About 70% of all candida overgrowth occurs in women (if we consider the population of people over 15 years of age). As both men and women are equally exposed to antibiotics, this increase lies somewhat with the use of birth control pills, and primarily with candida’s fondness for progesterone.
Candida likes to eat progesterone. So what does it do?
Candida blocks estrogen receptors so that estrogen can’t lock into them, further disrupting the endocrine hormone by binding to estrogen, preventing it from being used properly by the body. Why does candida do this? Because estrogen and progesterone “teeter-totter” — low estrogen levels cause high progesterone levels. So by creating low estrogen levels in your body, candida causes progesterone levels to be elevated, providing more and more fuel for itself.
Women often have flare-ups coinciding with their period — a time when progesterone levels are higher. By the way, there are two types of estrogen — alpha estrogen produced by the female organs, and beta estrogen produced by the adrenal glands. Both men and women need and produce beta estrogen and not only are these estrogens inhibited by candida, but the adrenal fatigue caused by the candida overgrowth will result in even lower beta estrogen production.
So male hormones will suffer too, with low beta estrogen and low testosterone. These imbalances need to be corrected, but as men naturally produce much less progesterone than women, they do not supply such a readily available food source for the candida. Thus, out- of-control candida overgrowth affects many more women than men.