Vaginal yeast infection during pregnancy is a very common situation among pregnant women, because during this period estrogen levels are higher, favoring the growth of fungi, especially Candida Albicans that lives naturally in a woman's intimate region.
This type of infection during pregnancy may not harm the baby, but if the baby is born through a normal delivery and the mother has candidiasis, the baby can be infected and present candidiasis in the first days of life.
If the baby is infected, he may have whitish plaques inside the mouth, oral candidiasis, popularly called "thrush" and when suckling, it can transmit the fungus again to the mother, who may develop breast candidiasis, making it difficult to breastfeed.
Candidiasis in pregnancy may be present without you experiencing any symptoms, but it is common for the following symptoms to appear:
- White discharge, like milk curd;
- Intense vaginal itching;
- Burning or pain while urinating;
- Pain during sexual intercourse;
- Swollen inner region, that can also become reddish.
The obstetrician may suspect candidiasis only by observing the woman's intimate region and by assessing the symptoms. However, since candidiasis may favor the development of other microorganisms, the doctor may also order a pap smear to check for any other infections that can be developing.
How can you catch a vaginal yeast infection
In most pregnant women, candidiasis arises due to hormonal changes that can occur during pregnancy and, therefore, does not get caught by sexual contact with someone infected or by the use of panties. However, while it is not possible to control hormones, there are some precautions that may reduce the risk of developing a vaginal yeast infection, which include:
- Wear cotton underwear, to facilitate skin breathing and to hinder the growth of fungi;
- Dry the intimate area well after your bath, to reduce humidity and prevent fungus growth;
- Avoid placing products in the intimate region, such as perfumed soap or perfumes;
- Sleep without panties and without pants as it allows the skin to breathe at night;
- Avoid making intimate showers, as they alter the vaginal flora and facilitate the growth of fungi.
In addition, pregnant woman can bet on increasing foods with Lactobacillus acidophilus, such as yogurts, as they are a type of "good" bacteria, known as probiotics, that may help control the growth of fungi in the vagina.
How is treatment done
Treatment for candidiasis during pregnancy is usually initiated with the use of vaginal cream or antifungal ointments prescribed by an obstetrician or gynecologist. Candidiasis that does not produce symptoms also needs to be treated because the infection does not pass to the baby during childbirth.
Some of the most commonly used medication for candidiasis in pregnancy include Nystatin, Butoconazole, Clotrimazole, Miconazole or Terconazole. These medications should always be recommended by a doctor, to ensure that they do not harm your pregnancy.
Typically, ointment medication for candidiasis should be applied 2 times a day into the vagina for 7 to 10 days.
Cautions to speed up treatment
To complement the treatment indicated by your doctor it is recommended you:
- Avoid sweet or high carbohydrate foods;
- Always wear cotton panties;
- Avoid wearing tight pants;
- Only wash the intimate area with water and proper soap or chamomile tea;
- Prefer unscented white toilet paper;
- Avoid scented panties.
Natural treatment options for candidiasis
A good natural option to complete the treatment of candidiasis in pregnancy prescribed by your doctor, and relieving the symptoms of itching is to do a sitting bath with 2 liters of warm water and 1 cup of apple cider vinegar. Pregnant women should keep the intimate region within the mixture for at least 30 minutes and do this once a day, before taking a shower, for example.