Due to hormonal imbalance, a pregnant woman’s body tends to get infections easily. Yeast infections (vaginal infections) are common among pregnant women. These infections are also known as monilial vaginitis or vaginal candidiasis.
The Candida albicans fungus is responsible for attacking the unbalanced areas of the body, causing infection. Presence of yeast in the vagina and intestines is normal. The problem arises when they multiply and grow fast enough to overpower other microorganisms.
During pregnancy women generate higher levels of estrogen which produces glycogen, resulting in yeast being able to grow with ease. Sometimes yeast infection can be caused by a prolonged use of antibiotics because they not only kill the yeast, they also target protective bacteria in the vagina.
Symptoms of yeast infection
Sometimes yeast infection comes and goes on its own but it is important to get it checked by a doctor immediately. It may cause itchiness, soreness, swelling of the labia, a burning sensation and redness in the vagina. It may result in an odorless, creamy, white discharge from the vagina. It may cause pain and discomfort while urinating or having sexual intercourse.
A yeast infection, however, does not affect the baby. If a woman has a yeast infection while she has her labor, her baby might be born with infection in his or her mouth, a condition called thrush. This is not a serious problem and can be cured easily.
Cure and prevention
If you have a yeast infection it is advisable to consult a health practitioner. Since the antibiotics and other oral drugs can be harmful to the child, it is vital that you do not consume them without a prescription. It is unsafe to take any over-the-counter medicine, especially during the first trimester.
Use of natural ingredients and other measures is highly recommended. Consumption of a natural probiotic can help restore the balance of good bacteria, reducing the risk of an explosion of the Candida organism.
Keeping the genital area dry and clean is very important. Yeast thrives in a warm and damp environment. Wear cotton underwear which is breathable and non-itchy. Avoid wearing thongs, pantyhose or synthetic, tight trousers.
Dry yourself and change your underwear immediately after swimming and exercising to clean away the sweat. Avoid the use of scented soaps, bubble bath and feminine hygiene sprays. Wash your genitals with warm water and clean from front to back.
Sleeping without underwear provides air to your genitals and keeps them infection-free. Tea tree oil contains anti-fungal properties and can be used to stop the growth of the Candida fungus.