Yeast infection during pregnancy is common but are the treatments safe to be used during pregnancy? What are the signs and symptoms? 20% of pregnant women will experience yeast infection, as yeast is more likely to cause an infection during pregnancy due to the change of hormones. If you let it untreated, the affected mother can pass the yeast infection to our baby during the delivery which results in an infection called thrush. Therefore, it is better to get it treated.
In this article, you will learn about yeast infection- causes, signs, preventions, and treatments that are safe for pregnancy. Yeast infection can be hard to control and cause discomfort during this time. We shall always be prepared for it in the case of getting infected during the pregnancy period as extra precautions have to be considered.
Yeast Infection: Causes During Pregnancy
In pregnancy, the increase of estrogen hormone makes a woman more prone to yeast infection than at other times in a woman’s life. More than 80% of infection is caused by yeast species called Candida albicans. Hormone changes will cause an imbalance of pH in your vagina and it makes the environment more favorable for the yeast to grow. If you do not control your blood sugar level or if you are diabetic, high sugar content in the vagina secretions will even create a better living environment for the yeast to grow.
During pregnancy, your vagina discharge will be changed too. Yeast infection will cause changes in terms of the color and smell of your discharge. Read this to differentiate the vaginal discharge during pregnancy.
Signs of Yeast Infection During Pregnancy
There are usually 4 signs that you can tell if you are infected with yeast fungus. The common signs are:
- White and lumpy vaginal discharge. The color of the discharge is white, milky and lumpy. like cottage-cheese. Smell more like a yeast or bread.
- Itching, redness, swelling and sore on the lips of vagina.
- Burning sensation during urination.
- Pain during sexual intercourse.
When to see a doctor?
If you experience the changes in your vaginal discharge accompanied by other symptoms like itching, burning sensation during urination, and sexual intercourse, you will likely have a vaginal infection. Sometimes, similar symptoms like this can be due to STDs (Sexual Transmitted Diseases or Bacterial Vaginosis.
Do not simply purchase any medicine or cream to apply without consulting your doctor as some medications contain ingredients that are harmful to your baby. Seek medical help immediately and find out the type of infection in order to get the appropriate treatment.
The doctor will have a physical examination, and take a sample for microscopic analysis to confirm the type of infection.
Is yeast infection harmful?
It will cause discomfort during pregnancy, itching and burning sensation during urination will affect your quality of life. If you let it untreated, big chance that you will pass the yeast to your newborn during the delivery. Newborns usually have low immunity, the yeast infection will end up causing thrush in babies – in the baby’s mouth or other body parts.
Babies who are infected with yeast will likely have redness, white patches over their tongue and cheek. Babies will be in pain while nursing. Since the treatment is available, safe for pregnant women, and usually it is effective to heal in about a week, it is better to get it treated.
Safe treatment for pregnant women
Vaginal yeast infection can be safely treated using antifungal medicines (in the form of tablets, cream, ointments, or suppositories) directly inserted into the vagina to ease the itchiness. You will get better in about a week. For pregnant women, it is safer to use suppository or cream. Oral medicine is usually given to those women who are not pregnant. Some oral drugs like Diflucan are not safe and will cause miscarriage and birth defects.
Some studies showed that using a mixture of honey and yogurt can help to treat yeast infections. Some people use this remedy to successfully treat vagina infection and found it is equally effective as the medicated cream. Some people use the mixture directly apply into the vagina, some freeze it before insert it into the vagina to ease the itchiness. As it is a home remedy, consult your doctor before you intend to try.
How to prevent from getting infected?
- Eating yogurt is not only good for gut health but also vaginal health. Include probiotics or yogurt contain “Lactobacillus acidophilus” in your diet.
- Limit your sugar intake to control your blood sugar level. As yeast grows better in the environment that is high in sugar content.
- Wear cotton and breathable underpants. If you need to wear pantyliner as the vagina discharge volume may increase, change it frequently.
- Always wipe from back to front after using the toilet.
- Do not wash your vagina with soap or use a douche. Just wash with warm water on the outside of vagina to keep it clean.
- Do not use scented products like feminine wash, toiler paper or pantyliner. Tampons are not recommended.