Can Doxycycline Cause a Yeast Infection?

Doxycycline and other antibiotic medications have been known to cause yeast infections. Yeast infections can be uncomfortable, causing itching and irritation around the vaginal area. However, they are treatable. There are also a few ways to help prevent a yeast infection while taking antibiotics. Read on to learn how to reduce your risk of developing a yeast infection from doxycycline.   

What Is Doxycycline? 

Doxycycline is a type of antibiotic medication called a tricyclic antibiotic. This prescription medication can treat various bacterial infections, such as UTIs, respiratory infections, and STIs, such as chlamydia and gonorrhea. It is also used to treat acne and eye infections, among other uses.

Doxycycline can also help prevent and treat more serious conditions like malaria, Lyme disease, and anthrax. Doxycycline does not treat viral infections such as the common cold, flu, or Covid-19.  

Can Doxycycline Cause a Yeast Infection? 

Doxycycline and other antibiotics have been known to cause yeast infections. A yeast infection is a type of fungal infection of the vagina caused by the fungus Candida. 

Candida is naturally found in the vagina, but an overgrowth of it leads to a yeast infection. Yeast infections can cause discomfort, irritation, and itching of the vulva as well as the inside of the vagina.  

Antibiotics such as doxycycline can cause yeast infections because they reduce the number of beneficial bacteria in the vagina. 

Symptoms of yeast infections include an itchy sensation in or around the vagina, thick white cottage cheese-like discharge from the vagina, swelling or redness, and a burning feeling when you urinate or during sex.

What Are Other Possible Side Effects of Doxycycline? 

The side effects of doxycycline vary from person to person, but it is good to familiarize yourself with its’ common and rare side effects.

Common side effects of doxycycline include:

  • Headaches
  • Upset stomach
  • Nausea
  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Skin being sensitive to sunlight

Rare, more serious side effects of doxycycline:

  • Unexplained bruising or bleeding 
  • Ringing in the ears
  • Pale poop or dark urine (which can signify liver problems)
  • Sore or swollen lips or tongue
  • Muscle or joint pain
  • Severe stomach pain
  • Bloody diarrhea

Very rarely doxycycline can lead to a severe allergic reaction called anaphylaxis. Symptoms of anaphylaxis include swelling of the face, throat, eyelids, lips, or tongue, shortness of breath, low blood pressure, hives, wheezing, and trouble speaking. Anaphylaxis is a medical emergency, so seek medical attention right away.  

Why Can Doxycycline and Other Antibiotics Cause Yeast Infections? 

Doxycycline and other antibiotics do not only wipe out the bad bacteria that cause infections, but they reduce the beneficial bacteria found in the vagina as well. Lactobacillus is one type of beneficial bacteria found in the vagina. 

While antibiotics are often necessary to help the body fight off bacterial infections, they can kill important beneficial bacteria in the vagina. When this happens, it throws off your vagina’s natural balance of bacteria and yeast.  

Lactobacillus is the type of bacteria responsible for keeping the vagina mildly acidic. When there is not enough of this type of bacteria present in the vagina anymore, it creates an ideal environment for a yeast infection to develop.

How to Prevent a Yeast Infection From Antibiotics?

There are a few different approaches to reducing your chances of getting a yeast infection while taking antibiotics.

  1. Try taking a probiotic supplement – Recent research has suggested that certain probiotic strains have the ability to counteract yeast infections by replenishing healthy bacteria in the vagina. 
  2. Use a prescription vaginal antifungal cream, such as fluconazole – A doctor may prescribe a preventive medication, such as fluconazole, to help you avoid developing a yeast infection while taking antibiotics. 
  3. Eat foods rich in probiotics – Eating yogurt, or fermented foods, such as sauerkraut are great options for adding probiotics to your diet.
  4. Wear cotton underwear instead of synthetics – This can help keep the vulva area dry, which helps prevent the overgrowth of yeast.
  5. Change out of a wet bathing suit as soon as possible after swimming – Yeast can proliferate in moist environments.  
  6. Avoid sugary foods – It’s best to avoid eating a lot of sugar while taking antibiotics because high blood sugar levels feed the yeast found in the vagina.

When to See a Doctor?

You should contact a doctor if you are experiencing symptoms of any type of bacterial infection. Some bacterial infections, such as strep throat, can lead to complications if left untreated. 

General signs of many bacterial infections include:

  • Chills 
  • Sweating
  • Fever of 100.4 or greater
  • Swollen lymph nodes
  • Headache
  • Vomiting
  • Nausea
  • Diarrhea
  • Abdominal pain
  • Pain in the rectum
  • Unusual exhaustion
  • Pain 

The symptoms above are general signs of a bacterial infection; the different types of symptoms will vary depending on the illness. 

In addition, if you are experiencing any yeast infection symptoms, it’s best to consult a doctor. A doctor can provide the proper medication needed to treat a yeast infection.

Get Help From an Online Doctor

If you have signs of a bacterial or yeast infection, it’s best to contact a doctor. The DrHouse telemedicine app allows you to see an online doctor within minutes.

With DrHouse, you can be receive prescriptions for various antibiotics, as well as a prescription for doxycycline. Bacterial infections can be unpleasant, uncomfortable, and sometimes serious, so it’s best not to wait for an infection to clear up on its own.

DrHouse can help you with all of your medical needs, including new prescriptions, and prescription refills. 

Key Takeaways 

Antibiotics such as doxycycline have been known to cause yeast infections. Yeast infections are unpleasant infections that affect the vagina and vulva, the genital area outside of the vagina. If you have been prescribed antibiotics, there are few options for you to help prevent a yeast infection. 

Ways to reduce your chances of getting a yeast infection while taking antibiotics include taking probiotic supplements, eating foods rich in probiotics, or taking a prescription antifungal medication.

If you have a bacterial or yeast infection, it’s best to get treatment, and contact a DrHouse doctor today.  

Sources:

DrHouse articles are written by MDs, NPs, nutritionists and other healthcare professionals. The contents of the DrHouse site are for informational purposes only and are not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you are experiencing high fever (>103F/39.4C), shortness of breath, difficulty breathing, chest pain, heart palpitations, abnormal bruising, abnormal bleeding, extreme fatigue, dizziness, new weakness or paralysis, difficulty with speech, confusion, extreme pain in any body part, or inability to remain hydrated or keep down fluids or feel you may have any other life-threatening condition, please go to the emergency department or call 911 immediately.

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