Blog > Stress > Can Stress Cause A Yeast Infection

Can Stress Cause A Yeast Infection

image of can stress cause yeast infection

Stress is the reaction to demands, compromising, or challenging events. Stress is necessary for functionality, however, when it is beyond moderate amounts, it can lead to certain factors that affect your wellbeing. Symptoms of stress can range from physical, emotional, and psychological symptoms.

Yeast infections are caused by an overgrowth of candida, a common fungus found in the body, on areas such as the mouth, skin, vagina. It mostly originates from changes in hormonal levels. Although prevalent in women, it can also occur in men and children.

When stressed, your body may undergo changes that affect your hormonal levels and cause a yeast infection, a weakened immune system from stress and other medical issues that can also trigger a yeast infection.

What Is Yeast Infection?

Yeast infection is commonly known as vaginal candidiasis, it is an infection caused by a fungus known as candida. Candida is found in areas of the body, such as the mouth, throat, skin, and vagina.

An overgrowth or multiplication of candida causes yeast infection; this may be mild or severe depending on the type of infection and time of intervention. It is the second most common type of vaginal infection and the fourth most common hospital-acquired infection.

Yeast infection or vaginal candidiasis can appear in infants, children, men, or women. However, it is more prevalent in women, while men contact it after having sexual contact with an infected partner, some women may have vaginal candidiasis experiencing no form of symptom.

This infection is largely influenced by environmental changes in the body, this means that it occurs because of hormonal imbalances. Other risk factors include pregnancy, diabetes, use of contraceptives, antibiotics, weak immune system. There are two major categories of candidiasis, further divided into subgroups, these are:

Superficial Infection

This type of infection is usually mild, not so easy to contact, and mostly involves the skin.

Invasive Infections.

Also known as a secondary or opportunistic infection, they occur inside the body and are more severe; they attack by entering the bloodstream and taking control of a weakened immune system.

What Are The Symptoms Of Yeast Infection?

Vaginal candidiasis symptoms are usually mild, although they may develop into more severe signs. Some women also have yeast infections without symptoms, it can go unnoticed for a long period. Sometimes, symptoms may become worse right before you get your period.

image of can stress cause yeast infection

Itching

Vaginal itches are common in candidiasis, constantly feeling discomfort along with tingly sensation can occur, and the more you itch, the more sores and redness appear, leading to peeling off the vaginal skin.

Pain

Do you experience pain and discomfort during sexual intercourse or urination? While this is not uncommon in yeast infection, it is also associated with other infections and medical conditions.

Inflammation

This is a more severe symptom, it involves red, inflamed vaginal lining or labia, along with whitish coatings.

Vaginal Discharge

Every woman has a different discharge that signifies a series of occurrences in the body such as ovulation, menstruation. A slight change in your body’s environment or hormones can affect your discharge. Yeast infection discharge includes whitish or yellowish discharge that may be watery, lumpy or chunked up; it also has a fishy smell.

Swollen and red labia

Once the infection spreads to external areas around the labia, it often leads to redness and swelling.

Other symptoms are:

  • Frequent urination
  • Burning sensation when urinating
  • Irritation around the genitals

What Causes Yeast Overgrowth

There are a lot of bacteria in your body responsible for keeping your body under control. Most of these bacteria are healthy, however, they become harmful when your immune system is compromised.

A disruption in the natural flow of your immune system may cause hormonal changes, leading to infections. These are some factors that can cause yeast overgrowth.

Antibiotics

Some antibiotics are necessary to treat infections and other medical conditions, but when there is excessive use of antibiotics, it can disrupt your body’s pH balance.

Weakened immune system

A weakened immune system makes your body more susceptible to infections and diseases, this is because your body’s resistance level is reduced due to

Stress levels

High-stress levels can cause changes to your body’s hormones, creating hormonal imbalance and a weakened immune system.

Contraceptives

Contraceptives such as birth control pills have side effects which may affect your body and hormones.

