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How to Treat Yeast Infection During Pregnancy? Remedies for Vaginal Yeast Infection During Pregnancy

how to treat yeast infection during pregnancy

Yeast infection in the vagina is one of the most common gynecological problems that 3 out of 4 women experience at least once in their lifetime. The medical term for it is Vulvovaginal candidiasis, abbreviated as VVC, and the infection is more frequent during pregnancy. It causes extreme irritation and itching and so, getting the right treatment is necessary. How to treat yeast infection during pregnancy to get fast relief? What are the other signs of yeast infection and how can you prevent it? In this article, we will tell you all about Vulvovaginal candidiasis to help you maintain optimal vaginal health.

How to Treat Yeast Infection During Pregnancy

Why Is Vaginal Yeast Infection Common During Pregnancy?

Nearly 40% of pregnant ladies have at least 1 episode of VVC and that makes people question, ‘What’s the connection between pregnancy and yeast infection?’

Research has revealed that during the second trimester of pregnancy, higher levels of estrogen secretion increase a person’s chances of having yeast infection in the vaginal region. Once you conceive, the glycogen content is also high in your vaginal secretions, and this too can disrupt the pH balance in your vagina. When the pH balance is altered, yeast gets a favorable environment to thrive.

That being said, if you think you have yeast infection, there is no reason to panic. There are various over-the-counter treatments for pregnancy-related yeast infection. Now scroll down to have a look at the causes, symptoms, and treatments.

What Causes Yeast Infections?

VVC might occur if there is an increase in the usual number of fungi inhabiting your vagina. These are the common factors accountable for causing yeast infections in women:

  • Diabetes
  • Pregnancy
  • Using corticosteroids and birth control pills (as these exert tremendous pressure on the immune system)
  • Disorders that adversely impact the immune system (HIV, for example)
  • Taking antibiotics that can alter the balance of bacteria and yeast in the vagina
  • Acquiring the yeast infection from your sexual partner

Symptoms of a Yeast Infection

With Vulvovaginal candidiasis, you will have itching in the vulva and vagina. You may notice a white and creamy vaginal discharge as well. This discharge is odorless and looks like cottage cheese. Other symptoms of yeast infection in pregnancy include:

  • Burning sensation when you pee
  • Pain in the vulva or vagina
  • Swelling or redness in the vulva
  • Rash on the vulva and the area surrounding it. The rash can even spread to the thighs and groin.

These yeast infection symptoms can last for some days or a few weeks (depending on the seriousness of the infection and the yeast infection medication for pregnancy you are taking.

Note: If pregnant women who have a weakened immunity, candidiasis may infect the mouth, a condition called thrush.

You should also be mindful of some other infections which have the same symptoms as the ones you notice when you have a yeast infection. These conditions are:

  • An allergic reaction to a specific product you have started using in the vaginal area (It could be anything from the flavor of the condom to the soap you use to keep yourself clean)
  • Bacterial vaginosis
  • STDs (sexually transmitted diseases) like gonorrhea and chlamydia
  • Urinary Tract Infection

Complications Associated with Recurring Yeast Infections

In a non-pregnant person with a strong immunity, yeast infection is not a threat and it won’t cause any serious complications. However, when you are pregnant, anything that affects you can affect the baby in your womb. So, even if the mother is immune to the harmful effects of yeast infection, it can be passed on to the baby at the time of delivery. Most newborns who develop this type of infection have rashes in their diaper area and mouth.

Although rare, sometimes, a yeast infection can end up becoming a matter of concern. As the immune system in babies is not well-developed, the infection can spread to different body parts of the baby and affect heart rhythm and breathing. This affects babies who have other underlying infections. Premature babies too are more at risk of being born with birth defects. Yeast infections can also lead to body-wide infections in the mother if her immune system has been weakened by conditions like HIV.

Hence, instead of taking chances, it is better to consult your healthcare provider to prescribe a vaginal cream that will cure the condition. You can also look for other safe yeast infection remedies for pregnant women.

How to Treat a Yeast Infection?

