Vaginal yeast infections during pregnancy are very common. Estrogen levels in the body increase during pregnancy, which results in increased vaginal secretions. The vaginal area remains warm and damp because of these secretions, which promotes the growth of yeast. This leads to severe vaginal itching, pain, and irritation. The infection may also cause certain diseases in the bladder; hence early diagnosis and treatment is very important.
Symptoms of this infection can be extremely profuse, especially during pregnancy. Some common symptoms include:
- Odorless, white, or yellowish discharge
- Itching and burning sensation in the genital area
- Pain during sexual intercourse
- Pain in the lower abdomen
- Problems during urination (such as burning sensation and irritation)
Treatment usually includes several over-the-counter antifungal medications. Women are usually advised some vaginal creams or antifungal capsules. Medicines such as miconazole (Monistat), butoconazole (Femstat), clotrimazole (Gyne Lotrimin), and terconazole (Terazol) are used to treat this infection; however, it is advisable to take medication after proper consultation with your physician. Pregnant women should avoid taking Diflucan, as it can be harmful for both the mother and the baby. Starch-free drying powder like Nystatin also helps to minimize the irritation. Pregnant women must choose a safe medication, as some medicines can cause certain harmful side-effects.
There are some simple tips which can prevent the development of the infection.
- Pregnant women should maintain a healthy diet to prevent any infection. Foods rich in Acidophilus bacteria, like yogurt, help to maintain the natural flora of the vagina, and prevents the development of yeast infection.
- Limit the intake of sugar, and avoid eating foods that will enhance the growth of yeast, e.g., bread.
- Avoid wearing body-fitted or synthetic dresses. Use cotton undergarments.
- Do not wear wet clothes or a wet swimsuit for a prolonged period.
- Use mild soaps and perfumes during pregnancy, because harsh products can increase the irritation in the genital area.
- Keep the genital area uncovered for some time during the day.
Post-pregnancy Yeast Infection
Thrush is a yeast infection caused by a fungus Candida. This infection is common in newborns and develops in the first few weeks after birth. Yeast infection in infants cause white patches in the mouth and on the tongue. The infection can also spread to the nipples of the mother, causing pain and irritation, which creates a problem in breastfeeding. Though, it is not a serious condition, it needs immediate treatment for the overall health of the mother and the baby.
Several other factors like hormone replacement therapy, broad-spectrum antibiotic therapy, increase in the estrogen levels, and a few medications accentuate the risk of yeast infection. The time required for complete recovery can vary from ten to fourteen days. Women with such an infection should avoid food and medication which can accelerate the growth of yeast cells. A salubrious lifestyle with a well-balanced diet, low stress level, and enough sleep helps in preventing this infection.
Early treatment will minimize the possible physical and psychological problems associated with this infection.
Disclaimer: This HerHaleness article is for informative purposes only, and should not be used as a replacement for expert medical advice.