General Practice 2022

Candidíase in pregnancy: symptoms, causes and treatment

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Candidíase in pregnancy: symptoms, causes and treatment
Candidíase in pregnancy: symptoms, causes and treatment

Candidiasis in pregnancy is a very common situation among pregnant women, because during this period estrogen levels are higher, favoring the growth of fungi, especially Candida Albicans that naturally inhabits the intimate region of the woman.

Candidiasis in pregnancy does not harm the baby, but if the baby is born by vaginal delivery and, on that day, the woman has candidiasis, the baby may be contaminated and present candidiasis in its first days of life.

If the baby is contaminated, he may present whitish plaques inside the mouth, oral candidiasis, popularly called "thrush" and when breastfeeding he can transmit the fungus again to the mother, who may develop breast candidiasis, ending up for hindering the breastfeeding process.See other symptoms of this infection in the baby and how it is treated.

Main symptoms

Candida in pregnancy can be present without any symptoms, but the most common situation is the appearance of:

  • White discharge, like curdled milk;
  • Intense itching in the vagina;
  • Burning or pain when urinating;
  • Pain during sexual intercourse;
  • Swollen and reddened intimate region.

The obstetrician may suspect candidiasis only by observing the woman's intimate region and by evaluating the symptoms. However, as candidiasis can favor the development of other microorganisms, the doctor may also request a Pap smear to check if there is any other infection developing.

What causes candidiasis and how to avoid it

In most pregnant women, candidiasis arises from the hormonal change that occurs during pregnancy and, therefore, it is not caught by sexual contact with an infected person or by wearing panties.

However, and although it is not possible to control hormones, there are some precautions that can reduce the risk of developing a candidiasis, which include:

  • Wear cotton underwear, to facilitate skin breathing and hinder the growth of fungi;
  • Dry the intimate area well after bathing, to reduce humidity and prevent the growth of fungi;
  • Avoid placing products in the intimate area, such as scented soap or perfumes;
  • Sleep without panties and pants, as it allows the skin to breathe during the night;
  • Avoid douches, as they alter the vaginal flora and facilitate the growth of fungi.

In addition, pregnant women can also bet on increasing foods with Lactobacillus acidophilus, such as yogurts, as they are a type of "good" bacteria, known as probiotics, which help control the growth of fungi in the intimate region..

How the treatment is done

Treatment for candidiasis in pregnancy is usually started with the use of vaginal creams or antifungal ointments prescribed by the obstetrician or gynecologist. Candidiasis that does not generate symptoms also needs to be treated, so that the infection does not pass to the baby during delivery.

Some of the most commonly used remedies for thrush in pregnancy include Nystatin, Butoconazole, Clotrimazole, Miconazole or Terconazole. These medicines should always be advised by a doctor, to ensure that they do not harm the pregnancy.

Typically, ointment remedies for candidiasis should be applied daily to the vagina twice a day for 7 to 10 days.

Take care to speed up the treatment

To complement the treatment indicated by the doctor, it is also recommended:

  • Avoid sweet or high-carb foods;
  • Always wear cotton underwear;
  • Avoid wearing pants that are too tight;
  • Just wash the intimate area with soap and water or chamomile tea;
  • Prefer white, unscented toilet paper;
  • Avoid scented panty liners.

Watch the following video what to eat and how to make an excellent home remedy using plain yogurt:

Natural treatment option for candidiasis

A good natural option to complete the treatment of candidiasis in pregnancy indicated by the doctor, and relieve the itchy symptoms, is to take a sitz bath with 2 liters of warm water and 1 cup of apple cider vinegar. The pregnant woman must keep the intimate region in the mixture for at least 30 minutes and do this once a day, before taking a shower, for example.

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