What is a Yeast Infection During Pregnancy?
Yeast infections (also known as candidiasis) 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. Most yeast infections during pregnancy result from the fungus candida albicans. Two other kinds of yeast that can also cause them are candida glabrata and candida tropicalis.
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.
Symptoms of a Yeast Infection During Pregnancy
You might notice:
Causes of a Yeast Infection During Pregnancy
- Taking antibiotics, which can cause that can change the balance of yeast and bacteria in your vagina.
- Diabetes that isn’t well controlled
- Conditions like HIV or medications, like corticosteroids that make it harder for your immune system to work well.
- If your sexual partner has a yeast infection, it can be passed to you during vaginal sex.
Treating a Yeast Infection During Pregnancy
It's safe to treat a yeast infection with over-the-counter (OTC) vaginal creams or suppositories that contain miconazole or clotrimazole.
Don’t 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.
Preventing a Yeast Infection During Pregnancy:
- Wear cotton underwear and pantyhose with a cotton crotch to keep your vaginal area dry and let it "breathe."
- Always wipe from front to back after you go to the bathroom.
- 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.
- Keep good control of your blood sugar if you have diabetes.
- Eat yogurt with live cultures; some research suggests this can help.