This Is Why You Can Get A Yeast Infection From Antibiotics

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Over the last years, extensive research has been carried out on the causes of yeast infections. However, within the scope of such research, scientists have also started investigating the probability of getting a yeast infection from antibiotics. That is to say, while antibiotics serve a very noble purpose for many people with different kinds of bacteria, there are also a couple of unfortunate side effects. That is why antibiotics should only ever be taken when strictly necessary. This article shares more insight and information about yeast infections and antibiotics.

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Yeast Infection From Antibiotics

Over the last decades, scientists have done a lot of research on the different causes of candidiasis. It is clear that this infection can be gotten from overusing antibiotics, among other reasons. This might seem contradictory since antibiotics can also be an effective cure for candidiasis.

Antibiotics are designed to cure bacteria. However, as will be explained more elaborately, good and bad bacteria live inside your body. Because antibiotics are designed to kill bacteria, this balance between good and harmful bacteria can be disturbed. Now, that is the entire reason why antibiotics can cause candidiasis.

Therefore, a fungal infection can be an unfortunate side-effect of antibiotics.

Antibiotics That Can Cause Candidiasis

Several kinds of antibiotics can cause candidiasis. However, the most common types are tetracyclines (such as doxycycline, minocycline, or eravacycline). These are often prescribed to cure skin infections such as acne or STIs. Other examples include quinolones (such as moxifloxacin or levofloxacin), which are prescribed to cure, among other things, UTIs, pneumonia, and bronchitis. Then, certain broad-spectrum penicillins such as ampicillin can also cause candidiasis. It must be mentioned, however, that this list is not exhaustive since many other kinds of antibiotics can cause fungal infections as well. These are just the most common ones.

Why Can You Get a Yeast Infection From Antibiotics?

Antibiotics can disturb the balance inside your body and intestinal flora between good and harmful bacteria. When the doctor prescribes antibiotics, the goal is to eliminate the harmful bacteria that cause you to become sick. However, nowadays, antibiotics are not fine-tuned enough to distinguish the bad from the good bacteria. As a result, when you’re taking antibiotics, there is always the risk that certain healthy bacteria get eliminated in the process.

7 common symptoms of candidiasis

Good bacteria are essential to maintaining good health. However, when these are destroyed, it compromises your immune system. Also, this disturbed balance between the healthy and unhealthy bacteria can cause an overgrowth of fungus in your body. As explained earlier in this article, this leads to candidiasis. That, in combination with a weaker immune system, causes you to be less protected against infections. Thus, that is how antibiotics can cause candidiasis.

Antibiotics especially make you more vulnerable to vaginal yeast infection or infections targeting the penis, anus, or mouth. The reason why vaginal infections are so common when you’re taking antibiotics is that antibiotics can cause a lower acidity level in the vagina. When this is the case, it is a lot more likely for fungus overgrowth to occur.

How Can You Prevent a Yeast Infection From Antibiotics?

Luckily, there are specific proven ways to prevent a yeast infection from developing while you’re taking antibiotics to the extent possible.

For instance, a great way to provide some counter-weight for antibiotics is to start taking probiotics. That is to say; probiotics can also help with the problem of antibiotics killing healthy bacteria.

Basically, probiotics help restock good bacteria again, so that is something to consider when it comes to preventing candidiasis. Namely, they will ensure that your immune system will not suffer too much under antibiotics and help prevent an overgrowth of fungus.

Another way to prevent yeast infections due to antibiotics is to undergo an anti-fungus treatment when you are done with the antibiotics. More often than not, this will be in the shape of an anti-fungal cream and will function as a substitute for the good bacteria that you’ve lost from using the antibiotics.

Then, you could also make some changes to your daily diet and incorporate foods such as yogurt or fermented foods such as sauerkraut. Doing so results in a very natural way to prevent candidiasis. This will naturally restore the balance between the beneficial and unhealthy bacteria after taking antibiotics. It is also recommended to incorporate spices such as garlic and turmeric into your diet because of their anti-fungal qualities. Finally, reducing sugar would also be wise, as earlier recommended.

The final straightforward tip to prevent vaginal infections from taking antibiotics is not to take any antibiotics at all. Of course, sometimes there are no other practical options besides antibiotics, but alternatives are often available. Also, sometimes there is simply no need to take any antibiotics. For example, when dealing with a very minor infection, it is best to just let your immune system clear the bacteria on its own. In this case, antibiotics will only shorten the healing time, which is very convenient but not really necessary.

When Should You Go See a Doctor?

Most of the time, when you get a fungal infection from taking antibiotics, you will be able to treat the condition on your own. In addition, countless anti-fungal treatments available on the market right now work incredibly well.

However, consult your healthcare professional beforehand if you are simultaneously being treated for a severe condition that compromises your immune system, such as cancer or HIV.

Also, if you are experiencing intense and painful symptoms, it is best to consult a healthcare professional as well. The same goes for if you are dealing with recurrent candidiasis. That is, it could be that your body does not respond well to a particular type of antibiotics. Then, it is best to consult your personal doctor about whether or not other antibiotics would be more beneficial.

Finally, certain fungal infections can only be cured through prescription-based medication. Therefore, it is crucial to consult a healthcare professional if this is necessary.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Yes, candidiasis most commonly presents itself after finishing the antibiotics treatment. This is because fungus can grow very steadily. Hence, it is not uncommon for an overgrowth of fungus to occur two weeks after finishing antibiotics. ​

Antibiotics kill unhealthy bacteria but can also kill healthy bacteria in your intestinal flora. As a result, the balance between beneficial and harmful bacteria can be disturbed, resulting in an overgrowth of fungus within your body. This can ultimately lead to candidiasis. 

Doxycycline is an example of tetracyclines that very commonly leads to candidiasis. It is often prescribed in case of STIs or respiratory infections. However, it functions pretty strongly, which is precisely why good bacteria is more likely to be destroyed. 

The most effective ways to prevent candidiasis while taking antibiotics include taking probiotics, adopting a healthy lifestyle, start eating anti-fungal foods and spices, and not taking any antibiotics when it is not necessary. ​

Consult a healthcare professional. They can determine whether you’re very sensitive to a particular type of medication. It’s also possible that there’s another underlying cause of why you can’t get rid of a recurrent yeast overgrowth infection. 

Typically, you will need to take antibiotics to treat the UTI and follow an anti-fungal treatment to treat the yeast overgrowth infection. 

This can result from a weak immune system, lack of proper yeast infection treatment in the first place, continuous contamination between two people, not wearing ventilating clothing, etc. 

This can be the case, but it is often the opposite. By washing yourself with soap too thoroughly, you can cause an overgrowth of fungus because you can damage your mucous membranes this way. 

This could be due to a weak immune system, certain diseases, medication usage, genetic causes, not wearing the right ventilating clothes, or poor lifestyle choices. ​

You can eliminate infection by using probiotics to provide counter-weight or an anti-fungal cream to restock healthy bacteria.

The content on Doctor Alexa’s blog is reviewed by Advanced practice registered nurses or pharmacist and is intended for educational purposes only. This information should not be relied upon as professional medical counsel. Be sure to always consult with your physician about the dangers and benefits of any medication, treatment or procedure.

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