Expert Advice: ‘I’ve Been Getting More Yeast Infections Since My Diabetes Diagnosis. Are They Related?’
Certain factors can make them more common.
If you have diabetes, you know there are certain common symptoms that come along with it, like heightened fatigue or thirst. Your diagnosis hopefully gave you clarity on why you were experiencing those things. But since then, you might be experiencing additional symptoms, like vaginal pain and discomfort or recurrent yeast infections — which you didn’t have before. Are they related? We asked expert Dr. Barbara DePree about the relationship between the two conditions.
Meet our expert
Barbara DePree, MD, is a gynecologist in private practice and director of Women’s Midlife Services at Michigan’s Holland Hospital. A Certified Menopause Practitioner, she is the founder of MiddlesexMD.com, an educational resource for women’s sexual health in perimenopause and beyond. To ask her a question, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Diabetes and Yeast Infections
Q: Since being diagnosed with diabetes, I’ve had trouble regulating my blood sugar and I’ve had three yeast infections. Are they related?
A: Mostly likely: Studies show diabetes increases the risk of yeast infections, especially if your blood sugar isn’t under control. That’s because high blood sugar affects the whole body, and since yeast feeds off sugar, it may overgrow in the vagina’s moist environment.
While yeast infections can be treated with antifungal medication like Monistat or Diflucan, women with diabetes can have a tougher time fighting them off. Keeping your blood sugar under 140 mg/dL will help prevent the infections. But if you’re taking SGLT-2 inhibitors for your diabetes, you may want to ask your doctor about switching to a new medication, as this class of drugs works by helping the kidneys excrete sugar through urine, which can give the yeast a constant food source.
This content is not a substitute for professional medical advice or diagnosis. Always consult your physician before pursuing any treatment plan.
A version of this article originally appeared in our print magazine, First For Women.