Yeast Infections in Pregnancy

Yeast infections are a common discomfort during pregnancy. For some women, they occur more frequently during pregnancy than at any other time. The exact reasons for this are unclear. One theory is that the changing hormone levels create an atmosphere more favorable to the growth of yeast. Another theory is that the immune system decreases, allowing for the overgrowth of yeast.

The symptoms of a yeast infection include: itching, burning and redness. You may notice a thick, white discharge. In some cases, swelling can result from a yeast infection. You may experience pain during intercourse or a burning sensation when you urinate.

If you suspect a yeast infection, see your doctor or midwife. Don’t attempt to diagnose it yourself. Even if you’ve had yeast infections in the past, let your doctor make the diagnosis. Certain vaginal infections can have symptoms similar to yeast. You want to be sure you are treating the condition correctly to avoid potential problems.

In most cases, the doctor will advise you to use an over the counter remedy to treat the infection. Most brands are considered safe during pregnancy, but let your doctor or midwife make that determination. Be sure to complete the entire course of treatment. You may start to feel better in a day or two, but you should still finish the entire package. If you stop too soon, the infection may return.

Most doctors will not want to prescribe an oral yeast infection remedy, such as Diflucan. While this is considered perfectly safe when you aren’t pregnant, the effects on a fetus are not known. There haven’t been enough studies done to ensure the safety of these drugs. For this reason, most doctors don’t feel comfortable recommending them.

There are some things you can do to reduce the risk of a yeast infection:

* Wear cotton underwear

* Don’t wear underwear that is too tight. If your underwear is getting tight, buy some larger cotton bikinis or invest in maternity underwear.

* Go without underwear at night to allow the area to breathe.

* Eating yogurt can help keep the balance of good bacteria

* Use only unscented soaps and detergents. Scented brands contain perfumes which can be irritating.