Facts about thrush during pregnancy

Common among women, vaginal yeast infection – known as thrush – is mainly caused by the Candida fungus and affects 3 out of 4 women at least once during their lifetime. Often triggered due to consumption of antibiotics or wearing tight clothing and underwear, pregnant women can get thrush because of the rapid changes affecting their bodies. Hormonal imbalances, and especially the high level of oestrogen, increases the likelihood of developing vaginal thrush.

If you develop thrush during pregnancy or whilst trying for a baby, you should not worry. Here are some facts about thrush in pregnancy that every soon-to-be mother should know:

  • Thrush will not prevent you from getting pregnant

  • Thrush is not known to harm your unborn baby

  • In only around 2% of cases is thrush passed on to a baby during delivery

How to avoid and treat thrush during pregnancy

There are a number of precautionary steps every pregnant woman can take to lower the risk of developing thrush while pregnant. They are easy, practical and effective in preventing a vaginal yeast infection.

However, if you still develop a yeast infection, first see your GP before undertaking any yeast infection treatments. Thrush treatments often include recommending an anti-fungal vaginal pessary or cream. Medicines can affect the unborn baby. Always talk to your doctor or pharmacist before taking any medicine in pregnancy.  It is important to know that oral capsule containing fluconazole should not be taken during pregnancy for treating thrush.

Here are some tips to help you avoid thrush:

  • Wear breathable cotton underwear that is not too tight

  • Ensure proper hygiene but avoid bubble baths, using soaps or any personal care products made with harsh chemicals around your vagina

  • Do not douche as it might increase the risk of vaginal irritation and disrupt the vaginal pH balance

  • Change underwear daily and wash it in hot water

  • Wipe from the front to the back ­to stop the bacteria from being transported to your vagina