What Are The Symptoms Of A Yeast Infection
Its normal to experience an increase in vaginal discharge during pregnancy. In fact, the thin, milky, mild-smelling discharge you may notice when you’re pregnant is so common it has a name: leukorrhea.
The discharge you notice when you have a yeast infection is different, however. If you have a yeast infection, you may experience:
- White, lumpy, odorless discharge
Yeast infections can look and feel like other conditions, including a variety of sexually transmitted diseases or bacterial vaginosis, so it’s important to talk to your doctor about your symptoms even if you have had a yeast infection in the past and believe you may have developed one again.
Treating A Vaginal Yeast Infection While Pregnant
You can treat a vaginal yeast infection with medication without putting your baby in harms way! Your healthcare provider may prescribe any of the following to treat your condition:
- Vaginal creams or suppositories
- Non-prescription medications like clotrimazole, terconazole, or miconazole.
- Anything that has been tested and proven to be safe for pregnant women.
How long does it take to get rid of a yeast infection while pregnant? It could take a few weeks for your yeast infection to go away completely, but many of the symptoms will go away after a few days.
Once you have the yeast infection under control, you might want to use a drying powder that is starch-free to help avoid future infections.
Causes Of A Yeast Infection During Pregnancy
During pregnancy, your body produces more glycogen due to the rising levels of estrogen. Higher levels of glycogen create a good environment for the fungus to multiply abnormally, which leads to a yeast infection. Other factors that may encourage a yeast infection include:
- An impaired immune system
- Poor hygiene practices
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Home Remedies To Treat Yeast Infection During Pregnancy
Some of the home remedies for yeast infection during pregnancy include use of apple cider vinegar, garlic, honey, cranberry juice, calendula, olive leaf extract, coconut oil, yogurt, to name a few.
Pregnancy is a beautiful yet challenging phase of a womans life. Along with a life developing in the uterus of a mother, the body is undergoing a series of changes along with changing hormones. With so much going on in your body, the last thing you would want is to contract a yeast infection in pregnancy.
How To Treat A Yeast Infection When Youre Pregnant
Even if youve had yeast infections before and are a pro at self-diagnosing, its best to call your provider before using an over-the-counter medication. Why? Some women who think they have a yeast infection actually have a bacterial infection like bacterial vaginosis or trichomoniasis, and a yeast infection medication will only prolong the issue.
If you have a yeast infection, your doctor may recommend an over-the-counter or prescription antifungal cream or vaginal suppository. The following over-the-counter and prescription yeast infection treatments are generally considered safe during pregnancy, but be sure to check with your practitioner before starting treatment.
How Are Recurring Yeast Infections Treated
Because of the shift in hormones during pregnancy, you may be more susceptible to recurring yeast infections. Recurrent vulvovaginal candidiasis is when four or more yeast infections occur in a year. If you are experiencing recurrent candidiasis, we recommend consulting your physician to rule out any health conditions.
The pregnancy itself may simply be the root of infection, and after delivery, they should cease. Oral azole drugs effectively reduce recurrent infections, but this option is only available after delivery, as oral antifungals are not safe or advised methods of treatment while pregnant.
Vaginal Yeast Infections During Pregnancy
If you develop a yeast infection during pregnancy, its important to understand the importance of choosing the right treatment. Talk to your healthcare professional if you are pregnant and develop a vaginal yeast infection. The CDC and health professionals recommend a 7-day vaginal cream for a yeast infection during pregnancy. The FDA issued a warning about the oral medication fluconazole in 20162. Using topical antifungal treatments like MONISTAT® during pregnancy is recommended. Again, talk to your healthcare professional.
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Diagnosing A Vaginal Yeast Infection While Pregnant
If you think you might have this condition, visit your healthcare provider as soon as possible for help diagnosing a vaginal yeast infection while pregnant. If you catch the infection early on, you might be able to save yourself from uncomfortable or ongoing symptoms.
When you visit your healthcare provider, they may want to perform a pelvic exam. This includes using a small tool to take a sample of your vaginal secretion or discharge, which is painless. A healthcare professional will inspect the sample under a microscope to determine if you have a yeast infection.
Symptoms In Moms And Babies
Though caused by the same fungal overgrowth, the signs and symptoms of a yeast infection vary depending on the location of the infection. Vaginal yeast infection symptoms in moms may include:
- Discharge that is white or creamy, including a cottage cheese-like appearance
Whereas yeast infection symptoms in babies may appear as:
- White patches in their mouth that do not wipe off
- Bright red diaper rash that doesn’t go away
If you have never had a yeast infection before, you should have your doctor or midwife look at a sample of your vaginal secretions or discharge under a microscope to ensure you receive a proper diagnosis. You shouldn’t assume it is a yeast infection and attempt to treat it without consulting your provider.
