Being pregnant is a special time and the last thing you want to worry about is a yeast infection during pregnancy. Any irregularity during pregnancy should be checked – the presence of vaginal discharge could be a sign of yeast infection during pregnancy.
Yeast Infection During Pregnancy – A Description
Yeast infections are regular vaginal diseases – very common to pregnant women. They are scientifically called “monilial vaginitis” or “vaginal candidiasis”. These are fungi that thrive during pregnancy because the acid and yeasts are not in balance. This is not a serious ailment, although it is prevalently appearing during the second trimester of pregnancy (after the third month to three months after). Actually, a woman’s vagina already has yeasts that tend to overgrow thus causing this non-serious ailment. The acidity in the vaginal wall indeed causes over growth of the yeast.
Causes Of Yeast Infection During Pregnancy
The estrogen level of a woman rises during pregnancy and this situation will cause the vagina to produce more of glycogen – the breeding ground of yeast. The yeast will be able to grow faster, thrive on the vaginal environment thus causing the infection. Prolonged use of antibiotics and steroids also causes this type of infection. The antibiotics kill the protective vaginal bacteria to pave way to growth of yeasts. Hormone and birth control pills, high blood sugar, vaginal intercourse, blood and semen and douching all are causes of yeast infection.
Among the most notable symptoms of yeast infections during pregnancy are itchiness, irritation, soreness, redness and sometimes swelling in the vagina and labia. White, sometimes greenish or yellowish vaginal discharge (like cottage cheese) which may be odorless or yeast smelling can be experienced. Other symptoms are discomfort or pain while having sex or burning sensation when urinating.
Yeast infection is nothing serious – it may just go on its own but it is still important to consult the doctor to get correct diagnosis. The symptoms of yeast infection are similar to the STD’s, which could be a case of worse scenario. Topical anti-fungal cream or suppository may be the treatment but it is not advisable to just buy one over-the-counter of a pharmacy. It is highly recommended to get a prescription from the doctor. Oral medication is a big NO for pregnant women because the drug may adversely affect the baby in the womb. Although nystatin is the prescribed medicine for yeast infection, studies showed the better effectiveness of creams or suppositories with clotrimazole.
Avoiding yeast infection
Although a yeast infection during pregnancy is common, it is also avoidable. What should a pregnant mother-to-be do? As much as possible, keep the vaginal area dry at all times. Cotton breathable underwear is good prevention. Avoid tight pantyhose and pants. After swimming, shower immediately. Never douche, just clean your genital area with warm water and mild soap. Wipe the vagina from front to back. If possible, sleep panty-less at nigh to allow the air to circulate in the genital area.
As said, this is not a serious case. However, if the baby is born while having a bout of yeast infection, the baby might develop thrush in the mouth, not alarming though.
Although yeast infection during pregnancy is not among the threatening diseases that may affect both mother and baby, precaution is still advised. Its occurrence may bring discomfort and worry to the mother, especially if she is a first-time mother-to-be.