Candida is a type of yeast that is found naturally in the human body. While it is usually kept in check by the body’s natural defenses, certain factors can cause candida to grow out of control and lead to an infection. One of these factors is the hormone estrogen.
Estrogen is a hormone that is produced by the ovaries in women and is important for reproductive health. It also plays a role in regulating the immune system and maintaining healthy levels of candida in the body. However, high levels of estrogen can disrupt the balance of candida in the body and lead to an overgrowth of the yeast.
There are several ways in which estrogen can contribute to candida overgrowth:
- Estrogen dominance: Estrogen dominance occurs when there is an imbalance between estrogen and progesterone, another important female hormone. This can lead to a range of symptoms, including yeast infections.
- Hormonal birth control: Some forms of hormonal birth control, such as the pill, can increase estrogen levels in the body. This can lead to an overgrowth of candida.
- Pregnancy: Pregnancy is characterized by high levels of estrogen, which can increase the risk of yeast infections.
- Menopause: During menopause, estrogen levels naturally decrease. This can lead to a decrease in the body’s natural defenses against candida, increasing the risk of an infection.
If you are experiencing recurrent yeast infections or other symptoms of candida overgrowth, it may be worth considering the role that estrogen may be playing. Working with a healthcare provider to address any underlying hormonal imbalances can help restore balance to the body and reduce the risk of yeast infections.