Let’s be real. Yeast infections are NOT fun. Such an undesirable condition arises when there’s a bacterial imbalance in the vagina. Specifically, when a certain bacteria known as lactobacillus starts to disappear, this allows a type of yeast called Candida to grow. Super unpleasant –but why does such an imbalance occur in the first place?
One of the main culprits is something we wouldn’t expect: Antibiotics. Women’s Health reveals that antibiotics (especially in abundance) can attack the healthy bacteria living in the vagina. In turn, this allows fungus to grow and yeast infections to reign supreme. This is becoming a prevalent issue as time goes on because many doctors are giving patients prescriptions they don’t actually need.
According to a recent study published in JAMA, one out of every three doctors dispenses antibiotic prescriptions when they don’t need to. This most likely has to do with the fact that patients are getting smarter and asking for specific antibiotics when they pay their doctor a visit. Another JAMA article explains that, when this happens, doctors often give in because they don’t want their patients to be turned off.
Yet, vaginas aren’t the only body parts being affected. If you have a cold, antibiotics won’t do anything to help you – since they only go after bacterial infections. Instead of addressing your condition, unnecessary antibiotics will make your body more resistant to the prescription you’re taking. Margaret Chan, the director-general of the World Health Organization, warned Women’s Health that if we continue to take inessential antibiotics, then “things as common as strep throat or a scratched knee could once again kill.”
To avoid ingesting the roughly 33% of unneeded prescriptions that are given out every year, we must take responsibility for our health. Ask your doctor if you really need that prescription they’re writing out. Your vagina can thank you later (by not giving you a yeast infection, of course).