Yeast infection which is also referred to as Vaginal Candidiasis is a type of infection common in women, that affects the vulva and vagina. The yeast that most often causes these infections is Candida albicans, but other types of yeast-including ‘Candida Glabrata’ and ‘Candida tropicalis’ can also be responsible.
According to one study, about 20% of women have candida yeast in their vagina normally. This number rises to 30% during pregnancy. Due to hormonal fluctuations, yeast is more likely to cause infection during pregnancy.
The high estrogen level in your body during pregnancy can throw off the normal balance of yeast and bacteria in your vagina. This can cause yeast to overgrow. Yeast infections are unpleasant, but they will not hurt you or your baby. They can be safely treated, usually with a topical cream.
CAUSES OF YEAST INFECTION
When candidiasis occurs, the normal number of fungi that inhabit the vagina increases enough to cause symptoms. The most common factors that make a woman more likely to get a yeast infection include:
- Pregnancy-During pregnancy, changes in hormone levels change the pH balance of the vagina. This creates an environment that is more conducive to the growth of yeast.
- Conditions like HIV or drugs such as corticosteroids that make your immune system harder to work well
- Taking antibiotics, which can lead to yeast and bacteria that can change the balance of your vagina.
SYMPTOMS OF YEAST INFECTION
With candidiasis, you are likely to get itching in your vagina and vulva. You may also notice white vaginal secretions. This discharge may look similar to cheese and should not have a smell.
Other symptoms includes:
- Burning especially when you urinate
- Redness or Soreness in the vulva
- Thick white vaginal discharge that looks like cottage cheese
- Rashes appear on the vulva and the surrounding skin, sometimes also on the groin and thighs.
PREVENTION OF YEAST INFECTION DURING PREGNANCY
- Wear cotton underwear and pantyhose with cotton crotch to keep your vaginal area dry and let it ” breathe.””
- Avoid tight pants and pantyhose
- Always wipe from front to back after using the toilet
- Avoid scented tissue paper, sanitary pads, feminine sprays, and bubble bath
- Control your blood sugar if diabetic
- keep the vaginal area dry by wearing cotton underwear
- Do not Douche. It can disrupt the balance of your vagina. It can also cause your water to break in late pregnancy.
TREATMENT OF YEAST INFECTION DURING PREGNANCY
It is safe to treat yeast infections with over-the-counter (OTC) vaginal creams or suppositories containing miconazole or clotrimazole. However, during pregnancy, you should see a doctor before starting treatment. They can confirm that you actually have a yeast infection and make sure you get a treatment that is safe to use during pregnancy.
Oral and topical antifungal drugs are used to treat yeast infections in non-pregnant women. However, oral medications may not be safe to use during pregnancy. It may lead to birth defects.
Topical antifungal drugs that are safe to use during pregnancy include:
|clotrimazole (Gyne-Lotrimin)||1% cream, 5 grams (g), once a day for 7 to 14 days|
|miconazole (Monistat)||2% cream, 5 g, once a day for 7 days|
|terconazole (Terazol)||0.4% cream, 5 g, once a day for 7 days|