Thanks to the surge in hormones that happens during pregnancy, moms-to-be are more susceptible to a host of vaginal infections. Here are the common culprits, along with how they're treated during pregnancy. Your body transforms in many ways when you're pregnant, and an increase in vaginal discharge just happens to be one of those not-so-fun changes.
With so much going on down there already, the last thing you need is an itchy yeast infection when you're expecting. Unfortunately, soaring estrogen levels that come with having a bun in the oven increase your risk of having one, making yeast infections the most common vaginal infection during pregnancy. In fact, nearly 75 percent of all adult women have had at least one yeast infection in their lifetime, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
If you're an adult woman, chances are you've had a yeast infection at some point in your life and know that it's anything but fun. But did you know yeast infections occur more frequently in women who are pregnant? Yeast infections are caused by an overgrowth of a normal fungus.
Vulvovaginal candidiasis, or moniliasis, is a yeast infection of the vulva and vagina. Yeast is a type of fungus. The yeast that most often causes these infections is Candida albicansbut other types of yeast — including Candida glabrata and Candida tropicalis — can also be responsible. About three out of every four women will have at least one yeast infection in their lifetime, according to American Family Physician.
Most women experience occasional bouts of a common yeast infection known as vaginal thrush. It causes itching, irritation and swelling of the vagina and surrounding area, sometimes with a creamy white cottage cheese-like discharge. Vaginal thrush is fairly harmless but it can be uncomfortable and it can keep coming back, which is known as recurrent thrush.
Pregnant women often experience vaginal itching at some point during pregnancy. This is a normal and common occurrence. Many things can cause vaginal itching during pregnancy.
Please sign in or sign up for a March of Dimes account to proceed. Pregnant women are at increased risk for BV because of hormone changes that happen during pregnancy. Hormones are chemicals made by the body.
A: Having had one or more yeast infections should have no impact on your fertility, but you may have trouble getting pregnant while you currently have one. It is possible that the same germ-fighting white blood cells that your immune system sends to help battle the yeast infection may also inadvertently destroy your partner's sperm, which can make getting pregnant more difficult. Most yeast infections are easily treated with over-the-counter medications or the prescription pill Diflucan, and usually clear up in a week or less. But if the infection doesn't go away after you've completed the medication, you should go to see your doctor.
You can safely treat a yeast infection during pregnancy with various over-the-counter antifungal vaginal creams or suppositories. However, it's best to confirm with your health care provider that your symptoms are actually due to a yeast infection before starting treatment. Yeast infections are especially common during pregnancy because hormone changes can disrupt the pH balance of the vagina.