Yeast Infection During Pregnancy

yeast infection during pregnancyUnderstandably, a yeast infection during pregnancy causes many women concern. But don't worry, it is normal to have a yeast infection in early pregnancy.

In fact, the second trimester is when a yeast infection in pregnancy usually shows up. Of course, it could raise its' ugly head earlier or later. Like most things in life, you just never know.

Some women wonder whether yeast infections are an early sign of pregnancy. While women are more susceptible to infections when pregnant, scores of women whom are not pregnant get yeast infections.

To Learn How to Safely Treat Your Candidiasis During Pregnancy, Click Here

So just because you have an infection, it does not mean you are pregnant.

These infections are caused by the overgrowth of Candida albicans yeast, a yeast or fungi that is often present in the vagina, gut, mouth and skin. Usually the Candida yeast causes absolutely no problem at all, but in some cases it can grow rapidly and cause a yeast infection.

(For more information on yeast infection in general, check out our page on what is yeast infection?).

Why Do Women get Yeast Infections During Pregnancy

During pregnancy, a woman has increased levels of the hormone estrogen, Scientists believe that this affects the vagina in two ways

  • it makes the vagina produce more glycogen, which makes it a more comfortable environment for the yeast, and
  • the estrogen may also cause the yeast to multiply more rapidly and help it stick to the walls of the vagina.

The vagina is a great place for yeast to breed, being warm, dark and moist, but the high levels of estrogen and imbalances in the pregnant woman's body make it an even more comfortable environment.

Another reason why yeast infections are so common in pregnancy is that the woman's immune system is weakened so that her system does not attack the baby in her womb. A weakened immune system allows the yeast to multiply and take hold.

Taking antibiotics can also leave you at an increased risk of developing a yeast infection because the antibiotics also kill the “friendly” bacteria that help to keep yeast under control.

Do not worry about the health of your baby, the yeast infection will not harm your baby. Sometimes a baby can contract oral thrush during labor, if the woman has vaginal thrush, but this is easy to treat. See our page on baby thrush for more information.

Symptoms of a Vaginal Yeast Infection During Pregnancy

Pregnant women should look out for the following signs and symptoms of a vaginal yeast infection:

  • Itching, irritation and even a burning sensation in the vagina and around the clitoris, labia and vulva.
  • Swollen labia – The labia can become swollen and inflamed.
  • Burning or soreness when urinating.
  • Discharge – Increased discharge is common in pregnancy but a curd-like, cottage-cheese type discharge is usually a sign of a yeast infection. The discharge may also smell yeasty.
  • Discomfort during sexual intercourse.

You may not necessarily have all of these symptoms, it depends on the severity of the yeast infection. See our general page of symptoms of a yeast infection for more information.

Treating Yeast Infection During Pregnancy

Don't ignore any sign of a vaginal yeast infection because it will only get worse. You have enough things to worry about during pregnancy without adding that to the list.

Normally a woman with a vaginal yeast infection can just go to the pharmacy or store and get a cream or oral medication. However, in the case of yeast infection during pregnancy you should get medical advice so that any treatment you use is safe for your unborn child and you do not misdiagnose the symptoms.

Oral medication is not usually recommended to treat a yeast infection during pregnancy. Your doctor is more likely to prescribe or recommend an antifungal cream or suppository containing an antifungal agent like clotrimazole.

Usually, you will be instructed to use the treatment at bedtime for around seven days. Make sure that you follow the directions and finish the course to ensure that the yeast infection has been treated effectively.

You may have to use a longer course of treatment than you had with other yeast infections since the shorter courses aren't as effective while you are pregnant.

There is a chance your partner could also have an infection. If this is the case, he should also be treated because otherwise he could reinfect you.

Yeast Infection and Pregnancy: Prevent a Recurring Infection

Here are some tips to help prevent a yeast infection during pregnancy:

  • Wear cotton underwear and avoid pantyhose.
  • Remove underwear at night and wear a nightgown rather than pajamas so that air can circulate around your genitals.
  • Make sure you dry yourself thoroughly after showering or bathing, and remove damp swim wear as soon as possible.
  • Wipe front to back when you go to the toilet.
  • Avoid perfumed soaps, shower gel and bubble bath.
  • Avoid douching.
  • Eat “live” yogurt containing lactobacillus acidophilus.

Once you get rid of the candidiasis, a starch-free drying powder or Nystatin powder may be used to help prevent another infection.


These measures should help reduce your risk of irritating yeast infections during pregnancy.

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