Yeast infections are incredibly common, affecting approximately 75 percent of women at some point in their life. They’re not the end of the world – itchy, stingy and uncomfortable, but generally curable (check out this post by a fellow-go girl for some natural cures and remedies).
Unfortunately, the run-around, diet-changing, quick-dry-cloth-wearing habits often associated with travel are some key triggers of these nasty little infections. The better news: yeast infections are largely preventable with relatively little effort.
Maintaining a good, well-rounded diet of fruits and vegetables and a low-stress lifestyle is a great foundation for avoiding a yeast infection. It’s all about balance –after all, a yeast infection is an imbalance of good and bad bacteria in your vagina.
But balance is often easier planned than achieved, so here are some additional tips to keep in mind when you’re packing your bag for the next adventure that can help fend off discomfort down the road.
- Cotton. It isn’t quick drying, so it’s a hard one to put on the list when you know you need to wash and go. However, most underwear these days, even the quick-drying sorts, come with a cotton crotch. Although a bit pricey, Patagonia sells some great cotton lined panties that can stand up to the wear and tear associated with washing abroad, and are relatively quick drying.
- Stay dry and airy. This doesn’t mean don’t go swimming, it just means ditch the suit as soon as your done. Wearing loose skirts or dresses in the right climate can help. Back to tip #1, the essential part is that the area near your vagina is dry, as yeast thrives in moist, wet environments.
- Front to back. One simple way to avoid a yeast infection is to be sure you’re wiping away from your bum. There’s bacteria, it spreads … you get the idea.
- A little less sweet. Diabetes and yeast infections are linked – so, if you are diabetic, be extra careful about managing your blood sugar levels. For those who aren’t, many women who have suffered from yeast infections notice a link between the infection and their consumption of sugar, so best to keep the sugar intake to a minimum.
- Don’t douche. Stay away from douching, perfuming and deodorizing your lady parts. While we understand the urge, the potential for a yeast infection far outweighs the benefits, and douching really isn’t necessary for vaginal health. If you just can’t resist, check out www.livestrong.com for some cleansing douches, as well as a list of natural douches that help cure yeast infections.
- Eat Yogurt. Not just any yogurt will do. A lot of yogurt, unfortunately most, is crammed-packed with sugar and offers few real health benefits. Before you load your shopping cart, scan the back label for probiotic acidophilus. If live-culture yogurt isn’t available where you are or where you’re headed, acidophilus is available as a supplement.
How else can girls on the go steer clear of yeast infections?