Factors that increase your risk of developing a yeast infection include:

  • Antibiotic use. Yeast infections are common in women who take antibiotics. Broad-spectrum antibiotics — those that are effective against a wide range of bacteria — kill healthy bacteria in your vagina, which can lead to the overgrowth of yeast.
  • Increased estrogen levels. Yeast infections appear to occur more frequently in women with increased estrogen levels — for instance, in women who are pregnant, those taking high-dose estrogen birth control pills or those taking estrogen hormone therapy.
  • Uncontrolled diabetes. In women who have diabetes, those with poorly controlled blood sugar levels are more likely to develop yeast infections than are women who have diabetes under control.
  • Impaired immune system. Women with lowered immunity — such as from corticosteroid therapy or HIV infection — are more likely to get yeast infections.
  • Sexual activity. Although yeast infections aren't considered sexually transmitted infections, one way the candida organism can be introduced into your vagina is through sexual contact.
Nov. 01, 2012

You Are ... The Campaign for Mayo Clinic

Mayo Clinic is a not-for-profit organization. Make a difference today.