Yeast Infection Symptoms and Pregnancy: What You Need to Know

Since yeast infections are caused by imbalances between the body’s natural acidity and microorganisms (yeast, or candida) that occur naturally in the body, it should come as no surprise that with all the hormonal changes of pregnancy, yeast infection symptoms can become annoyingly common, especially in the second trimester of pregnancy. As your body goes through the dramatic biochemical changes associated with pregnancy, often your level of acidity (your pH level) gets out of whack, which allows more prolific growth of yeast cells, usually resulting in yeast infection symptoms, more common during pregnancy. What yeast infection signs and symptoms should you watch for, and what should you do if you suspect you have a yeast infection?

Yeast Infection Symptoms

Often, one of the first yeast infection symptoms women will note is a whitish, odd-smelling discharge. Sometimes, it can have a greenish or yellowish tinge, and it often smells like bread. The discharge may have a consistency similar to cottage cheese. The most annoying yeast infection symptom, during pregnancy or otherwise, is, of course, the itching and irritation of the infected tissues. Since yeast grows best in dark, moist areas, the vagina and surrounding areas are most often affected. You may notice reddening and a burning sensation during urination or vaginal intercourse. No fun.

What You Should Do

The safest course of action, if you are pregnant and experiencing yeast infection symptoms or suspect you have a yeast infection, is to see your doctor. Although there are now oral, systemic treatments for yeast infection and its symptoms, pregnancy complicates things. Systemic treatments have not been proven safe for the baby, either during pregnancy or while breastfeeding. For that reason, your doctor will likely prescribe an antifungal ointment or cream for topical application to the affected area. You will apply a small amount of the ointment directly to the affected area. Usually, yeast infection symptoms will go away after a few days. If symptoms persist, or if you have increased irritation from using the medication, discontinue and notify your doctor.

Over the Counter?

For a number of years, yeast infection medications have been approved for sale without a doctor’s prescription. So, even if you are pregnant and yeast infection symptoms are making you miserable, you can go to your local pharmacy or other source and obtain antifungal creams and ointments without a prescription. However, if your symptoms persist or worsen, after about seven days, you should go see your doctor.