What could cause persistent yeast infections despite lifestyle changes?

Hello all. I’m asking for a very special someone. She’s at the end of her rope, so I’m hoping the Dope can give us some ideas. Of course, we’re not asking for medical advice in lieu of seeing a doctor (she is seeing a gynecologist right now). We’re just looking for ideas.

What could cause a woman to experience persistent yeast infections, despite using fragrance-free soap, not wearing tight clothing, taking showers instead of baths, and not using any kind of scented feminine products? She’s just in her early 30s. She also watches her sugar intake, because yeast feed on sugar.

The only thing she and I can think of is that her mildly prolapsed uterus might be causing the trouble.

Any thoughts?

ETA: Sorry, mods. I mean to post in IMHO. Could someone move it please?

Diabetes can cause it. Has she had her blood sugar tested lately? In my experience, even mildly elevated blood sugar levels can lead to increased yeast infections.

Has she been taking antibiotics for anything?

INAD, but a good friend in college was diagnosed with systemic candida by a doctor who arguably leans toward the alternative medicine angle on occasion. The two most annoying symptoms for her were a painful rash on her hands and fingers and chronic vaginal yeast infections. My friend went on a severely low-carb diet in an attempt to starve the candida. The skin condition and the yeast infections cleared up a few months into the diet and she also lost some weight.

I had a friend who had systemic yeast and did not do the woo woo alternative diet and all. Yes she eliminated a lot of stuff, but she also did some seriously nasty antifungals. The major down side was she is one of the rather rare DES babies, and had reproductive issues and the only time she ever managed to get pregnant she got hit with this crap, almost died and had to terminate because the antifungals are either teratogenic or mutagenic [cant remember but apparently they are very nasty drugs you can not give a pregnant woman]

Apparently, some women just get systemic yeast … in many cases it is subclinical but when it flares, it is nasty to get rid of.

Just a thought - men can get yeast infections too. The symptoms might not be obvious or aggravating for a guy. This might be something both partners need to work on.

No, no antibiotics lately.

I thought of this too, but because of her problems, there hasn’t been sexual activity that could lead to this.

It could be because of an underlying problem that weakens the immune system. Patients with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome often have problems with yeast infections.

Oh, that’s a good one. I hadn’t thought of that. She’s in the doctor’s office right now, so we’ll see what he says.

Have her look into lichen sclerosus - apparently not uncommon but frequently overlooked and/or misdiagnosed, and can easily be mistaken for chronic yeast by sufferers.

Here’s something that happened to me — I thought it would be a great idea to use baby shampoo, um, down there … gentle and mild, right? I was plagued for months with yeast infections, which I’d never experienced before. I quit using it and bam, no more yeast infections. :rolleyes:

Are you on any medications? I used to be on the birth control pill and got them all the time till I went off it and then…nothing.

I had UTI’s that were found to be yeast infections (which kind of explained why antibiotics didn’t work). It turned out I’d had kidney stones for years, and evidently yeast grows on kidney stones.

Which is really really gross if you stop to think about it…

Nirena vaginal cleanser helped me. I know, the vagina is self cleaning and whatever, but I also had a persistent low grade yeast infection that would always come back. Tried this stuff on a whim, and within three days it was gone. Keep in mind, the infection wasn’t terribly serious at the time, just some minor itch and white stuff (sorry guys I know that’s gross). I use it as maintenance now. Got lazy for awhile, and I got a full blown infection. I had to use Monistat to cure the infection because Nireana isn’t quite strong enough if it’s really bad.

Also, if she does try it, remember that it uses a lot of plant extracts, and has kind of a Dr. Bronner tingle to it. If she can tough through the first three days, it becomes a pleasant sensation.

I had something like this for several months. I went to the doctor with the first yeast infection, but the symptoms kept coming back, couldn’t figure it out…until the nurse casually mentioned I could be imbalanced and to try giving it a rest for a bit.

sheepish Forcing myself to put two days between masturbating fixed it for me.

But as she’s probably not as eager as I was with that kind of thing (‘I have an hour? Yay!’), could probiotics be of use? I’ve heard very good things about these in regards to the regular Enzymatic Therapy - Acidophilus Pearls, but linked the probiotics targeted for yeast infections.

Like Freudian Slit, birth control also caused me to have recurrent yeast infections.