Let’s dive right into this, people. TikTok user @lisajwho recently made a video about something she learned way too late in life: too much cheap wine = yeast infections:
And people quickly started realizing there was indeed a culprit behind their yeasties after all these years:
Overall, though, people just wanted more answers:
So, here we are, once again, to give you the answers you deserve — directly from a professional. BuzzFeed spoke to board-certified OBGYN Dr. Tamika K. Cross, who is also the co-owner of Serenity Women’s Health and Med Spa.
Before we get into what causes yeast infections, let’s discuss what they actually are. Dr. Cross said yeast is a normal fungus in the vagina. “When the acidity of the vagina changes, more yeast grows, which results in an overgrowth and infection — a yeast infection. You typically begin experiencing symptoms, such as thick, clumpy vaginal discharge, itching, redness, burning with urination, and vagina dryness,” she explained.
OK, on to the question of the day: Can cheap wine really cause yeast infections?! “Yes. Honestly, any kind of alcohol can, due to the yeast in the ingredients. Cheap wine typically has a higher glucose content. Yeast thrive in a hyperglycemic environment and, as a result, you would be more susceptible to getting yeast infections with excessive intake of cheap wine,” said Dr. Cross.
But to better understand the wine question at hand, let’s break down the wine-making process. During fermentation, yeast converts grape sugars into alcohol, making a dry wine. But, sometimes, not all the sugar is fermented by the yeast and this results in a sweeter wine. The sugar in wine is called residual sugar — and most cheap and bulk wines have more residual sugar to make them taste better because lower-quality grapes are used.
Let’s take a look at this chart I found on Wine Folly that breaks down the amount of sugar in all wines. It looks like you should also stay away from sweet wines in general to avoid yeast infections because they have high sugar content!
Now that we’ve established this, what is considered a cheap wine?! Unfortunately, there’s no specific price point, per se — just know that the cheaper the wine is, it is likely that you’ll have a higher probability of getting a yeast infection. Also, how much cheap wine is TOO MUCH?! Again, there’s no straightforward answer since every person’s body metabolizes differently. “There isn’t one specific upper threshold or amount that’s going to equate to an infection. There isn’t data or research to support this claim, so it’s hard to generally quantify,” said Dr. Cross.
While excessive amounts of cheap wine may cause yeast infections, there are a lot of other things that can also cause them. “Some major risk factors include diabetes, immunosuppressed patients, recent antibiotic use, pregnancy, hormone replacement therapy, douching or cleaning inside vagina, tight-fitted clothing, and non-cotton panties,” said Dr. Cross, adding that some people, unfortunately, are just more prone to getting them than others.
The best way to help prevent yeast infections is to try to maintain a normal pH in your vagina. Dr. Cross said you can do this by avoiding excessively tight clothing and non-cotton lined underwear, as well as not douching. If you have diabetes, yeast thrives in glucose-rich environments, so the better controlled your diabetes is, the less likely you are to have recurrent yeast infections.
And, sadly, that is that. Sigh, buh-bye.