalance in the vaginal flora could inhibit the capacity of the vaginal mucosa’s ability to keep way many other diseases and infections, which could be the cause of fertility issues in later life. A yeast infection also weakens the body’s immune system.
It is also possible that if you have vaginal yeast infection, there could be an imbalance of Candida in the intestines. The reason for this hinges on a bad diet and untimely eating. Not many may know that yeast overgrowth can also occur because of what we eat. This can hamper proper absorption of the nutrients.
A word of caution – it is best to avoid sexual contact with your partner during such vaginal infections as it can be easily passed on.
Simple home remedies to treat Yeast Infection
Make simple dietary alterations that can treat the yeast infection effectively.
- Consume plenty of fresh fruits, vegetables and whole grains
- It is best to avoid alcoholic beverages as they contain sugars in high amounts
- Healthy to take a good probiotic
- Refined grains should be avoided – white rice, white flour, and products containing these should be out of your kitchen
- Garlic capsules are good to strengthen immunity
- Keep away from consumption of soda, fruit juices, honey, dried fruit, candy and ice cream
- Plain organic yoghurt is good for this infection
- Take a multivitamin
Now that you know how yeast infections affect your fertility, you can take measures to eliminate the infections. If the infection is persistent, consult a doctor immediately.