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Vaginal Thrush During Pregnancy
Vaginal thrush is fairly harmless, but it can be uncomfortable and it can keep coming back, which is known as recurrent thrush.
Thrush is a yeast infection, usually caused by a yeast-like fungus called ‘Candida albicans’.
Vaginal thrush can sometimes be passed on during sex but is not considered a sexually transmitted infection . However, if you have thrush its best to avoid having sex until youve completed a course of treatment and the infection has cleared up.
How Can I Reduce My Chances Of Getting A Yeast Infection While Pregnant
It’s less likely you’ll get a yeast infection if you keep your genital area dry and your vaginal flora in balance. Not all of the following suggestions are supported by hard evidence, but they’re easy enough to do and worth a try:
A yeast infection is no fun, but it’s nice to know that it’s not a danger to you or your baby. It’s a good idea to keep in mind that some infections can be more than bothersome when you’re pregnant, though. Here’s an article outlining some of the infections that can affect a pregnancy.
BabyCenter’s editorial team is committed to providing the most helpful and trustworthy pregnancy and parenting information in the world. When creating and updating content, we rely on credible sources: respected health organizations, professional groups of doctors and other experts, and published studies in peer-reviewed journals. We believe you should always know the source of the information you’re seeing. Learn more about our editorial and medical review policies.
ACOG. 2020. Vaginitis. American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.
CDC. 2020. Vulvovaginal candidiasis. U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
OWH. 2019. Vaginal yeast infection. Office on Women’s Health, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
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What Complications Are Associated With Yeast Infections
In nonpregnant women who have a normal immune system, yeast infections rarely lead to serious complications.
Even in pregnancy, yeast infections dont usually cause harmful effects in the mother. However, you can pass the yeast to your baby during delivery.
Most babies who develop a yeast infection have it just in their mouths or diaper area. However, though rare, a yeast infection in babies can become very serious, because their immune systems arent yet well-developed. It can spread through the infants body and affect breathing and heart rhythm, for example. This happens most often in babies who have other things affecting their immune systems, such as prematurity or an underlying infection.
Yeast infections can also cause body-wide infections and serious complications in women who have a weakened immune system because of conditions such as HIV.
Treating A Yeast Infection During Pregnancy
It’s safe to treat a yeast infection with over-the-counter vaginal creams or suppositories that contain miconazole or clotrimazole.
Donât take an oral fluconazole tablet to treat a yeast infection during pregnancy. It may cause birth defects.
If you think you have a yeast infection, call your doctor before using over-the-counter medications to treat it.
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What Can Cause Yeast Infections During Pregnancy
While pregnancy with a yeast infection is common, it is helpful to know what may cause it. Here are some factors that may contribute to an overgrowth of yeast leading to yeast infection early pregnancy:
- Normal changes in hormone levels
- A reaction to your partners natural yeast or bacteria
- Pre-existing conditions that weaken the immune system, such as HIV
- Taking immunosuppressant medication, like steroids
- Taking antibiotics, which can disrupt the vaginal PH
- Birth Control Pills
- Allergic reaction in the vaginal area
- STDs, such as chlamydia and gonorrhea
- Another common infection called BV, or bacterial vaginosis
Why Do I Need To See My Provider To Treat A Yeast Infection
It may seem like overkill to see your provider because antifungal medication is available over the counter, but it’s not a good idea to try to diagnose and treat yourself. Studies show that most women who treat themselves for a presumed yeast infection miss the real cause. As a result, they often delay getting proper treatment.
Your symptoms may be caused by something else, such as a sexually transmitted infection, instead of or along with yeast.
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How Can A Yeast Infection Be Prevented
Prevention is always better than cure. It is best to prevent the infection from happening in the first place rather than to cure the damage done by it. To prevent a yeast infection from happening, you should try to consume food that is rich in probiotics, or taking a supplement with cranberry in it might be of great help as well. Other than these, some other preventive measures are:
- avoiding very tight clothes
- saying yes to underwear made of pure cotton
- after a shower or a bath one should dry themselves thoroughly
- wet swimsuits should not be worn for too long
- must take foods that contain probiotics like yogurt, sauerkraut, etc
- steer clear of high levels of sugar in your diet
How Is A Yeast Infection Diagnosed
After receiving a physical exam and reviewing signs and symptoms with your physician, the diagnosis will be confirmed or denied through a sample of vaginal discharge. Your doctor will check the sample for yeasts that cause infections, and more harmful types of yeast infections will also be ruled out during this time.
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Diagnosis Of A Yeast Infection
While you could likely deduce the cause of the problem without an appointment, it is important to determine what type of yeast infection you have in order to obtain an effective treatment. The Mayo Clinic notes that the fungus candida albicans is responsible for most vaginal yeast infections. However, candida glabrata and candida tropicalis can also be the cause.
