Pregnancy, hormones and yeast infections go hand in hand

I was so excited when I found out I was pregnant! I had prepared myself for some of the types of changes that my body would go through in the months ahead—from constipation, nausea, hunger and of course, weight gain. But what I wasn’t prepared for was getting a vaginal yeast infection within the first few months of my pregnancy. My doctor told me that it may have been triggered by my hormones, since, during pregnancy, hormones are raging, and when they do, they provide additional “food” for yeast to overgrow. 

Vaginal yeast infections are common. They’re caused by an overgrowth of yeast (Candida) that normally live in the vagina. Women who are pregnant may be more likely to get a vaginal yeast infection due to the increase in hormone levels. While a yeast infection usually poses no major negative effect on pregnancy, symptoms can cause a great deal of discomfort if not treated quickly. If you are pregnant and think you have a vaginal yeast infection, you should talk to your doctor first before selecting a treatment. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends only 7-day topical medication with a class of antifungal drugs called “azoles” in pregnant women*.

* If you are pregnant, or think you may be pregnant, speak to your doctor before using any products to treat your symptoms. 

How to help prevent yeast infections 

While you can’t always control hormonal changes, particularly during pregnancy, there are some everyday choices that can help you prevent a yeast infection: 

  • Avoid scented hygiene products like bubble bath, sprays, pads, and tampons
  • Avoid tight underwear or clothes made of synthetic fibers
  • Wear cotton underwear and pantyhose with a cotton crotch
  • Change out of wet swimsuits and exercise clothes as soon as you can
  • If you keep getting yeast infections, be sure and talk with your doctor

How to treat a yeast infection during pregnancy 

Low Dose MONISTAT® 7 is the original prescription formula, with smaller doses of the active ingredient evenly distributed throughout the week at bedtime. Only 7-day topical yeast infection treatments are recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for the treatment of yeast infections in pregnant and diabetic women (consult your healthcare professional).

Questions to ask your doctor

Take this list of questions about yeast infections with you the next time you visit your doctor.