Thrush or candidiasis is a yeast (fungal) infection that is very commonly seen during pregnancy. In fact thrush in pregnancy is more commonly occurring than otherwise. We look at some of the common concerns that women may have relating to thrush during pregnancy.
Why is it easier to catch thrush during pregnancy?
This is because during pregnancy certain vaginal chances occur and there is an abundance of glycogen in the area there that encourages the overgrowth of the bacteria that may already be present there. In a woman’s non-pregnant state the bacteria may exist in the vaginal area but its populations are kept controlled.
If women are prone to thrush even otherwise, they are more likely to get thrush during pregnancy.
Certain personal hygiene items such as douches or detergents, or tight clothing and even certain antibiotics can also cause an imbalance in the vaginal flora, giving rise to symptoms of thrush.
Can thrush in pregnancy be dangerous to the pregnant woman or the baby?
Thrush as a condition is usually easily treatable and apart from certain irritating symptoms is usually not any cause for concern. Though complications can result at times, they are not common.
As for the dangers posed by thrush to the unborn baby, the infection cannot cross the placental barrier and the baby cannot get affected by this.
However if the thrush is still present at the time of delivery, there is a slight chance that the baby could contract it while passing through the birth canal.
However in most cases thrush in a little baby is also nothing to worry about and may be able to be treated easily.
What are the symptoms of thrush during pregnancy?
The common symptoms of thrush such as irritation, itching, soreness or swelling, an inflamed or reddish appearance, and an odorless, cottage cheese like discharge are the commonly noted symptoms of thrush. However certain pregnant women may have no irritation or itchiness and may only experience a discharge.
In fact some women have the kind of discharge that is runny rather than thick and may mistakenly think that their waters had broken. Conversely other women find that there is irritation and itching but no discharge, so the symptoms of thrush during pregnancy may vary.
What are the remedies for thrush in pregnancy?
As in the case of a lot of other medications, regular thrush medications may not be suitable to use during pregnancy. Also what works well otherwise may not work on a persistent case of thrush during pregnancy.
So if thrush like symptoms are seen or suspected, they ought to be reported to the health care practitioner looking after the pregnancy. Certain antifungal medications may be prescribed to be applied to or inserted into the vagina however nothing should be used without the say so of the doctor, particularly oral medicines, even if they are available over the counter.
If you do have thrush in pregnancy, reduce the symptoms by wearing loose, natural clothing, not douching, wiping from front to back (always a good idea), having showers rather than baths (warm and moist environments are very conducive to yeast) and not using strongly perfumed intimate products.