It is easy to treat vulvovaginal candidiasis with suppository or antifungal creams. The medicine will relieve the symptoms within a week. However, before you begin the treatment, you should see your healthcare provider so that they can confirm yours is a case of yeast infection. Doctors perform a physical exam to learn if the patient has VVC. They collect a sample of the discharge with the help of a cotton swab and diagnose it under the microscope.

A doctor will also suggest the best yeast infection creams during pregnancy that won’t negatively impact your baby. While both topical and oral drugs are available, many women don’t take oral medicines during pregnancy as it increases the chances of miscarriage. So, antifungal creams are the safest options, and the most effective ones are:

  • miconazole (Monistat)
  • clotrimazole (Gyne-Lotrimin)
  • terconazole (Terazol)

Home Remedies for Yeast Infection

If you aren’t a fan of medicated creams, there are some tried-and-tested natural yeast infection solutionsthat you can try:

1. Apple cider vinegar

Using apple cider vinegar for getting relief from yeast infection is a popular home remedy. You can take a bath by pouring half cup of it to a bucket of lukewarm water. Diluting vinegar in lukewarm water is mandatory before it comes in contact with your skin.

2. Probiotic supplements

According to doctors, probiotics for yeast infection can restore the yeast-bacteria balance in your body. So, you can have a probiotic supplement that contains Lactobacillus acidophilus as it will be good for your vaginal flora and digestive system.

3. Tea tree oil

An essential oil, tea tree oil’s antifungal properties are not unknown. A 2016 research has shown that vaginal suppositories that have tea tree oil are effective in treating vaginal infections caused by bacteria or fungi.

4. Coconut oil

A fatty oil sourced from coconuts, coconut oil has antifungal properties. So, you can use it not just on your hair but also on your vagina to bid adieu to itching. However, you must ensure that the oil is organic and pure.

5. Garlic

You can also make some dietary changes for yeast infection and increasing the intake of garlic is one of them. Garlic has many health benefits and you can add it to your regular recipes or enjoy refreshing garlic teas.

Can You Have Sex If You Have Yeast Infection?

Although VVC is not a sexually transmitted disease, oral sex can worsen your condition when you already have vaginal infection. So, it will be better if you do not allow your partner to perform oral sex unless you are completely cured as it might affect them as well.

How to Deal with Recurring Yeast Infections?

If someone has more than four yeast infections during their pregnancy, it is known as recurrent vulvovaginal candidiasis. Then they need to book an appointment with their doctor to find out if there are underlying sicknesses like immune disorders or diabetes.

Preventing Yeast Infections During Pregnancy

To keep VVC and other vaginal infections at bay, you can follow these tips:

  • Keep the genital area as dry as possible.
  • Try to avoid bubble baths, douches, and feminine fragrant sprays.
  • Wear underwear made of soft and breathable fabric (preferably cotton).

The Takeaway

We may conclude by saying that VVC is not uncommon in ladies during childbearing years. So, you must not feel shy telling your spouse or doctor about it. Not receiving treatment will only increase your discomfort. And now you also know how to treat yeast infection during pregnancy. However, it is necessary to understand the disease’s pathology as well as the risks/ safety of drugs you use for treating yeast infection during pregnancy.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. What are the safest treatments for yeast infections during pregnancy?

If you have a yeast infection, you can apply pregnancy-safe antifungal creams twice a day. If you don’t like topical application, you can consume an oral fluconazole only after taking the opinion of your doctor.

Q. How can pregnant women prevent yeast infections?

Yeast infection can be prevented to an extent by maintaining good vaginal hygiene and keeping the vaginal area dry and trimmed.


Vaginal yeast infections during pregnancy – PMC (nih.gov)

Dr. Ritu Agarwal

Dr. Ritu Agarwal is an appreciated IVF expert in Jaipur for IVF therapy, owing to her more than ten years of experience in this field. She is the top IVF specialist in Jaipur who makes every attempt to provide correct counseling and emotional support to patients in order to help them find the ideal solution for becoming parents. She can assist you at our IVF center in Jaipur whether you are younger than 35 with a track record of miscarriages or are over 40 with a low AMH. Contact us to find out how Dr. Ritu can assist you with infertility therapy!