What causes thrush during pregnancy?
Thrush, also known under the more medical term candidiasis, occurs frequently during pregnancy, especially in the third trimester. However, this isn’t a reflection on you, your partner or your pregnancy.
In fact, when we are pregnant we are more susceptible to thrush. This is because the hormonal changes which naturally occur during pregnancy, cause a change in the environment of the vaginal flora; the glucose content in the vaginal wall can also increase. This increase provides good conditions for the rapid multiplication of the yeast like fungus which causes thrush. In addition, a weakened immune system also favours the development of vaginal infections.
Symptoms and treating thrush
These symptoms could be a sign of vaginal thrush:
- An itchy vagina / vulva
- Soreness around the entrance to your vagina (vulva)
- Slight swelling of your vaginal lips (labia)
- Cottage cheese-like white discharge
Thrush treatments applied locally, such as Canesten Thrush Combi, may be effective but, if you’re pregnant and think you may be suffering from thrush, it’s always best to talk to your GP or pharmacist first, to make sure you’re using the right treatment and are applying it correctly.
Medicines can affect the unborn baby. Always talk to your doctor or pharmacist before taking any medicine in pregnancy. If you are using the pessary to treat vaginal thrush during pregnancy it is recommended that you insert it with your fingers rather than with the applicator provided.
Don’t worry though, there’s no evidence to suggest that thrush can harm an unborn baby. However, if you have thrush when your baby is born, the baby may catch it during the delivery. This is nothing serious though and it can easily be treated.
How to prevent thrush during pregnancy?
Top tips to help prevent vaginal infections
The following simple everyday habits can help us prevent vaginal infections:
- Always wipe from front to back after going to the toilet
- Change your underwear after swimming or working out
- Wear cotton underwear; it allows the skin to breathe and help avoid the moist, warm conditions which promote the growth of candida
- While you are pregnant, you should not douche the area as it can disturb the natural balance of the intimate area
- Avoid perfumed shower gels or using deodorants in and around the intimate area. Special intimate washes support the maintenance of a healthy vaginal flora
- Avoid very hot baths; take showers instead