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A study from Australia shows that taking estrogen increases a post-menopausal woman's chances of developing vaginal yeast infections. Twenty-six percent of post-menopausal women taking estrogen had vaginal yeast, compared to only four percent of those not taking estrogen.

Taking estrogen after menopause markedly increases the amount of glycogen that is the form of sugar stored in vaginal cells. All of the yeast species isolated from women with vaginal symptoms take up glycogen, meaning that they use the glycogen as a source for energy. It is normal for healthy women with no symptoms to have yeast growing in the vagina. However, the yeast that invades vaginal cells to cause a thick white discharge, vaginal irritation and odor, takes up glycogen from vaginal cells. Estrogen given after menopause increases the amount of glycogen in vaginal cells to cause some women to suffer vaginal irritation from yeast.

See report #1320.

Oestrogen, glycogen and vaginal candidiasis. Australian & New Zealand Journal of Obstetrics & Gynaecology, 2001, Vol 41, Iss 3, pp 326-328. GJ Dennerstein, DH Ellis. Dennerstein GJ, 111 Rose St, Essendon, Vic 3040, AUSTRALIA

Checked 9/3/05

May 12th, 2013
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About the Author: Gabe Mirkin, MD

Sports medicine doctor, fitness guru and long-time radio host Gabe Mirkin, M.D., brings you news and tips for your healthful lifestyle. A practicing physician for more than 50 years and a radio talk show host for 25 years, Dr. Mirkin is a graduate of Harvard University and Baylor University College of Medicine. He is board-certified in four specialties: Sports Medicine, Allergy and Immunology, Pediatrics and Pediatric Immunology. The Dr. Mirkin Show, his call-in show on fitness and health, was syndicated in more than 120 cities. Read More
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