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How To Treat Yeast Infection During Pregnancy

What Is The Safest Way To Deal With A Yeast Infection During Pregnancy

How to Treat Yeast Infections 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 Treat A Yeast Infection During Pregnancy

For a yeast infection in pregnancy, treatment is generally an over-the-counter vaginal cream or suppositories. These might include Clotrimazole Miconazole or Terconazole. Oral medications such as fluconazole are not recommended during pregnancy.

If you have to wait a few days to see your doctor, Tahery says you can apply 1 percent hydrocortisone externally to help control itching. If you are desperate, you can use a small amount just on the lips of the vulva, which will offer some relief, he says.

But Tahery cautions against using boric acid suppositories to treat yeast infections during pregnancy. Boric acid and other homeopathic treatments havent been tested in pregnancy, so I wouldnt recommend them, he says.

If you have a yeast infection that somehow goes undetected, it will likely clear up after you deliver. These will usually self-resolve after pregnancy, unless you were having chronic yeast infections before you got pregnant, perhaps due to a condition such as diabetes, says Tahery.

Sometimes having one yeast infection during pregnancy can cause repeated ones until you deliver. If you are having recurring yeast infections during pregnancy, its best to work with your doctor to figure out a plan. Along with medication, you may need to make lifestyle changes like wearing more breathable clothing or changing your underwear more frequently, since yeast thrives in wet, humid conditions.

Yeast Infections During Pregnancy

What is thrush?

Pregnancy hormones, a course of antibiotics and diabetes can all be a trigger for women to develop a bout of vaginal thrush, as these can all disturb the bodys pH balance. Once you have developed thrush, it can disappear naturally or there are treatments available which target the yeast growth and ease the symptoms.

Developing thrush during pregnancy will not harm your unborn baby. However, if you have thrush during the birth, it can be passed to your baby. A paediatrician will advise on how to treat your baby if this happens.

What are the symptoms of vaginal thrush?

How can I ease and help to prevent thrush?

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Treatments for thrush and recurrent thrush

Yeasts thrive on sugary foods, processed foods and refined carbohydrates and will also overgrow when good bacteria are killed, for example, by antibiotics. Research into this complex subject will allow you to become informed and able to make the choices that are right for you and your family.


Developing thrush during pregnancy can be extremely irritating, but there are effective self-help remedies available to help you take control of this itchy situation.

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Oral Medications Are Discouraged

For those who have had thrush in the past, you were likely prescribed a quick and simple dose of Diflucan . Regrettably, this is not a recommended treatment option for expectant moms. While instances are rare, there is the threat of miscarriage. Currently, this drug is labeled as a Category C for pregnancy risk. This is defined by the Food and Drug Administration as follows:

Animal reproduction studies have shown an adverse effect on the fetus and there are no adequate and well-controlled studies in humans, but potential benefits may warrant use of the drug in pregnant women despite potential risks.

When looking more specifically at oral fluconazole, they go on to note that chronic, high doses of the antifungal drug Diflucan may be associated with a rare and distinct set of birth defects in infants whose mothers were treated with the drug during the first trimester of pregnancy. This risk does not appear to be associated with a single, low dose of fluconazole 150 mg to treat vaginal yeast infection .

Despite the lessened risk with a low dose, unless you have a severe yeast infection that can not be remedied by creams, it is best to avoid this type of oral medication. Unlike many other types of infections, a yeast infection poses no threat to your unborn baby. It is just a cause of discomfort to you.

How To Prevent A Yeast Infection During Pregnancy

Pin on Health

Theres no guaranteed method of prevention, but whether youre pregnant or not, here are some ways to decrease your chances of getting a yeast infection. In general, you want to try to let the vaginal area breathe and minimize the amount of moisture down there, says Phillips.

Edit your underwear drawer. Make sure to choose underwear and tights with cotton crotches, and avoid wearing thongs or anything thats too tight. You should also remove underwear before going to bed.

Change out of damp stuff pronto. Dont wear wet swimsuits or gym clothes for longer than needed, and wash them each time you wear them.

With bottoms, go for a flowy look. If youre opting for pants, keep them loose-fitting and breathable.

Stock up on probiotic foods. For example, eating yogurt containing live Lactobacillus acidophilus cultures may help keep your vaginal pH in check.

Skip scented products. Dont take baths with scented products and avoid douching, vaginal sprays and sanitary pads with fragrance.

Get bathroom hygiene right. It bears repeating: Always wipe from front to back after using the restroom.

Expert bios:

Cara Delaney, MD, MPH, is an ob-gyn at Boston Medical Center and a Family Planning Fellow at Boston University School of Medicine. She earned both her MD and MPH from Tulane University School of Medicine in New Orleans.

Plus, more from The Bump:

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When To Call Your Doctor

If you are experiencing a vaginal yeast infection during pregnancy and any of the following symptoms occur, we recommend advising your doctor for a more comprehensive treatment plan.

  • If you are experiencing pain in the lower abdomen coupled with vaginal discharge and fever, this may be a sign of PID, and treatment will be necessary.
  • If you are pregnant and begin to experience signs and symptoms of a UTI, or urinary tract infection, or other vaginal infection
  • Unusual vaginal itching
  • Unusual vaginal discharge, especially if a foul odor accompanies it
  • Pain occurring with urination or penetration
  • Symptoms persist after initial treatment and medication
  • If symptoms recur within a couple of months from the first infection

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

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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.

