Yeast infections are a common type of vaginal infection, and they’re especially common in pregnant women. Elevated estrogen level during pregnancy is believed to increase the risk of yeast infection during pregnancy. Too much estrogen stimulates excess glycogen production in the vagina.
By feeding on the glycogen, the Candida yeasts, which normally live in the vagina, grow at a faster pace. Pregnancy yeast infection occurs when the growth rate of the yeasts is higher than that of the protective bacteria.
Signs of Pregnancy Yeast Infections To Watch For
Vaginal itching is a common symptom of yeast infection. It is usually accompanied by swelling, burning and irritation in the vagina. Inflammation of the vagina following yeast infection causes painful urination. The vaginal discharge of a woman suffering from vaginal yeast infection may look like cottage cheese.
Pregnant women should not ignore these symptoms. Although sometimes these symptoms may come and go, to prevent complications, see your physician as soon as you notice any of the aforementioned symptoms.
How To Deal With Pregnancy Yeast Infection
Yeast infection during pregnancy is usually treated with over-the-counter or prescription antifungal vaginal creams or suppositories. Oral anti-fungal drugs are not recommended for pregnant women.
Mild symptoms generally heal within a day or two, whereas it may take few days to redress the discomfort caused by severe infections. In most cases, a seven-day formula is used for treating the infection.
Home Remedies For Pregnancy Yeast Infection
Despite availability of a wide range of home remedies for treating yeast infections, few studies have explored the efficacy and safety of these therapies during pregnancy. Therefore, seldom recommended for pregnant women suffering from yeast infection.
Applying ice pack to the vulva is the only home remedy recommended for soothing the irritation. You can even apply plain yogurt containing live cultures to the vagina or insert suppositories containing a probiotic substance in the vagina.
Diet For Pregnancy Yeast Infection
Yeast overgrowth in the vagina can be suppressed by consuming yogurt. The live bacteria present in yogurt can correct the microbial balance in the vagina. Yeasts feed on sugar.
Limiting intake of sugar and carbohydrates can slow down yeast growth by reducing their sources of nutrition. The calorie requirement of a woman increases during pregnancy. Therefore, drastically cutting down carbohydrate consumption can be harmful for the health.
Instead of adopting a low carbohydrate diet, a pregnant woman should replace the refined carbohydrates with whole grain products. Some health experts claim that foods containing yeasts might encourage Candida yeast growth in the vagina.
How To Prevent Pregnancy Yeast Infection
As prevention is better than cure, it is advisable to take precautionary measures to minimize the risk of developing yeast infections. Yeasts always thrive in humid environment. Patting the genital area dry each time you wash the area can protect you from yeast infection during pregnancy.
Always wipe the genital area from front to back. Promptly change you wet bathing suit and damp underwear. To enable circulation of air in the genital area, wear only cotton underwear.
Pregnant women should avoid tight pants and pantyhose. Douches, bubble baths and feminine hygiene sprays are not recommended during pregnancy. Do not use scented detergents for washing the underwear.