Sports Medicine
A Crucial Period
Good Pain, Bad Pain
On Your Knees
Secondary Injuries
Imaging Technology
What's Sciatica?
The Female Athlete
Putting Your Feet First
Itis Schmitis
Too Much, Too Soon
Under the Influence
What's Goin' On?
Think Inches, Not Pounds
Preventing Vaginitis
That Painful Pull
Athlete's Heart
Exercise & Arthritis
Chilled to the Bone
Measuring Body Fat
Exercise and Your Breasts
Choosing a Sports Doctor
Lean on Me (Shoulder)
Exercise & Anemia
Exercise Abuse
Pelvis Sighting
Hand Aid
It's All in the Wrist
Back in Action
Altitude Adjustment
Tennis Elbow, Anyone?
Exercising in the Heat
Agony of the Feet
Restless Legs
Night Time Cramps
Birth Control Concerns
No Periods, No Babies?
Post Partum Prescription
Weight Loss Mystery
Undesirable Cooldown
To Brew Or Not To Brew
Fitness After Baby
Biking and Back Pain
Swimmer's Shoulder
A Hidden Athlete
Avoiding Osteoporosis
Drug Testing
Maximum Heart Rate
Headway Against Headaches
Torn Rotator Cuff
Fat Figures
Bloody Urine
Sag Story
Lackluster Leg
Bothersome Bulge
Gaining in Years
Taking It On the Shin
Aching Ankles
Hoop Help
Tender Toes
Meals For Muscle
Growing Pains
Hot Tips
High Altitude PMS
Personal Bests
Air Pollution
Ankle Blues
Heartbreak Heel
Yeast Relief

Yeast Relief

Yeast infections can be managed

Q: I read about using yogurt vaginally to prevent yeast infections and I wonder how often people do this and whether it helps once an infection starts. I have trouble with yeast infections and am taking all the precautions I've read about (not sitting in wet clothes, etc.).

Alexandria, VA

A: Yeast infections are caused by a fungus called Candida Albicans, sometimes jokingly referred to as "the fungus among us." It is ubiquitous and may colonize the skin, mouth, vagina, and rectum, but in such small amounts as to be unnoticed. It tends to flourish in warm, moist environments. Athletes may be prone to yeast infection because of the hours spent training in workout clothes that retain moisture.

Yeast can also overgrow in the vagina when its normal bacteria and pH (or acid-base balance) is disrupted. Ordinarily, the vagina is fairly acidic, with a pH of four to five. When the pH is disrupted for some reason - through the use of birth control pills, antibiotics, pregnancy, feminine hygiene sprays, douching, diabetes, or menstruation - the fungus is able to proliferate.

Using yogurt to cut down on yeast infections vaginally is a messy proposition, and actually not that effective. Yogurt can also introduce other infections since it is not sterile.

Other ways to prevent infections are to keep the vagina dry by wearing cotton underwear and loose-fitting clothing, and using a hair dryer after showering.

If you use a diaphragm, make sure you clean and dry it properly. To discourage yeast growth, you can acidify the vagina by inserting an applicator full of acidic vaginal jellies (OrthoGynol 1 and Acid-jel) on a weekly basis.

Many types of vaginal infections can mimic yeast infections, so it is best to see a clinician for an accurate diagnosis and specific therapy when you have symptoms. If you are having a chronic, recurring infection, there is a possibility you are being reinfected by an asymptomatic sexual partner. You may both need to be treated.

About the authors: Carol L. Otis, M.D., is Chief Medical Advisor to the Sanex WTA and a UCLA student health physician. Roger Goldingay is a former professional soccer player. They are married and the co-authors of The Athletic Woman's Survival Guide.

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Table of Contents

Foreword: Billie Jean King

Comments by Barb Harris
Editor in Chief,
Shape Magazine

General Health
Common Medical Problems
Dental Health
Infectious Disease
Sexual Health
Emotional Well-Being
Eating Disorders
Alcohol & Other Drugs
Environmental Health

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