Yeast infections during pregnancy are common and can be caused by changes in hormones and increased glucose levels in the body.
Symptoms of a yeast infection include itching, burning, soreness in the vaginal area, and thick white discharge.
Treatment usually involves antifungal creams, suppositories, or oral medication. Still, it is important to consult a doctor before using any medications, as some may not be safe during pregnancy.
Symptoms of Yeast Infections During Pregnancy
During pregnancy, the symptoms of a yeast infection can include the following:
- Itching or burning in the vaginal area.
- Pain or soreness during sexual intercourse or urination.
- A thick, white discharge that may look like cottage cheese.
- Redness, swelling, or itching of the vaginal area.
- Pain or discomfort in the lower abdomen.
It’s important to note that these symptoms can be similar to other infections and conditions, so it’s best to consult a healthcare provider for a proper diagnosis and treatment.
Causes of Yeast Infections In Pregnancy
During pregnancy, several factors can increase the risk of developing a yeast infection, including:
- Hormonal changes alter the balance of bacteria in the vagina.
- A weakened immune system can be a side effect of pregnancy.
- Antibiotic use can kill off the beneficial bacteria that help keep yeast in check.
- High blood sugar levels, common in pregnancy, can provide an ideal environment for yeast growth.
- Tight, non-breathable clothing can trap moisture and create a warm, moist environment in which yeast thrives.
It’s important to prevent yeast infections during pregnancy, such as wearing breathable clothing, maintaining good hygiene, and avoiding using douches and powders in the genital area.
Treating Yeast Infections During Pregnancy
Treatment for yeast infections during pregnancy typically involves antifungal medications, either topical creams or oral tablets, which are considered safe for use during pregnancy.
Some commonly used antifungal medications for yeast infections include:
- Clotrimazole (Canesten)
- Miconazole (Monistat)
- Fluconazole (Diflucan)
It is important to follow the instructions provided by a healthcare provider when using antifungal medications, as overuse can lead to the development of drug-resistant strains of yeast.
Some common treatments for yeast infections in pregnancy include antifungal creams, ointments, suppositories applied directly to the affected area, and oral antifungal medication.
It is important to avoid using over-the-counter remedies, as some may not be safe for use during pregnancy.
Preventing a Yeast Infection In Pregnancy:
Here are some steps that can help prevent yeast infections:
- Wear breathable and cotton underwear to allow air to circulate and keep the genital area dry.
- Practice good hygiene, such as wiping front to back after using the toilet and avoiding harsh soaps and bubble baths.
- Avoid tight-fitting clothing and synthetic materials that trap moisture and create a warm, moist environment for yeast to grow.
- Avoid using douches and powders in the genital area.
- Maintain a healthy diet and avoid sugar and refined carbohydrates, as they can feed yeast.
- Avoid antibiotics unless necessary, and if prescribed, take probiotics to help replenish beneficial bacteria in the gut.
- Change out wet clothing, such as swimwear, as soon as possible.
- Take steps to manage stress, as stress can weaken the immune system and increase the risk of infection.
It’s important to note that not all preventative measures will work for everyone, and some women may still experience yeast infections during pregnancy.
How common are yeast infections during pregnancy?
Yeast infections are quite common during pregnancy, with approximately 20-30% of women experiencing one.
The hormonal changes, weakened immune system, and increased blood sugar levels during pregnancy can all contribute to developing a yeast infection.
It’s important for women who are pregnant or trying to become pregnant to take steps to prevent yeast infections and to seek prompt treatment if they develop symptoms.
Treating yeast infections during pregnancy can help reduce the risk of complications and promote overall health and well-being for the mother and the baby.
Are yeast infection treatments safe while breastfeeding?
Yes, many antifungal treatments for yeast infections are considered safe to use while breastfeeding.
Topical antifungal creams, such as clotrimazole and miconazole, are usually the first choice for treating yeast infections in breastfeeding mothers, as very little medication is absorbed into the bloodstream and, therefore, very little is passed on to the baby through breastmilk.
Oral antifungal medications, such as fluconazole, can also be used, but the amount of medication passed on to the baby through breastmilk is higher, so these medications are usually only used for severe infections or if topical treatments are not effective.
If you are breastfeeding and develop a yeast infection, it’s important to consult with a healthcare provider to determine the best course of treatment.
They can help determine if an antifungal medication is necessary and, if so, which type would be best for your situation.
Yeast infections are common during pregnancy and can be caused by hormonal changes, a weakened immune system, and high blood sugar levels.
Treatment usually involves antifungal medications, topical creams, or oral tablets, considered safe during pregnancy.
Women can wear breathable and cotton underwear to prevent yeast infections, practice good hygiene, avoid tight-fitting clothing and synthetic materials, maintain a healthy diet, and manage stress.
Yeast infection treatments are also generally considered safe for breastfeeding, with topical antifungal creams being the first choice and oral medications being used for severe infections or if topical treatments are ineffective.
If you are pregnant or breastfeeding and have yeast infection symptoms, it is important to seek prompt treatment from a healthcare provider.