Why do you get thrush during pregnancy?
Thrush is a common vaginal fungal infection caused by a yeast called Candida albicans. Many of us have the fungus in our system and usually it doesn’t cause any problems. But during pregnancy, conditions inside our bodies change and the different ph balance encourages the yeast to grow, leading to the irritation of thrush.
What are the symptoms of thrush?
Everyone’s symptoms are slightly different but if you notice one or more of these, you may have thrush.
- An itching or burning sensation in or around your vagina.
- General soreness and/or redness.
- Soreness during sex or when you go for a wee.
- A white coloured discharge, thicker than usual. It’s normal to have an increased flow of thin, milky discharge during pregnancy but if you notice it becoming thicker and more like cottage cheese, it may be a symptom of thrush.
Should I call my midwife?
If you think you might have thrush, let your midwife or doctor know as soon as possible so they can prescribe the appropriate treatment.
Tips for treating thrush safely
- Over-the-counter treatments are not advisable during pregnancy, so speak to your midwife before buying anything.
- Use an ice pack or a witch-hazel compress to soothe the area.
- Avoid hot baths. The fungus that causes thrush is likely to grow more in warm conditions.
- Use an unscented body wash or soap.
- Wear cotton underwear and loose clothes to keep the area cool.
- Eating natural yogurt containing live cultures can help.
Thrush and your baby
Although thrush can be very irritating, the good news is that it won’t harm your baby during your pregnancy. However, it can be passed onto your baby during labour, so try and get it treated before you give birth.
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