As a mother of two, I can soundly say that I’ve experienced nearly every side effect of pregnancy like nausea, headaches, and restless leg syndrome.
One of the most common side effects that a lot of moms-to-be don’t talk about is yeast infections. Though uncomfortable and itchy, the good news is that there are treatments available that will get rid of a yeast infection when a woman is pregnant.
So how do you treat a yeast infection while pregnant? There are over-the-counter options like anti-fungal vaginal creams and suppositories which can be found in pharmacies and grocery stores. Then there are also natural options that can be found in your kitchens such as garlic and yogurt.
Before you take any sort of treatment for a yeast infection, however, it’s critical that you speak with your health care provider first.
Not all treatments, both over-the-counter and natural, are safe to use when you’re expecting.
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Your Yeast Infection Treatment Options
Expecting moms should make every effort to treat their yeast infection before the arrival of their little one.
This is because the infection can be passed to your baby through their mouth during delivery which will then give your baby a painful infection called “thrush“.
Over-the-counter yeast infection treatments can come in the form of a cream, ointment or a suppository (for safety reasons, it’s not recommended to take oral treatments for yeast infections while pregnant).
Your doctor may recommend using a treatment like:
- Miconazole (Monistat 3)
- Clotrimazole (Lotrimin AF, Mycelex)
These products are safe for both mom and baby at any point during the pregnancy.
Be aware that there are some products (such as Diflucan) which should not be taken while pregnant.
Make sure you advise your doctor that you are pregnant or that you might be pregnant.
A lot of moms who have experienced yeast infections while pregnant have tried natural remedies.
Is yogurt good for yeast infection? One of the most common natural remedies for yeast infections is yogurt and probiotics. They are considered “good” bacteria. These will restore the vagina’s population of nice bacteria, like Lactobacillus.
One of the most popular is plain, unsweetened yogurt.
It can be effective because it contains the bacterium Lactobacillus acidophilus which is present in healthy vaginas.
There are a few ways you can apply this treatment, including:
- Applying a dab of yogurt on a tampon and inserting it into the vagina
- Squeezing it into the vaginal canal with a de-needled syringe or clean condiment bottle
- Making yogurt popsicles and inserting it into the vagina
Honey for yeast infection? You can actually mix bee-honey and yogurt, as an alternative to an anti-fungal, to effectively treat your yeast infection, according to a 2012 study.
Garlic for yeast infection? Another common natural treatment that you can find in your pantry is garlic, which is known for its antibiotic qualities. The anti-fungal properties of garlic are believed to help kill yeast infections.
Although there isn’t any study or medical answer to state its a cure, it does improve the condition.
Simply peel the clove, thread it with a string and insert it, taking care to change to a new clove every four to eight hours.
If you’re considering natural treatment options, keep in mind that all because a treatment is “natural” doesn’t necessarily mean it’s safe.
For example, boric acid is purported to be an effective natural treatment, but it shouldn’t be used during pregnancy.
Consult with your physician before starting any kind of treatment plan.
Signs You Have A Yeast Infection
If you’re experiencing one or more of the following symptoms, you may have a yeast infection:
- More discharge than usual
- Discharge that is yellowish, greenish or that may resemble cottage cheese
- Yeast or bread-like smelling discharge
- Redness, irritation or itchiness around the vulva
- A burning sensation while urinating or during intercourse
The only way to confirm that you are experiencing a yeast infection is to pay a visit to your doctor.
There’s a chance that you could have another infection like bacterial vaginosis.
Or have a Sexually Transmitted Disease like:
What Causes Yeast Infections While Pregnant
As if we don’t have enough unwelcome symptoms during pregnancy, pregnant women are particularly prone to yeast infections (especially during the second trimester).
This is because of the many and frequent hormonal changes that occur during pregnancy.
Hormonal changes disrupt the vagina’s delicate pH balance, giving bacteria a better opportunity to become out of control and cause an infection.
Hormonal changes aren’t the only cause behind yeast infections during pregnancy.
Infections can also be caused by:
- Taking antibiotics or steroids
- Taking birth control pills or other hormones
- Having high blood sugar or diabetes
- Having vaginal intercourse
- Semen or blood
How To Prevent Future Yeast Infections
Yeast infection sufferers, rejoice!
There are many things you can do to keep future yeast infection at bay:
- Don’t douche! Not only can douching upset the pH balance in your vagina, but it can also cause your water to break in late pregnancy.
