The healthy vagina is basically self-cleaning and hosts a wide variety of microorganisms. They live amicably in an acidic environment that prevents dominance of any one species and also fights pathogenic organisms. However, a number of factors can upset this balance: pregnancy, menopause, certain medications, chronic illness, unhealthy diet habits, excessive douching, severe emotional stress, and synthetic underclothes that trap body heat and moisture. When this balance is disturbed, there is overgrowth of opportunistic pathogens like Candida leading to yeast infection. Monthly hormonal rhythm, as a matter of course, causes fluctuations in the pH balance of the vagina. That is why most women with recurrent yeast infections notice exacerbation of symptoms a few days before the onset of periods which often clear up once the period has ended.
Normally, estrogen causes glycogen to be deposited in the cells lining the vagina. When progesterone is released, the cells are shed into the vagina. The glycogen, which is a type of sugar, then becomes available to the yeast causing an explosion of its population. In addition, just before menstruation and throughout the period, the pH of the vagina becomes more alkaline, destroying the friendly Lactobacillus that kept the Candida in check. Thus, yeast infection symptoms can follow the hormonal pattern of menstrual period. During and after the period, symptoms are likely to settle. Vaginal tissues are often more sensitive just before start of the period. The feeling of itchiness may simply be response of the body to the changes. Often when symptoms clear at the end of period many women on antifungal medication or natural remedies assume that the infection has been treated successfully. But the onset of the next period brings on another bout of yeast infection. The most common reason for this is that many of the dormant colonies of yeast were not eradicated by the previous treatment and that another phase of the same infection is manifesting. Hence treatment should persist for four to five consecutive periods.
is worthwhile to remember that antifungal medications
are toxic to the yeast as well as to the body. They may
be necessary in acute cases but natural remedies like
grapefruit seed extract, olive leaf extract, slippery
elm, yoghurt, apple cider vinegar, baking soda in
lukewarm water are all safe and effective and worth a
The best way to prevent yeast infection before period is to avoid getting one. A visit to a holistic medicine practitioner will help you not only to eradicate the infection but to lead overall healthy life. The holistic approach to health involves eating a balanced, varied diet, maintaining optimal body weight, exercises, meditation, and other tension-relieving activities. Changes in lifestyle habits such as avoiding tight clothes, wearing clothes that "breathe" and maintaining good personal hygiene also form a part of the modalities.