How Do You Prevent Yeast Infections While Pregnant
Whether or not you’re pregnant, the ways to prevent yeast infections include:
- Keeping your genital area clean and dry
- Avoiding douching, as well as hygiene sprays, fragrances, or powders in the genital area
- Wearing cotton underwear, and avoiding underwear made of silk or nylon
- Avoiding wearing tight-fitting pants or shorts
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What Is The Safest Way To Deal With A Yeast Infection During Pregnancy
To treat a yeast infection, pregnant women should refrain from oral treatment methods and instead make use of creams, ointments, and other topically used medicines. As per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, during pregnancy, women should use azole topically for seven consecutive days to treat a yeast infection. This method has been accepted as safe by the CDC.
Topically used azole are available over the counter without any need for a doctors prescription letter, and studies regarding their efficacy also back them. According to the College of Family Physicians of Canadas one study, a milder version of corticosteroids can be applied topically to relieve the symptoms of a yeast infection. They are considered safe to use while pregnant however, they need to be used only for a short period.
As per one study on the other hand, the use of the prescribed medicine oral Fluconazole is to be avoided by pregnant women as it has been seen to cause spontaneous abortion in those who were exposed to it. The study talked about how pregnant women that took Fluconazole were 48 percent more likely to face pregnancy-related complications like a miscarriage than those who did not take it.
Before taking any type of treatment, it is always a good idea to consult a doctor treating a yeast infection is important. If it is left untreated, it can even be transmitted to the baby through the mother during the delivery process. This is known as thrush.
How To Know If You Have A Yeast Infection
Its recommended that the first time you have a yeast infection, you go to the doctor to have it properly diagnosed, but once youve gotten them a few times, youll just know. Here are the things to look for.
- Possibly a thick, clumpy, white discharge that has no odor and looks like cottage cheese
Bacterial vaginosis can have many of the same symptoms, but the bacterial vaginosis discharge will have a fishy odor to it. They say youll need antibiotics to cure it, but if you take antibiotics, it will wipe out all of your bacteria , and it will make your chances of getting a yeast infection EVEN WORSE. I can only imagine that going from bacterial vaginosis to a yeast infection would be no fun!
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What Is A Yeast Infection
Yeast infection during pregnancy and yeast infection in early pregnancy is common because the increase in estrogen during pregnancy can throw off your pH balance. This is especially common in the second trimester. Although yeast infection while pregnant is unpleasant, thankfully, it will not harm your health nor your babys health. On the bright side, it is simple to treat yeast infection pregnancy symptoms.
Advice From Our Practice
At University Park OBGYN, we are fully equipped to guide you through the comprehensive care you deserve. From treating a pesky yeast infection while pregnant to delivering your infant, we guarantee thorough, compassionate care. Give us a call or visit our website today to learn more about the various services we offer in gynecological, preconception, obstetric, and postpartum care.
We look forward to hearing from you!
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Symptoms Prevention & Safe Treatment
With so much going on down there already, the last thing you need is an itchy yeast infection when youre expecting. Unfortunately, soaring estrogen levels that come with having a bun in the oven can increase your risk of having one, making yeast infections the most common vaginal infection during pregnancy.
In fact, nearly 75 percent of all adult women have had at least one yeast infection in their lifetime, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention . The good news: While uncomfortable for the mother-to-be, yeast infections dont affect your pregnancy or your growing baby, and safe treatment options are available.
How Do I Know If Its A Yeast Infection Or A Urinary Tract Infection
If you are experiencing a vaginal yeast infection, you may have unusual, generally odorless, vaginal discharge that is thick and milky looking. You may also have pain or itchiness in your genital area.
If you are experiencing a UTI, you may have pain and burning when urinating, foul-smelling urine, as well as fever, chills, nausea, and pain in your pelvis.
Yeast infections and UTIs occur in the same area, but the symptoms are very different.
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How To Treat Yeast Infections During Pregnancy
Rachel Gurevich is a fertility advocate, author, and recipient of The Hope Award for Achievement, from Resolve: The National Infertility Association. She is a professional member of the Association of Health Care Journalists and has been writing about womens health since 2001. Rachel uses her own experiences with infertility to write compassionate, practical, and supportive articles.
If you’re an adult woman, chances are you’ve had a yeast infection at some point in your life and know that it’s anything but fun. But did you know yeast infections occur more frequently in women who are pregnant?
Yeast infections are caused by an overgrowth of a normal fungus. About one-third of all women normally carry this fungus in their vaginas, and both men and women carry it in their digestive tracts.
During pregnancyparticularly in the second trimesterwomen become more susceptible to yeast problems. The increased risk during pregnancy is at least partially due to the increased estrogen circulating in a pregnant womans body.
While they’re annoying and uncomfortable, yeast infections are not harmful to your health. Unlike with other types of infections, you generally wouldn’t be prescribed antibiotics for a yeast infection .
A yeast infection will also not harm your baby, although they may still get yeast infections, no matter how or when they are born.