Menopause and Candida

For the most part women going through menopause and candida overgrowth at the same time is not common simply because yeast infections usually affect women during their child bearing years, from when they start their menstruation up to when it stops during the menopause. However there are some exceptions for hormonal reasons that link menopause and candida which is something that will be looked at in this article.

What is candida?
Candida is a family of fungi of which there are many species. A small few of those species are pathogenic, meaning they can cause harm or health issues. The most common species of candida that causes most yeast infections is Candida albicans. Inside your body live a multitude of microorganisms in balance with each other when a person is healthy. Amongst those are a small number of candida, kept in check by friendly bacteria. However when an imbalance is triggered, usually by an outside factor such as antibiotics that kill the bacteria, or stress which causes hormonal imbalance, the yeast goes from dormant to pathogenic and releases toxins as waste. These toxins create a reaction from the immune system and cause symptoms.

Why are women more prone than men?
Most women will have at least 1 yeast infection in her life and there are certain times when she is more prone due to hormonal and chemical changes her body is going through such as during her menstruation, during a pregnancy, when taking birth control pills and menopause. However menopause and candida overgrowth at the same time are not as likely as a woman during pregnancy or her period because the levels of hormones specifically estrogen are going down.

Candida like estrogen, and prefers raised levels, not decreased but the lower levels of estrogen means the walls of the vagina become weaker and thinner. This means during intercourse there can be some irritation, scratches or scarring which can trigger a yeast infection. Women who are undergoing hormone replacement therapy, HRT, are more prone to menopause and candida symptoms because it is playing with her natural hormonal balance. Also the higher levels of estrogen can lead to more vaginal discharge and a damp environment can become the ideal breeding ground for the fungus.

Treatment for women with menopause and candida yeast infections
There are a few options for treatment though before taking any action it would be a good idea to seek the advice and confirmed diagnosis of your doctor. Over the counter medications are suitable for mild to moderate infections and come in the form of creams or suppositories. For more severe infections your doctor may prescribe something stronger. There are also natural and herbal remedies that some women have great success with.

  • Tea tree oil
  • Plain probiotic yogurt
  • Raw garlic
  • Apple cider vinegar
  • Boric acid
  • Honey
  • Pau d’arco

Prevention methods

  • Wash and dry the vaginal area thoroughly
  • Wear cotton underwear
  • Avoid pantyhose or tight clothing
  • Do not share towels
  • Change out of wet clothing straight away
  • Avoid harsh detergents or softeners
  • Avoid scented pads, tampons, powders
  • Do not douche
  • Make sure you are well lubricated during sex

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