Oral Contraceptives and Yeast Infections
Birth control pills work effectively in preventing pregnancy by stopping ovulation, altering the quality of cervical mucus, and changing the endometrium in a manner that makes it less likely to support a fertilized egg. They also treat irregular menstrual cycles and heavy bleeding. Although there are side effects in taking the medications, they are generally mild and tolerable.
The hormones found in birth control pills may offer several benefits; however, these hormones can cause hormonal imbalance. An excess in the amount of estrogen in the body can increase blood sugar levels, which yeast feeds on. As a result, an overgrowth of yeast occurs.
In 1999, Paul L. Fidel Jr., Jessica Cutright, and Chad Steele of Louisiana State University launched a study to prove the link between excess estrogen and yeast infection. The conclusion of the study, published in the American Society of Microbiology, stated that progesterone did not cause vaginal candida in mice, but an excess in estrogen promoted the growth of yeast.
They also concluded that the skin cells' ability to prevent colonization of yeast in the vaginal walls is reduced because of the excess estrogen. Another observation was made on how yeast feeds on glycogen; and the glycogen levels in the vagina rises when there is an oversupply of estrogen in the body. Thus, vaginal candida is likely to develop because of such condition.