Emily Maeve Milord is a licensed social worker and wellness freelance writer. She graduated with a Master of Social Work (MSW) degree in 2020 from Aurora University, where she specialized in both health care and gerontology. Emily has clinical experience working with older adults and adults with disabilities in hospital, nursing home, and social service agency settings. Emily also has a background in psychology, receiving her B.A. in psychology from North Central College in 2018.
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Amy is a Board Certified Family Health Nurse Practitioner (FNP) with over 15 years of experience working in Hospital Medicine, Urgent Care and Primary Care practices. Amy graduated Thomas Jefferson University with high distinction earning a Bachelor of Science in Nursing in 2008, a Master of Science in Nursing in 2010 and a Post Master's Certificate in Adult Gerontology Acute Care (AGAC) in 2014. She was recognized by the Elite American Nurses Association in 2013 for her dedication, achievements and leadership in the field Nursing. She served as a clinical preceptor for a number of Nurse Practitioner students and enjoys teaching the bright minds of future NPs.
Yes, doxycycline as well as some other antibiotics can sometimes cause yeast infections. This can happen because antibiotics kill off both harmful bacteria as well as beneficial bacteria that help maintain the balance of microorganisms in the vagina.
This allows the fungus Candida, which is normally present there, to grow too much and cause an infection. However, not everyone who takes doxycycline will develop a yeast infection.
If you’re worried about getting an infection or if you’ve had them before there are some things you can do to help prevent it such as using a preventive medication, taking probiotic supplements, or eating foods that are rich in probiotics like yogurt.
- Doxycycline is a common antibiotic that treats various bacterial infections.
- Doxycycline can sometimes cause yeast infections.
- Antibiotics such as doxycycline disrupt the balance of microorganisms in the vagina, allowing yeast to overgrow.
- Not everyone who takes doxycycline will develop a yeast infection.
- By taking certain precautions such as using preventive medication and consuming probiotics you can reduce the risk of developing a yeast infection while taking doxycycline.
- Consult your doctor if you have a history of yeast infections or are concerned about developing one while taking doxycycline.
Continue reading to learn more about yeast infections, how antibiotics can cause them, and what you can do to prevent them.
Table of Contents
- What Is Doxycycline?
- Can Doxycycline Cause a Yeast Infection?
- What Are Other Possible Side Effects of Doxycycline?
- Why Can Doxycycline and Other Antibiotics Cause Yeast Infections?
- How to Prevent a Yeast Infection From Antibiotics?
- When to See a Doctor?
- In Conclusion
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:
- Upset stomach
- 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 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Eat foods rich in probiotics – Eating yogurt, or fermented foods, such as sauerkraut are great options for adding probiotics to your diet.
- Wear cotton underwear instead of synthetics – This can help keep the vulva area dry, which helps prevent the overgrowth of yeast.
- Change out of a wet bathing suit as soon as possible after swimming – Yeast can proliferate in moist environments.
- 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:
- A fever of 100.4 or greater
- Swollen lymph nodes
- Abdominal pain
- Pain in the rectum
- Unusual exhaustion
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 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.
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 a 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.
- Anaphylaxis. American Academy of Allergy Asthma & Immunology. (n.d.). Retrieved September 1, 2022, from https://www.aaaai.org/conditions-treatments/allergies/anaphylaxis
- Borges, S., Silva, J., & Teixeira, P. (2014). The role of lactobacilli and probiotics in maintaining vaginal health. Archives of gynecology and obstetrics, 289(3), 479–489. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00404-013-3064-9
- Gonçalves, B., Ferreira, C., Alves, C. T., Henriques, M., Azeredo, J., & Silva, S. (2016). Vulvovaginal candidiasis: Epidemiology, microbiology and risk factors. Critical reviews in microbiology, 42(6), 905–927. https://doi.org/10.3109/1040841X.2015.1091805
- Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research. (2021, March 17). Yeast infection (vaginal). Mayo Clinic. Retrieved August 31, 2022, from https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/yeast-infection/symptoms-causes/syc-20378999
- NHS. (n.d.). Side effects of doxycycline. NHS choices. Retrieved August 31, 2022, from https://www.nhs.uk/medicines/doxycycline/side-effects-of-doxycycline/
- Superti, F., & De Seta, F. (2020). Warding Off Recurrent Yeast and Bacterial Vaginal Infections: Lactoferrin and Lactobacilli. Microorganisms, 8(1), 130. https://doi.org/10.3390/microorganisms8010130
- U.S. National Library of Medicine. (n.d.). Doxycycline: Medlineplus drug information. MedlinePlus. Retrieved August 31, 2022, from https://medlineplus.gov/druginfo/meds/a682063.html
- Vibramycin, Doryx (doxycycline) dosing, indications, interactions, adverse effects, and more. (2022, July 28). Retrieved August 31, 2022, from https://reference.medscape.com/drug/vibramycin-doryx-doxycycline-342548
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