Birth Control Pills & Yeast Infections

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Birth Control Pills & Yeast Infections
Birth Control Pills & Yeast Infections (Image: nateOne of flickr.com)

Many women who are not interested in becoming pregnant, use birth control pills as a preventive measure. Unfortunately, the use of birth control pills may come with unpleasant side effects, such as yeast infections. There are many alternative methods of birth control and treatment that may reduce the occurrence of yeast infections in women.

The Facts

The traditional form of a birth control pill is called the "Combined Pill." It contains the hormones estrogen and progestin. Due to the high level of hormones in this type of contraception, many women suffer from a overgrowth of Candida albicans, a yeast-like fungus. A common result of Candida overgrowth is a yeast infection, which is an irritation of the vagina and vulva. According to Womenshealth.gov, about 75 percent of women have one vaginal yeast infection in their lives, while 50 percent may have two or more. The use of certain types of birth control pills may increase the chance of developing a yeast infection.

Symptoms

The symptoms of a yeast infection caused by Candida overgrowth are intense vaginal burning and itching, painful urination, soreness of the vagina, pain during sex and a white, cottage cheese-like vaginal discharge. Other symptoms related to Candida overgrowth, while using certain birth control pills are fatigue, anxiety, weight gain, sugar cravings, digestive and skin problems.

Treatments

Yeast Infections brought on by the use of birth control pills are treated using anti-fungal medicines in the form of cream, ointments and vaginal suppositories. Holistic doctors may use natural remedies and anti-yeast medications to treat the effects of Candida overgrowth.

Alternative Options

Due to the negative effects caused by high levels of hormones in traditional birth control pills, many women seek alternative methods of contraception. The mini-pill, an alternative to traditional birth control pills, contains just one type of hormone, progestin. Using this pill may lower the risk of having a yeast infection, although it is still possible for Candida overgrowth to occur. Non-hormonal options for birth control include continuous abstinence, condoms, contraceptive sponges, diaphragms, cervical caps and shields.

Tips and Warnings

It is important to avoid douching and scented hygiene products, such as bubble bath and tampons, to prevent unwanted yeast Infections from occurring. Certain antibiotics and yeast infection medications may reduce the effectiveness of birth control pills and spermicides, so a back-up contraceptive should be considered. Do not use yeast infection medicine if it is not necessary, because it may cause a hard-to-treat vaginal infection in the future.

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