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Vaginal yeast infection during pregnancy

It is not uncommon for women to experience far more vaginal discomforts during pregnancy than at any time before or after that. The changes that our bodies go through during development and growth of the foetus and during breastfeeding are mostly governed by hormonal levels, and have an impact on every aspect of our lives.

Nausea, weight gain and forgetfulness are discussed at great length among future mums, but few mention that vaginal yeast infection can be a real problem during pregnancy, impairing the often already shaken love life of the happy parents-to-be. But even though vaginal yeast, or thrush, can be severe, recurring and annoying, it usually carries no risk for either the mother or the baby. If you have a yeast infection when you go into labor there is a chance the baby will contract it and develop an infection in its mouth.

However, if you are pregnant and experience symptoms such as abundant discharge, itching and irritation, you must contact your doctor or midwife, who will examine your case and prescribe the right therapy. You can safely use most common prescription and over-the-counter antimycotic therapies during pregnancy.

What are the symptoms of a vaginal yeast infection?

The symptoms of vaginal thrush are:

  • white thick discharge similar to cottage cheese
  • itching and irritation in the vaginal area
  • redness and burning during urination

Some of these symptoms can appear in other conditions, such as bacterial vaginosis or STDs. Since these conditions can have serious consequences on the mother and baby, it is important that you contact your doctor or midwife to discuss your symptoms.

Recurring vaginal yeast infection during pregnancy

Sometimes, regardless of the therapies prescribed, and due to the changed level of hormones, pregnant women will experience thrush over and over again. Candida albicans, the micro-organism responsible for the majority of cases of thrush can even become resistant to antimycotic therapy.

A prebiotic therapy can offer some support for the vaginal flora, but in most cases can’t deal with the infection on its own. If you find yourself in this situation, the only thing left to do is to relieve the symptoms, until the pregnancy finishes and the hormones are back to “normal”. This can be done by using over-the-counter sprays or gels which cool down the skin and stop the itching and burning sensation. However, every pregnancy is different and you should consult a healthcare professional before deciding to use any product in your intimate area.