Vaginal Yeast Infections

What Causes Vaginal Yeast Infections?

To successfully treat and prevent recurrence of vaginal yeast infections we need to understand and — if possible — remove the underlying causes and risk factors.  We need to ask: "What else is going on inside the body that might allow vaginal yeast infections to develop?"

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Accurate diagnosis of the factors behind vaginal yeast infections consists of three steps:

Step 1: List the Possible Causative Factors

Identify all disease conditions, lifestyle choices and environmental risk factors that can lead to vaginal yeast infections.  Here are four possibilities:
  • Low Estrogens
  • Low Progesterone
  • Lupus (SLE)
  • Candida / Yeast

Step 2: Build a Symptom Checklist

Identify all possible symptoms and risk factors of each possible cause, and check the ones that apply:
frequent unexplained nausea
candidiasis
moderate unexplained weight gain
tetracycline use
reduction in breast fullness
regular sun rash on cheeks
painful menstrual cramps
breast soreness during cycle
water retention before menstruation
unexplained fevers that hit hard
hot flashes between period
indoor allergies
... and more than 80 others

Step 3: Rule Out or Confirm each Possible Cause

A differential diagnosis of your symptoms and risk factors finds the likely cause of vaginal yeast infections:
Cause Probability Status
Low Estrogens 96% Confirm
Candida / Yeast 22% Unlikely
Low Progesterone 4% Ruled out
Lupus (SLE) 3% Ruled out
* This is a simple example to illustrate the process

Arriving at a Correct Diagnosis

The Analyst™ is our online diagnosis tool that learns all about you through a straightforward process of multi-level questioning, providing diagnosis at the end.

If you indicate vaginal problems, The Analyst™ will ask further questions including this one:
Have you had vaginal yeast infections? Symptoms may include itching, burning, pain when urinating, swelling and/or a thick, odorless "cottage cheese" discharge.
Possible responses:
→ No / don't know
→ In the past, but none for over a year
→ Possibly / It has been suggested in the past year
→ Yes, 1 to 3 within the past year
→ Yes, ongoing problem / more than 3 in past year
Based on your response to this question, which may indicate history of vaginal yeast infection, suspected vaginal yeast infection, vaginal yeast infection or chronic vaginal yeast infection, The Analyst™ will consider possibilities such as:
Estrogens Low

A decrease in estrogen results in several vaginal changes.  The vaginal lining becomes thinner and more fragile resulting in an increased risk of bacterial infection.

Progesterone Low or Estrogen Dominance

Yeast infections are more common among women with increased levels of estrogen.  This is seen in those who use estrogen-containing birth control pills and among women who are pregnant.  The increased hormone level causes changes in the vaginal environment that make it a media for fungal growth and nourishment.

Concerned or curious about your health?  Try The Analyst™
Symptom Entry
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