Published: Dec 25, 2016 · Modified: Jun 18, 2020 by Marit A. · This post may contain affiliate links. When buying through a link on our site we earn a commission at no extra cost to you. · 5 Comments
Is there redness and irritation around the entrance of the vagina and it burns when you are urinating? Maybe you noticed a foul odor after the hysterectomy? Or is the white discharge making you suspect that something is wrong down there?
Most women are well familiar with these annoying symptoms of a vaginal yeast infection.Yeast infections are unpleasant and can even be painful, especially when you are having sex.
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Let’s first see which factors lead to vaginal yeast infections after hysterectomy surgery.
Causes of yeast infection after hysterectomy
Are yeast infections more common after hysterectomy?
There are several reasons a woman is more likely to develop a yeast infection after surgery.
One of the main reasons is the use of antibiotics during and after the operation. Usually, all women having an abdominal or vaginal hysterectomy get antibiotics to reduce the chance of infection. Unfortunately, antibiotics can also destroy the healthy bacteria in the vagina, giving the rapid growing yeast a chance to take over.
Another reason for yeast infections after hysterectomy is due to the decreased blood flow to the ovaries. This affects the normal estrogen production by the ovaries. Lower estrogen levels can make the vaginal tissues drier and thinner, and you become much more prone to developing a yeast infection.
Last, after a hysterectomy, your immune system may be weakened and your body may lack its natural defenses against bacteria and yeast infections.
Under normal circumstances, taking OTC anti-fungal medication like Monistat is enough to treat a vaginal yeast infection. Though, I would recommend you not to use any medication that you need to insert into the vagina in the postoperative period. Ask your doctor; he will be able to prescribe you the right anti-fungal medication that you can take through the mouth.
No matter what, if you have symptoms like smelly discharge and irritation post-op, you better make an appointment with your surgeon. He can verify you are healing well from the operation and see if you do have a yeast infection and not a bacterial infection. The moment you find out the source of the problem, then it is not difficult to treat.
There are more than 20 different species in the Candida family that normally live in our intestines, mucous membranes, and our skin. Though, usually, the cause of the problem is a fungus named Candida albicans.
6 Good practices to avoid and treat a yeast infection after hysterectomy:
1. Take care of hygiene:
If you are suffering from repeated vaginal yeast infections, take strict care of hygiene. A moist, warm, and cramped environment is ideal for the growth of Candida. Be conscious of the clothes that you wear. Do not wear tight synthetic clothes, leggings or tights, and opt for loose, cotton clothing. Change wet bikini bottoms immediately for dry ones after you have swum. Always wash underwear at high temperatures, or, as my doctor suggested, press the crotch with your steam iron to kill any lingering microorganisms.
2. Avoid harsh treatments:
Harsh medicines or treatments irritate the vagina and disrupt the vaginal flora, making you susceptible to yeast infection. Avoid vaginaldouching, strong medication, vaginal sprays, and deodorants and opt for mild unscented products.
3. Take a probiotic supplement:
Choose natural ways to solve a yeast infection after hysterectomy. Probiotics are healthy bacteria that normally live in your body. These good bacteria keep a check on harmful bacteria and help them to maintain a healthy internal environment.
Lactobacillustablets nourish your body with good bacteria and keep other unwanted flora in the body under control. You may find that some doctors will give you a prescription for probiotics when you need to take antibiotics.
4. Minimize sugar intake:
Taking care of your diet can reduce the symptoms of vaginal yeast infections. Eating less sugar or sugary foods can help, as yeasts multiply on sugars. Add fresh fruits and plenty of veggies to your diet. Also, avoid products made of refined flour, which is converted into sugar by your body.
5. Take care of hormonal imbalance:
If you take hormone replacement after hysterectomy, be aware of the fact that it can cause repeated yeast infections. Increased estrogen in the vagina willsimply fuelCandida growth because estrogen regulates glycogen levels in the vagina.
Women with type 2 diabetes are also at an increased risk of vaginal candidiasis. To prevent repeated yeast infections, keeping blood sugar levels under control is very important.
6. Try natural home remedies:
Boric acid has antiviral and antifungal properties and is often prescribed as a second-line treatment when other antifungals fail to solve the problem. It creates an inhospitable acidic environment in the vagina for yeasts and bacteria. You can purchase Boric acid vaginal suppositories over the counter or online.
A yeast infection after hysterectomy can be due to a hormone imbalance, an unhealthy diet or a course of antibiotics. It’s also possible that a yeast infection is transmitted during sex but the chance is minimal. No matter what, you need to fix these issues, to successfully stop recurring infections.
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