Type 2 Diabetes Guide

Vaginal Yeast Infection and Diabetes - Why Infections Occur More Frequently in Diabetics

Yeast infections are not uncommon in women. An estimated 75% of women will develop at least one yeast infection in their lives. However, there are some conditions that can increase the risk of , and diabetes is one of them.

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Yeast cells naturally live in warm, moist areas of the body, including the vagina. These yeast cells are kept under control by the other bacteria that also naturally inhabit the vagina. In diabetics, the blood contains more sugars (glucose), which in turn results in vaginal discharge that contains more glucose. This additional glucose "feeds" the yeast cells and can cause them to multiply. The result is a yeast infection.

If you have diabetes, a yeast infection suggests that your blood sugar levels might not be controlled as well as they should be. High blood sugar, or , can also impact how well your body's immune system is able to fight off infection. To lower the risk of infection:

  • Keep blood sugar levels tightly controlled. A comprehensive plan consisting of a combination of a (a dietitian can assist you with this), , strict adherence to or insulin, and will help to keep blood glucose within the target range set by your doctor.

  • Wear comfortable (not too tight), cotton underwear. Don't choose materials like nylon that tends to trap moisture and does not allow the skin to "breathe".

  • Don't use douches or "feminine sprays".

The symptoms of a yeast infection include vaginal itching or soreness, a "burning" sensation when urinating, pain or discomfort during sexual intercourse, a foul odor, or a white or greyish "cheese-like" discharge. Symptoms vary from woman to woman and some women may not notice any symptoms at all.

While the condition is generally not serious, diabetics should still consult with a healthcare provider if you believe you may have a vaginal yeast infection. must be properly controlled, and any type of infection can lead to further complications so it's best to treat it immediately. Do not attempt to treat the infection yourself without first consulting with your doctor; even readily available, over-the-counter medications may interact with any diabetes medication or insulin treatment you take. Finally, always take the full amount of medication, as prescribed, even if you feel better before the dosage is complete. This will help to prevent further recurrences or more serious recurrences of infection.



The information on this website is based on our own research and personal experience, and is not a substitute for medical advice. Questions about your health and individual situation should be directed to your doctor.