What Is A Yeast Infection

Treating Pregnancy Symptoms : How to Treat Yeast Infections During Pregnancy

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.

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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.

What Can I Do To Prevent Vaginal Thrush

There are a number of simple things you can do:

  • Wear cotton or silk underwear rather than synthetics and change daily. Wear tights or stockings for as short a time as possible.
  • Wash underwear in hot water and pure soap and double rinse to make sure any irritants are removed before you wear them.
  • Change out of damp swimming costumes or sports clothes as soon as possible after swimming or exercise.
  • If using pads, change them regularly and avoid perfumed or deodorised pads.
  • Avoid tight fitting clothes such as jeans as this creates a moist, warm environment that encourages the overgrowth of bacteria and yeasts.
  • A gentle moisturiser like aqueous cream may be advised. Use water or soap substitutes to wash the area.

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How Do I Know If I Have A Yeast Infection

It is important to know, however, that signs of a yeast infection can be very similar to other vaginal infections or sexually transmitted diseases. Because of this, if you have the above symptoms during pregnancy do not assume that it is caused by a yeast infection . Please call and visit your OB or midwife to confirm that it is yeast and not another infection, like bacterial vaginosis or a sexually transmitted disease.

To confirm that it is a yeast infection your healthcare provider may do a pelvic exam and take a small sample of the vaginal discharge to examine in the office or send to a laboratory before recommending treatments.

Q: Do Yeast Infections Appear Throughout Pregnancy

If a yeast infection is something you have ever before struggled with ...

A:Yeast infections can occur any time, but they are most common duringthe second trimester. Talk with your doctor if you notice signs of a yeast infection while pregnant, even if you have had one before. Some more serious infections have similar symptoms, so your doctor will perform a simple fungal culture swap in the office to check for the presence of yeast.

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How Can I Prevent A Yeast Infection

Prevention is better than cure, but you may never completely prevent yeast infection in pregnancy, because hormones can sometimes play their part in causing that yeast/bacteria imbalance.

However, there are things you can do to minimize its occurrence.

The best ways to practice thrush prevention are:

  • Wear cotton underwear, which is more breathable than synthetic materials
  • If you can, sleep without underwear
  • Avoid tight-fitting clothes on your bottom half
  • Avoid using any scented body washes or bubble baths, as these can help to throw that balance off
  • Avoid scented panty liners too for the same reason
  • Try and limit your sugar intake this will help with maintaining the right balance
  • Wash your underwear and bottoms at 140 degrees F , and put them through an extra rinse to remove any extra detergent

There is also some suggestion that eating foods which are high in natural probiotics, such as yogurt, or taking a probiotic supplement could help reduce the number of yeast infections you have.

Having said that there is little concrete evidence that this will help.

What’s The Best Way To Treat A Yeast Infection During Pregnancy

Answers from Yvonne Butler Tobah, M.D.

You can safely treat a yeast infection during pregnancy with various over-the-counter antifungal vaginal creams or suppositories. However, it’s best to confirm with your health care provider that your symptoms are actually due to a yeast infection before starting treatment.

Over-the-counter medications for treating yeast infections include:

These products can be used at any point during pregnancy and don’t pose a risk of birth defects or other pregnancy complications. For best results, choose a seven-day formula. Home remedies or natural treatments generally aren’t recommended.

Some commonly prescribed antifungals should be avoided, especially during the first trimester. If you see a doctor about your yeast infection and are very early in your pregnancy, make sure to tell the doctor that you think you’re pregnant.

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Safe Ways To Treat Yeast Infections When Pregnant

Once your diagnosis is confirmed, you can use an antifungal over-the-counter medication to treat the infection. Antifungal creams are the best option for treating a yeast infection while pregnant. Vaginal creams like Miconazole, more commonly known as Monistat, as well as Clotrimazole and Terconazole, are all considered safe during pregnancy. Nevertheless, it is always best to confirm medications with your physician prior to starting treatment. This is especially the case if you want to use a suppository.

When choosing a dosage, always go with the seven-day option. While slightly inconvenient, it will ensure that you completely clear out the infection. Most importantly, complete the entire course treatment, even if symptoms subside prior to the seven-day mark.

Why Do I Need To See My Provider To Treat A Yeast Infection

Women’s Health Questions : Treating a Yeast Infection During Pregnancy

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 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

How Do I Treat A Yeast Infection

Good news is that yeast infections are usually easy to treat and there are treatments that can be used in pregnancy! Yeast infections are treated either topically or orally .

  • Oral Medications: The most common oral antifungal used to treat yeast infections is called fluconazole and is typically given once in a single 150mg dose. It is unlikely that the use of a single low dose of oral fluconazole during pregnancy would greatly increase the chance of birth defects or complications. However, the use of high dose fluconazole for many weeks in the first trimester of pregnancy might be associated with an increase in the chance of birth defects and miscarriage. Because of this, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have posted guidelines for treating vaginal yeast infections in pregnancy and these guidelines recommend topical therapies rather than oral medication. For more details, visit our Fluconazole Fact Sheet.
  • Topical Medications: Most common topical therapies include antifungals called azoles and are usually used over a 7-day period. There are many types of azole medications, but the most common ones used are clotrimazole or miconazole . For more details, visit our Miconazole | Clotrimazole Fact Sheet.

Rarely, some individuals may have more complicated yeast infections that last for a long time or come back more than four times a year. These may have to be treated differently.

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