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Pregnancy & Yeast Infections

Yeast Infections and Pregnancy

Overview

A yeast infection is a condition that occurs often in women, and even more often in women who are pregnant. Yeast infections, which are also referred to as vaginal candidiasis or monilial vaginitis, are the result of microorganisms known as Candida. The particular kind of Candida that causes most yeast infections is Candida albicans.

Yeast is a naturally occurring microorganism in the vagina and the digestive system. It is entirely harmless unless it begins to grow out of control to the point where the good bacteria cannot fight it.

Because of the increased estrogen levels in pregnant women, the vagina creates extra sugar, which is what the yeast likes to eat. In addition, estrogen could possible directly lead the yeast to grow more quickly and attach itself more easily to the vaginal walls.

If you are taking a course of antibiotics, you are more susceptible to getting a yeast infection. This is due to the fact that antibiotics kill both the good and bad bacteria, leaving the yeast to grow unchecked.

Symptoms

There are several bothersome symptoms of yeast infections that will usually remain until they get treated. Occasionally, the symptoms can disappear without intervention, but it is better to get treatment. Some of the symptoms are:

1. Pain, burning, itchiness, and redness in and around the vagina

2. Pain when you have sex

3. Pain when you urinate

Treatments

In the case that you are experiencing the symptoms of a yeast infection, you should consult your physician. A test will be performed on your discharge to ensure that you do indeed have a yeast infection and not something else.

Even though you can get one of a variety of non-prescription medications to treat a yeast infection, it is still better to see a doctor first. You might be dealing with another condition instead of a yeast infection, which would only get worse if it’s not treated correctly. Many women who attempt to treat themselves for what they believe is a yeast infection make a misdiagnosis, which causes the real condition to go untreated for a longer period of time.

If you are diagnosed with a yeast infection by a doctor, you will get a prescription for an anti-fungal cream or you will be directed to a non-prescription remedy such as a vaginal suppository or cream that you can use without concern while you are pregnant. You should never take an oral anti-fungal medication while you are pregnant.

The majority of yeast infections will respond positively to an anti-fungal cream or suppository, but the medications containing clotrimazole appear to work better than others.

The cream or suppository will need to be used for a full seven days. It is best to insert the medication when you are getting ready for bed so it will stay inside. You might also want to rub a bit of the cream to your labia as well.

You might find that your symptoms do not go away for a few days. To alleviate your discomfort, you can use an ice pack or take a short bath in cool water.

In the case that the medication your doctor has prescribed does not work, you need to tell him or her right away. It is possible you will need another kind of medication. You should always take all of your medication to ensure the infection has completely been resolved.

Impact on the Infant

A yeast infection is not going to harm your fetus in any way. If the infection is still present when you give birth, however, your baby might also get a yeast infection when he or she comes through your vagina. He or she could get what is known as thrush, a yeast infection of the mouth.

Thrush is presented by white spots in the mouth and on the tongue. It is not a severe condition and it can be treated quickly and easily.

Prevention

You can lower your chances of getting a yeast infection by making sure your vaginal area remains dry and clean. This is because yeast grows best in an environment that is damp and warm. Here are some other tips:

1. Wear cotton underwear that allows the air to move freely in the area. Do not wear tight clothes or underwear made of synthetic materials.

2. Do not sit around in a wet swim suit. If you sweat when you work out, change your underwear after you are done.

3. Do not wear underwear when you sleep so your vaginal region can remain dry.

4. Do not take bubble baths, use soap that has a fragrance, laundry soap that has a fragrance, or feminine sprays. These may or may not cause yeast infections, but they can irritate the region, which makes the conditions more favorable for one to develop.

5. Use warm water to rinse your vaginal region. Do not douche, especially if you are pregnant.

6. When you wipe after going to the bathroom, do so in a front-to-back motion.

7. Consume yogurt that has live cultures of Lactobacillus acidophilus. This can restore and maintain the correct balance in both your digestive system and your vagina. This may or may not prevent yeast infections, but a lot of women believe it does. No matter what, though, eating yogurt is healthy.