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Causes of Infection: Candida Albicans

A yeast infection - or candidiasis - is one of the most common of all infections and causes sufferers to experience a range of troublesome and embarrassing symptoms. It affects millions of people every year and for many of them, the infections are recurring.

Once the infection becomes systemic, the chances are you'll turn to your doctor for help but the fact is, the medications available to treat candidiasis only treat the symptoms; they don't rid you of the underlying cause which is a bacteria called Candida albicans.

Candida albicans is naturally occurring in our bodies and only becomes problematic when it reaches levels that our immune systems cannot fight. This, in combination with the right growing conditions for the bacteria, is what manifests as a yeast infection.

So what are the conditions under which these bacteria can thrive and multiply? Candida albicans thrives in warm, moist areas and especially so if your immune system is already struggling, for example following a bout of flu or during pregnancy. It is further encouraged by situations such as insufficient cleansing of the genitals following sex - particularly anal followed by vaginal sex - as well as the use of oral contraceptives and some antibiotics. Being exposed to a partner who already has a yeast infection makes you more susceptible to developing a similar infection also.

Your diet may also be a contributory factor and people who have diabetes for instance are especially prone to yeast infections. Likewise, taking steroids and some antibiotics may also facilitate overwhelming bacterial infection that will manifest as a yeast infection. In fact, any condition - or treatment for other conditions - that affects a person's immune system may leave them vulnerable to this troublesome infection. HIV and AIDS sufferers or those with cancers are similarly at risk but even people who are stressed or have dietary deficiencies are more likely to experience recurrent yeast infections.