Thrush and pregnancy I Canesten
Happy young pregnant woman wearing yellow jumper and pointing to her tummy

All you need to know about thrush and pregnancy

Learn everything you need to know about having thrush while pregnant. See how to avoid and prevent developing a vaginal yeast infection.

Facts about thrush and pregnancy

Common among women, vaginal yeast infection ¬– known as thrush – is mainly caused by the Candida fungus and affects 3 out of 4 women during their lifetime.1 Often developed as a result of taking medication or overly tight clothes and underwear, pregnant women can get thrush because of the rapid changes affecting their bodies. Hormonal imbalances, and especially the high level of estrogen, increase the likelihood of developing vaginal thrush.2

If you develop thrush during pregnancy or whilst trying for a baby, you should not worry. Here are some facts about thrush that every soon-to-become mother should know:

  • Although it may cause discomfort or pain during sex, thrush will not prevent you from getting pregnant

  • Thrush is not known to harm your unborn baby

  • In only around 2% of cases is thrush passed on to a baby during delivery

  • If passed on during delivery, thrush in babies is usually harmless, easy to stop and treat3

Avoiding and treating thrush during pregnancy

There is a number of precautionary steps every pregnant woman can take to lower the risk of developing thrush while pregnant. They are easy, practical and effective in preventing a vaginal yeast infection. Proper hygiene, breathable cotton underwear, and regular check-ups with your GP are some of the things that help lower the risk of thrush.

However, if you have still developed a yeast infection, first see your GP before undertaking any treatment. Thrush treatments often include recommending an anti-thrush vaginal pessary or cream. Important to know that oral capsule containing fluconazole should not be taken during pregnancy for treating thrush. Read the package insert prior to use.

Given that prevention is better than cure, here are some tips to help you avoid thrush:

  • Wear breathable cotton underwear that is not too tight

  • Ensure proper hygiene but avoid bubble baths, using soaps or any personal care products made with harsh chemicals around your vagina

  • Do not douche as it might increase the risk of vaginal irritation and disrupt the vaginal pH balance

  • Change underwear daily and wash it in hot water

  • Wipe from the front to the back to stop the bacteria from being transported to your vagina4

     

References:

  1. Summary, in: Per-Anders Mardh, Acacio G Rodrigues et al.: Facts and myths on recurrent vulvovaginal candidosis, in: International Journal of STD & AIDS 2002; 13: 522± 539
  2. During pregnancy and What can I do to prevent vaginal thrush?, in: https://www.pregnancybirthbaby.org.au/vaginal-thrush-during-pregnancy
  3. What is thrush; Will having thrush when I’m pregnant affect my baby?; What if I have thrush while I’m giving birth?, in: https://www.zavamed.com/uk/thrush-in-pregnancy.html
  4. Can you treat thrush during pregnancy? and How can you avoid thrush during pregnancy?, in: https://www.zavamed.com/uk/thrush-in-pregnancy.html