Yeast Infection Discharge during Pregnancy
Pregnancy brings many changes to a woman’s body – along with “fun”, new activities such as morning sickness and heartburn, pregnancy can also bring yeast infection pregnancy discharge, also known as vaginitis. It is estimated that 3 out of 4 women experience some type of vaginal infection during pregnancy.
What is a Yeast Infection?
A yeast infection is an overgrowth of a naturally occurring fungus, from the genus Candida, in the vagina that can cause uncomfortable itching and burning. The medical name for a yeast infection is a candidal vulvovaginitis.
Causes of Yeast Infection during Pregnancy
Yeast infections are more common during pregnancy because of hormonal changes taking place in the body. These hormonal changes cause increased levels of glycogen in the vaginal secretions, providing more food for the yeast to feed on. Other growth factors that increase during pregnancy, such as increased blood flow, can also contribute to the overgrowth of the fungus.
Symptoms of a Yeast Infection during Pregnancy
The most common symptoms associated with a yeast infection during pregnancy are:
- Itching, burning, and soreness of the vagina and the surrounding area
- White, thick discharge that may have a cottage cheese-like appearance
- Swelling of the vulva
A woman may also experience painful urination and uncomfortable sexual intercourse.
Treating Yeast Infections during Pregnancy
The most effective way to treat a yeast infection during pregnancy is to use antifungal medications specifically designed for pregnant women. Some of these medications, such as miconazole and clotrimazole, are available over the counter.
Yeast infection medications may not be effective during the first trimester of pregnancy due to the way the body processes these medications during this time. Therefore, it is important that you speak to your doctor to find out the best course of treatment for you.
You can also take measures to prevent a yeast infection from occurring by:
- maintaining proper hygiene
- wearing cotton underwear
- avoiding tight clothing
If you do experience a yeast infection during pregnancy, be sure to talk to your doctor about the best course of treatment. Don’t let your discomfort go untreated – the sooner you start treatment, the sooner you can be sure to relieve the symptoms of yeast infection pregnancy discharge.
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