Yeast (fungal) infection, is a common type of vaginal infection during pregnancy. Learn about the causes, symptoms, treatment and management of yeast infection.
What is a
yeast infection during pregnancy?
Yeast infection during pregnancy, also known as
fungal infection during pregnancy, is a condition when there is growth of fungi
in the vagina of a pregnant woman.
This presence of the fungi causes irritation in the
vaginal region of the pregnant woman and leads to an infection.
What are the causes of a yeast infection during pregnancy?
1. Hormonal Changes
It is normal for hormonal changes to occur during
pregnancy. One of these hormones is known as Estrogen. During pregnancy
Estrogen increases to a higher than normal level.
This increase in the level of the hormone
(Estrogen) results in increased vaginal secretions and increased glycogen in
the vagina of the pregnant woman.
This then facilitates the growth of fungus in the
vaginal region of the pregnant woman. This is one of the biggest reasons that
fungal infections are very commonly observed in pregnant women.
2. Sexual Intercourse
A person who has a yeast infection might transmit
the infection to her partner during sexual intercourse. Transfer of fungus
during sexual intercourse in also a common reason of vaginal yeast infection
Pregnant women suffering from diabetes often have a
very weak immune system. This makes them susceptible to all kinds of infections
including yeast infection.
Douching is a method of cleaning the genital
organs. This is done by using a mixture of water and vinegar. The method is
done to keep the genital organs cleaner than normal, especially during
However, douching may cause a change in the normal
ratio of bacteria already living in the vagina. In some cases, this may trigger
the growth of more bacteria and makes the pregnant woman more sensitive to
other types of microorganisms such as fungi. This can then lead to yeast
(fungal) infections or even other types of infections, in pregnant women.
5. Taking birth control pills
Taking birth control pill is yet another common
reason for yeast infections during pregnancy. Birth control pills disturb the
levels of hormones in the body of a pregnant woman. When the level of hormones
fluctuates in the pregnant woman, it causes an increase in secretions through
the vagina. This in turn leads her to suffer from yeast (fungal) infections.
6. Taking steroids or antibiotics
Research suggests that both, the intake of steroids
and the intake of antibiotics, encourages the growth of fungi within the
vagina. If a woman takes steroids or antibiotics during her pregnancy, she is
more prone to yeast (fungal) infections. The higher the dose of such
medications, the greater is the risk of yeast infection in the pregnant woman.
However, this does not mean that a pregnant woman
is not allowed to take steroids or antibiotics during pregnancy. It depends
upon individual health circumstances of a woman. Consulting your doctor upon
the quantity of intake of such medications is highly is always a good idea.
What are the signs and symptoms of a yeast
infection in a pregnant woman?
Most pregnant women develop a whitish curdy
discharge from vagina during pregnancy. The secretion leads to frequent itching
of the vagina and also causes redness of the vagina.
How do we diagnose a yeast infection in a pregnant
The doctor carries out an examination of the pelvis. The doctor does
this in order to look for symptoms of yeast infections such as redness of
vagina and white-coloured discharge.
2. Swab test
The doctor collects a sample of the white-coloured
discharge from the vagina. The sample of the collected fluid from the vagina is
sent to the laboratory where it is tested for the presence of yeast in the
sample. This is known as the swab test.
The presence of yeast in the laboratory reports of
the swab test confirms the presence of yeast infection in the pregnant woman.
How to prevent a yeast infection during pregnancy?
Regularly cleaning of the genital area, keeping it dry and wearing loose
clothes may prevent it. Decreasing sugar intake and eating a yogurt containing
a type of a bacteria known as Lactobacillus acidophilus, also helps prevent it.
The intake of Lactobacillus acidophilus (from the yogurt) maintains proper
bacterial balance in the gut and the vagina.
How to manage
a yeast infection in a pregnant woman?
If diagnosed properly, yeast infections during pregnancy can be treated
immediately and effectively. Therefore, it is advised you see the doctor as
soon as you observe the signs and symptoms, rather than simply relying on the
use of over-the-counter medications by yourself.
The doctor will prescribe or recommend over-the-counter anti-fungal vaginal
cream or suppository that is safe during pregnancy, usually containing an
anti-fungal agent called clotrimazole since these are more effective than the
creams containing nystatin.
Fungal cream or suppository is to be inserted into your vagina once daily for a
week. It should also be applied to the area outside vagina.
Normally, the treatment provides relief in few
days, if the course of treatment is done consistently
for a week.
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