Week by Week

Yeast Infections During Pregnancy

By Medically reviewed by Dr. Duyen Le

What is a yeast infection?

Yeast infection is a type of infection in which the balanced levels of acid and yeast in the vagina are destroyed. Allowing an amount of yeast to develop bring about an uncomfortable, but not serious, condition called a yeast infection.

What causes yeast infections?

It is believed that yeast infection is able to be engendered by a great number of causes. When the balance of hormone in your body changes in pregnancy or before your period, you may have a high risk of yeast infection. The same happens when you take hormones or birth control pills. Some other causes might include taking antibiotics or steroids, high blood sugar, vaginal intercourse or douching, etc.

During pregnancy, your body might be suffering so many changes and keeping up with the chemical changes in the vaginal environment is considered as difficult for your body. There is much more sugar in the vaginal secretions on which the yeast can feed on and develop quickly, causing an imbalance, which results in too much fungus than usual.

Signs and symptoms of yeast infection

An individual with yeast infection might manifest plenty of signs and symptoms. The signs and symptoms of a yeast infection may include one or more of the following:
−Discharge that is white, greenish or yellowish, similar to cottage cheese and may smell like yeast or bread
−Abundant amounts of discharge
−Redness, itching, or irritation of the lips of the vagina
−Burning sensation during urination or intercourse
If you are experiencing the signs and symptoms listed above, you should ask your doctor for more detail information. In case your health care provider suspects that you have a yeast infection, they will probably perform a vaginal examination. They will use a simple, painless swab to remove discharge or vaginal secretions and examine it through a microscope. Based on a simple examination of the vagina, a physician can diagnose a yeast infection. In some rare cases, the specimen may be sent to a lab.

Treatment options for yeast infection

After diagnosing a yeast infection, your doctor may suggest some treatment options. If you are pregnant, they will recommend vaginal creams and suppositories only. Oral medications such as Diflucan (a single-dose medication) have not been proven safe during pregnancy and lactation. If left untreated, yeast infections are able to pass to your baby’s mouth during delivery. This is called “thrush” and is effectively treated with Nystatin.

To find relief or completely cure the infection, it may usually take 10 – 14 days while you are pregnant. After the infection has been removed and any sores have healed, it may be helpful to use a starch-free drying powder or Nystatin powder to prevent a recurring infection.

How to prevent yeast infection

Yeast infection during pregnancy is not a serious disease but it may cause some problem to your baby. Therefore, it is really necessary to avoid this type of infection. You should wear loose, cotton, breathable clothing and cotton underwear. Use your blow dryer on a low, cool setting to help dry your genital area and always remember to wipe from front to back after using the restroom and shower immediately after you swim. Changing out of swimsuit, workout clothes or other damp clothes as soon as possible is also very important to avoid yeast infections. Don’t douche and don’t use feminine hygiene sprays or sanitary pads and tampons that have fragrance, bubble bath, colored or perfumed toilet paper because these can increase the risk of yeast infection. Do not forget to include yogurt with lactobacillus acidophilus in your diet and limit your sugar intake as sugar promotes the growth of yeast. Last but not least, getting plenty of rest to make it easier for your body to fight infections.


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Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

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