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Tips to avoid thrush when taking antibiotics

Thrush is a pain in the bajingo Worse its really common about three out of four women will get thrush at least once in their lifetime But that doesnt make it any easier to put up with Thrush is generally pretty annoying Itching discharge odour and sometimes quite painful too

Thrush can strike at almost any time during your life but the risk increases if youre stressed rundown or if your immune system isnt at its best

But one of the biggest causes of thrush is antibiotics


Thrush and antibiotics
Now antibiotics are a tricky topic When you have a bacterial infection a course of antibiotics may be very necessary to kill off the harmful bacteria causing the infection Unfortunately these medications kill off all the bacteria in your body the good and the bad


Why is this a problem
Well its the good bacteria that keep your ladybits and your immune system healthy In fact your whole body is home to a range of bacteria and yeasts that work together in a special system called the microbiome Most of these bacteria live in your gut where they have the big job of breaking down the food you eat and absorbing nutrients among many other things
Your vagina has its own special mix of microbes most of which are from the Lactobacillus species Its their responsibility to keep the vagina at a pH thats just acidic enough to prevent harmful bacteria and yeast from growing

But when antibiotics join the party they wipe out everybody the bad guys and the good And when Lactobacillus are out of action the pH of your vagina changes allowing yeasts to grow Then its hello to thrush

A recent survey Usage and Attitudes of Vaginal Thrush Sufferers involving 819 women revealed that most believed their thrush was a result of taking antibiotics The majority of the women also felt that their thrush episodes were worse after taking antibiotics


Types of antibiotics that cause thrush
Broadspectrum antibiotics are the worst offenders when it comes to triggering a yeast infection because they kill off a wider range of bacteria These types of antibiotics include

Carbapenems eg Imipenem
Quinolones eg Ciprofloxacin


How to avoid thrush when taking antibiotics
Although thrush is common after antibiotics there are a few things you can do to reduce the risk of developing an infection


1 .Avoid yeasty situations

Yeast loves warmth and moisture so steer clear of clothes that dont allow healthy airflow Tightfitting underwear pants or any clothing made of synthetic fabrics are bad news
Change out of sweaty workout gear or wet swimsuits as soon as you can as these can encourage optimal yeastbreeding conditions Stick to loose flowing clothing for your lower half and choose natural fibres like cotton

2. Practice good hygiene

Change your pad or tampon as regularly as possible to avoid a buildup of moisture and bacteria Try to use sanitary products made from pure cotton
Always wipe from front to back never the other way around The bacteria in and around your anal region can cause all sorts of havoc if it gets into your urinary tract or vagina

3. Go natural

Avoid douches or vaginal care products that contain fragrances or chemicals as these can upset the natural bacterial balance even further Your ladybits deserve gentle soothing care not harsh chemicals
If you feel the need to freshen things up use a pHbalanced vaginal care product Look for vaginal washes or creams made with wellstudied herbs such as New Zealands horopito Horopito is an endemic New Zealand plant that can help to keep vaginal microflora in balance Its a natural way to support vaginal health and care for your microflora after a course of antibiotics

4. Support your immune system

A huge proportion of your immune system lives in your gut up to 70 percent in fact so its absolutely vital to look after your gut as well as your vagina You can do this by topping up your gut flora with a probiotic supplement Look for a probiotic that can be used while youre taking antibiotics this will be mentioned on the label and contains a variety of strains including Lactobacillus Its also important that the probiotic has a guaranteed number of live bacteria
Remember to separate your probiotic dose from your antibiotics by at least two hours and continue taking the probiotics daily for at least two weeks after completing your course of antibiotics

5 .Eat well and exercise

Try to go easy on sugar and alcohol Excess sugar can feed harmful yeasts and give them a head start on outgrowing the good guys
Instead eat plenty of antioxidantrich foods to help keep inflammation at bay Unsweetened acidophilus yoghurt is also helpful as it contains the strain of bacteria that lives naturally in your vagina Exercising regularly is also great for your immune system along with getting plenty of good shuteye at night


How long after antibiotics does thrush go away
This all depends on how well you look after your precious parts The one good thing about thrush is that its both treatable and preventable If you follow the advice above and take care of the good bugs in your gut and vagina youll reduce your risk of thrush Youll also be able to beat it more quickly if thrush does develop

Good luck


Usage and Attitudes Study of Vaginal Thrush Sufferers by Focus Insights was commissioned by Kolorex in June 2021

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