Yeast Infection during Pregnancy

Fungi and bacteria present in our body can damage the sensitive parts of a pregnant woman causing yeast infection and diseases often hard to manage. Yeast infection or ‘Candidiasis’ is a type of disease-causing irritation and itchiness in the vagina, especially during the second trimester. Around 75% of women experience it during pregnancy which is often unmanageable causing discomfort.

Is it harmful to the Baby?

It does not harm, but if one is suffering from a yeast infection at the time of labor, a baby may come into contact while passing through the birth canal eventually causing a yeast infection near the mouth known as ‘Thrush.’ The white patches near the mouth and side of the tongue indicate thrush which can be cured by applying an anti-fungal ointment to the affected area of the baby as well as the mother. It can also transmit the infection during breastfeeding.

How long do they last?

It does not last longer than 1-2 weeks in most cases. Consider consulting a doctor if the symptoms stay longer than a couple of weeks before starting the treatment.

Why are they common during Pregnancy?

Due to several changes in the body, one is more susceptible to infections including the increased Estrogen levels promoting the production of the Glycogen in the vagina. It increases the secretions from the vagina boosting the growth of the yeasts. According to the researchers, hormones directly affect the growth of the enzyme which allows the fungi to stick to the wall of the vagina. Obesity, prolonged antibiotic medication, and Gestational Diabetes increase the risk of imbalance between the bacteria-yeast.

Is it an Early sign of Pregnancy?

About 75% of women get it at least once in the life with the possibility of higher risk in the future. It is one of the most common problems women face while pregnant though it is not a sign, unlike other symptoms. It can develop complications if one lacks proper treatment.

Causes

  • High blood sugar
  • Antibiotics
  • Sexual Intercourse
  • Pills for birth control
  • Liquids used for vaginal cleaning
  • High levels of estrogen
  • Semen or blood

Symptoms

  • Burning sensation while urinating
  • Your urine smells bad
  • Pain during intercourse
  • Creamy vaginal discharge (Leukorrhea)
  • Itching or reddening of the vagina involving swelling

Will it affect my Partner?

It does not transfer to your partner, but if they find any redness or itching near their genitals, they should contact the doctor and avoid having intercourse for some time.

Complications

Yeast infection causes no harm to the baby but if it gets severe, it can cause complications including STDs and various other problems to the baby.

Diagnosis

To diagnose a yeast infection, the doctor takes a sample of your vaginal discharge to detect a virus. In cases where the vaginal swab test becomes challenging to examine, it is sent for culture analysis to see the cause behind it.

Home Remedies

  • Apple cider vinegar: Mix a small amount of apple cider vinegar into water and apply it on your vagina leaving it for some minutes. Rinse the area with water after that.
  • Cranberry juice: Drink cranberry juice to avoid these infections while maintaining the Ph balance of the vagina.
  • Coconut oil: It is beneficial for treating fungal infections. Apply some coconut oil in the affected area three times a day for better results.
  • Oregano oil: It kills fungus and pathogens responsible for spreading infections in the sensitive parts.
  • Yogurt: It can help control the growth of yeast. Apply unflavored yogurt on the vagina two times a day to see positive results.
  • Garlic cloves: Place a clove of garlic in your vagina and leave it overnight to get relief from yeast infections.

Treatment

Various Anti-fungal ointments can cure yeast infection. Oral medications are not active and are harmful to your baby. The treatment for yeast infection involves:

  • Killing the fungi causing infections
  • Taking Prebiotics
  • Eating a healthy diet full of leafy vegetables and fruits.

Safe Medical Treatments

The doctor will not prescribe any medication in the first trimester as it might lead to miscarriage and certain birth defects. So one can use the natural treatments and tips to get rid of it soon.

  • Suppositories and Creams: One can use over-the-counter antifungal creams like Clotrimazole (Gyne-Lotrimin, Canesten) and Miconazole (Monistat) after 3-4 months.
  • Over-the-counter Medicines: Most of the oral antifungal medications are not to be used when pregnant as they may increase the risk of birth defects like Autism.

Prevention

  • Always keep the vagina clean
  • Wear loose cotton undergarment to let air flow
  • Avoid using scented soaps or any spray near the genital area as it might cause irritation
  • Make sure to clean your vagina after having an intercourse or any workout
  • Always wipe the vagina from back to front to avoid infections
  • Avoid douching
  • Avoid using scented sanitary pads
  • Do not wear underwear or pajamas at night
  • Eat a well-balanced diet containing leafy vegetables and fruits.

When to call the Doctor?

Keep a check of abnormal symptoms like Cramps in the abdomen, Vaginal spotting or bleeding, Yellowish or Greenish discharge indicating severe complications.

ICD-9 & ICD-10 codes

  • ICD-9 code is 112.1 and 616.1
  • ICD-10 code is B37.3 and N77.1

References

  1. http://americanpregnancy.org/pregnancy-complications/yeast-infections-during-pregnancy/
  2. http://parenting.firstcry.com/articles/yeast-infection-during-pregnancy-everything-that-you-need-to-know/

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