You can hardly find even one woman in the world who has never heard about yeast infection. Unfortunately, thrush is so widespread that every third member of the female gender has learned what it is the hard way. There is a category of women constantly suffering from yeast infection. And, of course, some women can experience yeast infection while pregnant for the first time. The body of a future mother is much more vulnerable due to the reduction in immunity, after all.
The causes of yeast infection while pregnant
- Reduction in immunity, chronic diseases (such as diabetes, cardiovascular and respiratory systems’ diseases, cancer, HIV, etc.)
- Lack of personal hygiene (or, to the contrary, too much of it, especially if an expectant mother uses soap which destroys vaginal microflora), tight underwear
- Taking medications (hormones, antibiotics, or steroids)
- Unhealthy eating habits (too much sugar leads to changes in the vaginal secretion and forms a friendly environment for yeast infection while pregnant).
There are also specific factors which cause yeast infection during pregnancy:
- Hormonal changes in the female body. Progesterone, necessary for the normal course of pregnancy, induces changes in the genital mucous membrane: it becomes softer, the blood flow in the area intensifies, and the acidity of the vaginal excreta increases in order to kill bacteria (unfortunately, it means the odds a pregnant woman will get yeast infection are higher).
- Iron deficiency and lack of vitamins. A lot of future mothers have anemia because of the increased iron consumption during pregnancy. The amount of iron a pregnant woman gets from food is usually not enough to compensate for the deficiency.
- Constipations, other intestinal disorders. Constipation is a common occurrence during pregnancy. However, it’s not normal and often results in the violation of microflora which leads to intense fungi reproduction yeast infection while pregnant.
- Chronic inflammatory urinary tract diseases. Acute conditions during pregnancy are quite common.
What are the symptoms of yeast infection while pregnant?
Acute candidiasis is easily treated if you start treatment in time. However, yeast infection while pregnant is often ignored for a long time (it’s sometimes treated after childbirth). The reduction in immunity of a future mother also plays its part. As a result, thrush during pregnancy becomes chronic, poor women experience frequent recurrences of the disease. Doctors begin to speak about chronic yeast infection if there have been 4 or more relapses of thrush during a year.
The signs and symptoms of yeast infection while pregnant are:
- Vaginal discharge. Thick white or yellowish excreta have an unpleasant sour smell.
- Itching and burning sensations. A future mother suffers from itch in the genital area; sometimes it becomes unbearable and interferes with usual daily activities. Burning sensation can occur after urination. The woman has unpleasant sensations during sex.
- Swelling and reddening of the mucous membrane in the area.
All the abovementioned symptoms of yeast infection while pregnant have a tendency to worsen in the evening, during sleep (they often cause sleeping disorders), during walking (especially because of perspiration), washing, and due to raised temperature.
The risks of yeast infection while pregnant
There is an opinion that yeast infection during pregnancy isn’t dangerous for the future mother and the fetus. First of all, even if it was true it wouldn’t mean you shouldn’t treat thrush while pregnant. Secondly, yeast infection while pregnant (just as any other infection during pregnancy) is potentially dangerous. This condition not only brings discomfort – it also complicates the course of pregnancy and can negatively affect the process of childbirth. Thus, a yeast infection can trigger endometrial erosion which results in the reduction of vaginal elasticity. It increases the risk of tearing during the delivery.
Another risk of yeast infection while pregnant is its transmission to the baby. The longer you wait to treat thrush the higher odds of your baby having the infection are. For example, a yeast infection can get into the baby’s mouth, and breastfeeding your baby will become very difficult.
But the most horrible thing that can happen as a consequence of yeast infection while pregnant is the death of the fetus. The tragedy occurs if the vital organs of the unborn child are infected. That’s why it’s important not to ignore yeast infection while pregnant and take necessary measures against it as soon as possible.
Yeast infection while pregnant: treatment
Pregnancy is a special condition, and it makes the treatment difficult because the intake of some medications becomes unacceptable. So, the right thing to do is to get to your doctor as soon as possible and follow their prescriptions and recommendations.
How to treat a yeast infection during pregnancy? First of all, keep hygienic! However, there’s usually no need to recommend this – most women follow this rule anyway because showers relieve the itching. Unfortunately, the itch and burning sensation come back after some time. The observance of personal hygiene is obviously not enough to get rid of thrush. You’ll need to combine it with other recommendations.
The treatment of yeast infection while pregnant also includes following a healthy diet. Limit or completely avoid eating sweet and spicy food. Eat more dairy products, fruit, and vegetables.
Sometimes these two methods are enough to get rid of yeast infection while pregnant. You’re lucky if you’ve noticed the first symptoms and taken all the necessary precautions. Such treatment is the best option for a pregnant woman because she doesn’t need to take any medications which can affect her future baby.
The future mother should use sanitary pads. At the same time, she’d better avoid long physical activity and heat – it leads to increased perspiration and irritates the skin and mucous membrane. It’s also necessary to abstain from sex during the treatment.
Stress can sometimes be a factor which causes yeast infection while pregnant, so the future mother needs to stabilize her emotional state and solve internal conflicts.
The treatment of yeast infection during pregnancy can’t include oral antifungal medications.
Local treatment entails vaginal ointments or suppositories. Gynecologists prescribe the ones specifically made for pregnant women. They are the safest option.
How to prevent a yeast infection while pregnant?
If a woman has already had an unpleasant experience of thrush she should pay attention to the issue during pregnancy. It’s better to try to conceive only after the infection is successfully treated. In order to avoid a recurrence of yeast infection while pregnant, the expectant mom should pass a gynecological examination from time to time. She should keep to a healthy pregnancy diet because the lack of iron and vitamins triggers chronic diseases, including yeast infection while pregnant. It’s also best to use a condom during sexual intercourse. Different medications are a risk, especially antibiotics! Tight underwear made of synthetic fabrics can cause yeast infection while pregnant. And, of course, don’t forget about personal hygiene! Keep the area clean and dry. If you manage to follow these simple rules you’ll hardly ever suffer from yeast infection while pregnant.