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

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