Did you know that as many as three out of four women will suffer from a yeast infection at least once in their lives? Yeast infections are extremely common and are known to be very annoying. But can a yeast infection delay your period?
A variety of things can cause your period to be late, but how exactly can a yeast infection have any say in the matter? Keep reading and learn more about the connection between yeast infections and your period.
What You Need to Know About Yeast Infections
Can a yeast infection cause a missed period? What happens if you get a yeast infection before a period? Before we dive into these questions, it is first important to understand what a yeast infection is exactly.
A yeast infection is a type of fungal infection that affects the inside of the vagina. The official scientific name for this condition is vaginal candidiasis. Interestingly, a yeast infection is not officially considered an STD or even an STI, even though there is a higher chance of contracting this infection if you are sexually active.
But what is this infection characterized by and what causes it? The symptoms of a yeast infection tend to be quite prominent and uncomfortable. Most women who get this type of infection describe it as causing intense itchiness in and around the vagina.
Besides that, the vagina will usually release discharge that is somewhat milky in color. This discharge may or may not have a bad odor, and the texture is unusually thick compared to healthy vaginal discharge. Other symptoms may include pain in and around the vagina as well as redness and irritation of the external genital structures known as the vulva.
A common symptom is burning or pain when urinating. This symptom is what occasionally gets yeast infections confused with urinary tract infections. However, UTIs do not cause the same itching, redness, and overall discomfort that yeast infections do, and they also don’t cause changes in vaginal discharge.
In some cases, a yeast infection may become a more serious problem. In that case, the vagina may feel more painful and may even take on a burning sensation. There is a chance that the infection could become something more serious, especially if the fungal infection is caused by a fungus other than candida albicans which is the usual culprit behind most yeast infections.
But what causes this infection in the first place? The vagina requires a particular balance of bacteria in order to stay healthy. The vagina is home to not only different types of bacteria but also yeast.
As long as there is a balance between bacteria and yeast, the vagina should remain healthy. However, if yeast, for one reason or another, overpopulates the vagina, a yeast infection will occur. A weak immune system may cause this as well as pregnancy and antibiotics.
Some birth control pills that increase estrogen levels in the body can also increase your risk of developing a yeast infection.
Fortunately, most yeast infections are not anything to worry about and they go away after a few weeks (some may even go away after a few days).
Can a Yeast Infection Delay Your Period?
Can having a yeast infection delay your period? How a yeast infection affects your period will depend on a variety of factors. It is important to keep in mind that yeast infections don’t always affect your menstrual cycle.
In fact, in most cases, a yeast infection won’t affect your period at all. But this doesn’t mean that such an infection never causes a change in a woman’s menstrual period. While it is an uncommon thing, it does happen on occasion.
However, yeast infections may not directly cause your period to be late. Instead, whatever may have caused your yeast infection may also be the same thing to cause your period to be late. For example, one of the common causes of yeast infections is the consumption of certain birth control pills, especially ones that increase the levels of estrogen in the body.
If you are taking a pill like this and happen to develop a yeast infection and notice that your period is late, the change to your period may not have to do with your yeast infection. Instead, it may have to do with the birth control pill and how the increased levels of estrogen are affecting your usual cycle.
Many birth control pills do affect the menstrual cycle to some extent, but this is not usually anything to worry about. After you take the pills for a while, your period should go back to normal. Pregnancy may also be a factor to consider.
What You Need to Know
As mentioned before, getting pregnant may cause a yeast infection since pregnancy can cause many changes in the vagina. Besides that, being pregnant will keep you from having your period. If your period is late by several days, weeks, or even months, you should consider taking a pregnancy test.
There are also certain health factors that may change the usual cycle of your period. For example, if you have a condition such as polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) this may make your period delayed. In some cases, women with PCOS can go several months without ever having a period.
So, if you happen to have PCOS, miss your period, and get a yeast infection at the same time, the yeast infection would not be the one to blame. So, is a yeast infection ever directly related to a delayed period?
In some cases, the physical stress of the yeast infection on the body may delay your period for a day or two, but as mentioned before, this is not very common. This is because a yeast infection only affects the inside of the vagina.
It can’t reach the ovaries or other female genital structures which, of course, are important for regular menstrual cycles. So, if you have a yeast infection and your period happens to be late, it may have something to do with what caused the yeast infection or it may have to do with a separate health issue.
How to Keep Your Vagina Healthy
Keeping your vagina healthy is important for a variety of reasons. For one, having regular periods is important for the health of not only your vagina but also your uterus and ovaries. If your period is being delayed for whatever reason, it is important to get to the bottom of that problem as it may have to do with a more serious health issue.
It is also important to keep yeast infections at bay. Not only are yeast infections uncomfortable but they are also quite unhealthy for the interior of your vagina since it is essentially an overgrowth of fungus. So, how can you make sure that your vagina stays as healthy as possible?
It is important to prioritize personal hygiene. If you often suffer from yeast infections, you should consider taking regular hot showers. Showers can help kill off excess yeast fungus and can also help clear out infected discharge from the vaginal opening and canal.
What to Know
You should also avoid certain practices such as douching. Many women think that douching is a good way to keep the vagina clean, but it does the opposite. It drains the vagina of healthy bacteria and instead leaves excessive yeast in its place which can result in a yeast infection.
Besides keeping yeast infections at bay, you should also consider how to make sure you can keep your periods as regular as possible. Birth control pills can help regulate your period if you tend to have problems maintaining a regular cycle. There are also PMS supplements you can take that may help you maintain a regular cycle.
Other than that, following a healthy lifestyle is important not only for your vaginal health but your overall health as well. Eating healthy can help ensure that your vaginal microbiome is balanced. Avoiding scented soaps and similar irritants may also help keep your vagina healthy.
Yeast Infections and Periods
Can a yeast infection delay your period? It depends. Usually, yeast infections do not directly cause your period to be late.
More likely, whatever causes a yeast infection also causes your period to be late. This may have something to do with certain birth control pills, certain health conditions, being pregnant, and so on, so keep that in mind.
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