Pregnancy

High levels of estrogen during pregnancy can also increase the appearance of vaginal yeast infection.

Diabetes

Excess intake of alcohol, sugar can also cause yeast overgrowth.

Risk Factors For Yeast Infection

While candidiasis usually develops because of hormonal changes, there are other factors that can contribute to its prevalence, such as:

Sweating

Sweats come with a lot of germs that spread microorganisms liable to cause infections. Sweating and unhealthy hygienic habits can cause yeast infections.

Pads and tampons

Using tampons or pads for long periods of time can irritate your vagina. Reactions from certain pads or tampons can also lead to candidiasis if not it is not intervened early. Frequently change pads or tampons, take a bath, and practice good hygiene.

Tight clothes

Your genitals also need air, harsh materials, non-breathable clothes restrict airflow and cause irritation. Wear more cotton pants and underwear to allow easy flow of air.

How Is Stress Associated With Yeast Infection

Stress is majorly your body’s reaction to challenging or demanding situations. It is when you are under a lot of tension or pressure and these have physical, psychological, and medical effects on your health. It can cause new conditions or aggravate underlying medical issues.

Yeast infection originates from hormonal imbalances. This may be because of lifestyle activities, health issues, medical conditions, or the environment.

When you are stressed, your body undergoes a series of processes to cope with or adapt to the current situation. Your hormones are elevated or reduced to help with this. Certain habits may also be cultivated as an aftereffect of stress.

They may or may not include eating disorders, sleeping difficulties, substance use, alcohol intake, medications. Which in return have harmful influences on your body.

Stress can be linked to yeast infections, this is because when you are constantly under pressure or distressed for a long period, your body and responses increase its hormonal levels, which weaken the immune system and elevate blood sugar levels. This causes microorganisms such as candida to thrive and grow faster.

Does Stress Cause Yeast Infection

There are not yet enough reasons to support these claims, as stress may not cause candidiasis or yeast infection. However, some reactions to stress can trigger the infection like eating disorders, sleeping problems.

For some people, overeating, junk eating helps them cope better in stressful situations. While this may seem like a good idea, it’s actually not like too much sugar can cause fungus overgrowth.

Stress compromises your immune system, it affects your hormones, including cortisol. Cortisol is the hormone responsible for your blood sugar levels, yeast fungus increases in a sugary environment and a spike in your cortisol levels will lead to a multiplication of candida, which can cause yeast infection.

Difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep can also create imbalances. Frequent tossing and turning through the night, waking the next morning without proper rest can complicate your health.

Your body, not fully recovered from previous strain or still tensed, goes through another series of activities. This can lead to burnout or chronic stress, which will also have effects on your immune system, weakening it and making it an easy target for infections.

Treatment For Yeast Infection

Treatment for candidiasis may vary depending on underlying medical conditions and the severity of infection. There are two methods for yeast treatment, which involves the use of medications taken orally or applied to the affected area.

Sometimes a diagnosis may be required based on symptom description; a diagnosis is done by taking a small sample of discharge.

Visit a health care center or seek medical advice for chronic yeast infections.

It is also possible to prevent fungal infections by using antifungal medications or antibiotics, although there’s not enough research on whether this helps prevent yeast infections. Excess use of antibiotics may also trigger candida.

To further prevent yeast infections, practice good hygiene, cut down excess sugars and carbohydrate food, wear clean, breathable underwear, and wear more cotton-based underwear.

Conclusion

Stress and yeast infections are both linked and can be risk factors for other medical issues. Stress may aggravate or trigger candidiasis along with other health problems.

Use stress management techniques to control stress and combat its excesses. Go for regular checkups as some infections may occur without symptoms, treat yeast infections early, practice good hygiene and have a healthy lifestyle.

Be patient with your treatment. Some infections may keep reoccurring, practice safe sex, go for a diagnosis with new or old sexual partners. Treat discomfort in children seriously since they may also experience a yeast infection. Contact your doctor or health care centre for the most suitable treatment option available.

Was this article helpful?

Most popular

Most discussed