Yeast Infection

Yeast infections are common in women, especially when you're pregnant. Increased estrogen in your pregnant body can throw off the normal balance of yeast and bacteria in your vagina. This may let the yeast overgrow. Yeast infections aren't pleasant, but they won't hurt you or your baby. And they can be safely treated, usually with a topical cream.

Call Doctor If:

  • You think you have a yeast infection. Your doctor should check to make sure. Other types of infection would be treated differently.
  • You have itching, burning, redness, or swelling in the vulva, the area outside your vagina.
  • You have thick, white vaginal discharge that looks like cottage cheese.
  • You want to try a home remedy or over-the-counter medication. Never use an over-the-counter medicine or home remedy during pregnancy without talking with your doctor.

Step-by-Step Care:

To prevent a yeast infection:

  • Wear cotton underwear and pantyhose with a cotton crotch to keep your vaginal area dry and let it "breathe."
  • Don't douche. It can upset the balance in your vagina. In late pregnancy, it may also cause your water to break.
  • Avoid tight pants and pantyhose.
  • Change out of a wet swimsuit or sweats immediately. This keeps the genital area dry.
  • Avoid toilet paper, feminine sprays, bubble bath, and sanitary pads that are scented.
WebMD Medical Reference Reviewed by Traci C. Johnson, MD on June 25, 2018

Sources

SOURCES:

American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists: "FAQ: Gynecological Problems."

Soong, D. Canadian Family Physician, March 2009.

MedicineNet: "Definition of Vaginitis, Yeast."

Department of Health and Human Services Office on Women's Health: "Vaginal Yeast Infections Fact Sheet."

March of Dimes News Moms Need: "Yeast Infections During Pregnancy."

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