Yeast Infection Before Period

A yeast infection before period generally occurs due to high amount of sugar level in the vagina tissue or a lower level of pH in the vagina. Estrogen levels are also high before ovulation begins, which causes the cell in the vaginal wall to enrich itself with sugar. If yeasts are present in the hyphae, they would start feeding onto sugar from the vaginal wall. This causes the yeast to grow just before a period as the body secretes high amount of progesterone. This signals the vaginal wall to shed some of its tissues. The tissues are high in sugar giving birth to Candida yeast infection before period.
 

The infection of Candida vaginitis is quite common during pregnancy, and also during the period of time before the onset of menstruation. A study published in the: ‘American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology’ examined the effect of menstruation on immunity responses to the yeast Candida. During this phase, the cellular immunity was minimized as the growth of Candida albican yeast cells increased. The immunity response varied and this variation was very low in cases of women who consumed contraceptive pills which aggravate the release of progesterone during menstruation further increasing the Candida albican yeast cells.

Therefore, this study suggests that the hormonal situation greatly influences the pathogenicity of yeast infections to occur or not. Furthermore, the use of contraceptive pills can weaken the immune system, which can also bring about a yeast infection. It is also common for yeast infections to reappear before menstruation more frequently.

Another study was conducted on rats to find out what are the reasons of Candida overgrowth due to hormonal change. It was found that Estrogen and pH of vaginal wall are not the only reason for Candida growth. Progesterone hormone affects the immunity system of a human being. The study examined the reaction of white blood cells to progesterone. It was found that the progesterone secretion hinders the ability of the white blood cells to fight Candida yeast infection that had already been pre-treated with estrogen, causing the possibility of a yeast infection before period to occur.
 
 

Role of pH:

 
The pH level of the vaginal also plays a vital role on whether a yeast infection before period occurs or not. The level of estrogen drops at the beginning of ovulation and before menstruation. Estrogen in the vaginal wall causes the vaginal wall to have acidic secretion. Estrogen is inversely related to pH of the vaginal wall, i.e. more estrogen level means lower the pH in the vagina. This also means a higher sugar level and hence growth of yeast fungi in the vagina. Therefore, if you have had recurrent yeast infections before your period, it is possible that yeast cells has already grown in the vaginal tissues. And each time the cell acquires more sugar due to estrogen, increasing the chance of a Candida yeast infection occurring.

 

Symptoms:

 
The symptoms of a yeast infection before period are itchiness ranging from little to extremely uncomfortable situations causing a burning sensation and white fluid discharge. A healthy vaginal flora is well balanced with both good and bad bacteria, so maintaining a proper balance can help you stay away from Candida overgrowth.
 

Image showing Yeast Infection Discharge Up-close!
Image showing Yeast Infection Discharge Up-close!
 
The use of antibiotics kills off all the good bacteria present in the vaginal lining, causing the Candida yeast to grow. Candida yeast infection can occur to any women at any time, even before monthly periods. If you are using harsh soap to keep vagina clean, it can wash away the good bacteria and cause the yeast infection to grow before your period. This is because of the change in pH of the vagina.

 

Role of Oral Contraceptives:

 

Yeast Infection Before Period
Taking Oral Contraceptives can increase chances of Candida infections.
Women who take oral contraceptives are more susceptible to Candida yeast infection before period due hormonal change altering the pH of the vagina.

When you take birth control pills to elevate the amount of estrogen, the progesterone level is already high before a period, it consequently weakens the white blood cells to fight a yeast infection before period as both progesterone and estrogen level is high, which in turn trigger the yeast infection.

 

High Estrogen Levels:

 
During the childbearing stage, a mucosal infection occurs most commonly by women due to the Candida species, known as vulvovaginal Candidiasis. This infection mostly occurs due to increased estrogen levels and frequent vulvovaginal Candidiasis. When vaginal epithelial samples were acquired from healthy women, it was found that they had no past experience of vulvovaginal Candidiasis. However, they did have signs of anti-Candida activities going on inside their body. This activity without much hindrance occurred at every stage of the menstruation cycle. Those women, who had recurrent vulvovaginal Candidiasis, were seen with reduced anti-Candida activities in their epithelial cells. So, on the whole, women having high estrogen levels may encounter higher occurrences of vulvovaginal Candidiasis.

 

Treatment and Prevention:

 
It is advised to consume yogurt with acidophilus bacteria. It helps in creating an acidic environment around the places where the growth of yeast occurs, as yeast cannot survive in acidic condition. It is a good idea to have yogurt 1 week before the next scheduled period. Try avoiding sugar and refined carbohydrates as much as possible as this prevents yeast from multiplying. To avoid having yeast infection before period you must cut off the yeast from feeding in your body, and sugar is the main culprit which the Candida yeast likes feeding on. So, starving the yeast is the first step to avoid yeast infection. Taking anti-fungal medication without starving the yeast may have an adverse effect on your system. The yeast may develop the resisting power to anti-fungals and more resistant yeast would multiply.

 

Changing lifestyle is very important to avoid yeast infection before period. Wear loose fitting apparel and moisture wicking underwear. Avoid douching as it washes out the beneficial bacteria and make it really uncomfortable. Use cotton underwear and proper sanitary pads before period. Synthetic sanitary products may cause itchiness and slight irritation. Avoid using creams and lotions or antibiotics from over the counter.

If you are suffering from frequent yeast infection, which comes from time to time, take it seriously and take preventive measures, consult your doctor.

 

References:

Candida albicans – American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology – 1989 – By Aliza Kalo-Klein and Steven S. Witkin
www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/0002937889906492
 

Growth Inhibition of Candida – The Journal of Infectious Diseases – 2001 – By Melissa M. Barousse, Chad Steele and Kathleen Dunlap
jid.oxfordjournals.org/content/184/11/1489.full
 

Common Infections – Book by L.G. Keith – 2012
 

Candidiasis: Epidemiology, Symptoms, Treatment – Book by Felipe Contreras and ‎Pedro Fuentes – 2013
 

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