- Wear breathable underwear. You deserve to be comfortable. Choose cotton underwear to keep the vaginal area dry and to allow it to “breathe”.
- Consider taking a probiotic. Ask your doctor if taking a probiotic is safe for you to do during pregnancy.
- Consume less sugar. Sugar helps yeast grow, so consuming less can be a proactive way in keeping a yeast infection at bay.
- Wear loose pants. At this point, almost every pair of pants you own may be feeling a little tight. Try to wear looser pants or choose dresses and skirts instead.
- Change out of wet clothes ASAP. For the same reasons behind wearing cotton underwear, change out of wet swimsuits and workout gear immediately to keep your lady bits dry.
- Don’t use scented products. This goes for bubble bath, feminine sprays, toilet paper, and sanitary pads.
- Get plenty of rest. Having a yeast infection is yet another reason why pregnant mamas deserve more rest and extra naps during the day.
Coconut Oil For Yeast Infection
Coconut oil research has shown that it has anti-fungal properties and can be effective against Candida albicans.
In 2015, this study examined if coconut oil actually would reduce Candida albicans.
Then in 2007, a study done in Nigeria found that coconut oil fought off a range of fungal species.
“Coconut oil should be used in the treatment of fungal infections in view of emerging drug-resistant Candida species.”
So, how do I apply coconut oil to my vagina?
You can simply apply it straight to the affected area on the outside and a bit slightly inside.
You can also apply it to your tampons and inserting it in.
Before using coconut oil vaginally, a woman should check with her doctor.
What kind of coconut oil should I use?
Use the edible, pure and organic type. The list of ingredients should only say:
Pure coconut oil typically won’t have a strong coconut smell.
Tea Tree Oil For Yeast Infection
In one 2003 study, researches found that tea tree oil was an effective treatment for a common yeast infection. They learned that the oil was effective against all strains of the Candida albicans. They also confirmed this with rats. They were cleared after 3 weeks of using the oil.
There were also mixed results with a newer study.
Here the tea tree oil was only effective with:
- certain strains
- different concentrations
- a combination with OTC medications
Of course, it was agreed that more studies on us humans would need to be conducted before it can be totally recommended.
ALWAYS consult your doctor before trying any of these.
You can also use these tea tree oil suppositories.
How do you use tea tree oil on your yeast infection while pregnant?
You would need to use suppositories in order to get the oil inside to treat it.
You can also use a small mold to freeze the oil (or a mixed solution) and insert that way instead.
I found this mixed solution and method over on MotherWise.
- 1 drop of pure tea tree oil
- 3 drops pure lavender oil
- 2 tablespoons of unrefined organic coconut oil
You can either just make small clumps, use a suppository or using an OTC suppository mold.
Of course, put the mixture into the mold then freeze it.
Insert it using your washed hands or using the applicator at the same time each day, probably best at night wearing a panty liner.
Do this once per day, for up to 6 days.
Should be relieved after a day though.
How to clear a yeast infection in one day? You can use the over the counter medication, Monistat 1 to see if this will clear up your yeast infection in one day.
Are yeast infections dangerous during pregnancy? Apart from the risk of your baby catching the yeast infection, some in the medical community are concerned that yeast infections can cause your body’s natural immunity to drop and allow for more serious infections or even cause premature labor.
Are over the counter remedies better than natural remedies? Over the counter, remedies have been shown to treat over 80 percent of vaginal yeast infections. Not many studies have been conducted for natural remedies, though a 2012 study found that probiotics can be very effective.
How long does a yeast infection last? The length of the infection depends on the severity of it and how it’s treated. Mild infections can clear up in three days, while moderate to severe infections can take 10 to 14 days.
Can a yeast infection cause me to test positive for Group B Strep (GBS)? All expecting mothers are tested for GBS around 35 weeks into pregnancy. Yeast is a fungus while GBS is a bacteria. Yeast and GBS involve different organisms so a yeast infection should not affect the results of the test.
When should I contact my doctor? If you suspect you have a yeast infection, call your doctor immediately. If there’s no improvement within three days or if symptoms worsen, contact your doctor to arrange for another appointment.
Can apple cider vinegar cure a yeast infection? It can help with flushing out the bad bacteria. Here you would dilute the apple cider vinegar in a bath with water and lay in it. Do not use this as a douche.