What if I get thrush when I'm pregnant?

What if I get thrush when I'm pregnant?


Pregnant woman 


If you’re pregnant you’re probably getting used to all of the strange changes that are happening to your body, but if you’re feeling an itching, burning sensation in your intimate area the cause could be more than just pregnancy.


You could be dealing with vaginal thrush, which can make your pregnancy a whole lot more uncomfortable than it needs to be.


You don’t have to let thrush ruin what should be one of the most special times of your life, not when we’ve put together this handy guide about thrush during pregnancy.


Just sit back, relax, and read up on what you can do to get rid of that thrush and get back to enjoying your pregnancy.


What causes thrush?


Thrush is a fungal infection, which is also referred to as a yeast infection, and this means it’s caused by a kind of fungus that lives on your skin.


This fungus is called Candida, and it normally lives on the skin of your vagina without causing any problems or infections, kept under control by your body’s natural environment.


However, if the natural balance of your body changes then Candida can thrive, growing and causing thrush.



Why do you get thrush more often during pregnancy?


Thrush is a common yeast infection, but many women find that they suffer with thrush more often or more severely during pregnancy.


This is because when you’re pregnant, your body goes through lots of changes, especially in your reproductive system.


The changes in your hormone levels throughout your pregnancy can mean that your intimate area is thrown out of balance, creating the perfect conditions for Candida to thrive.


This is why many women who have never experienced thrush may find that they struggle with the condition much more often when they’re pregnant.


Are the symptoms of thrush different during pregnancy?


Thrush has some very clear and identifiable symptoms which can be easily identified, and these symptoms remain the same during pregnancy.


Some of the most common symptoms of thrush that you’ll want to look out for include:


  • Itching or irritation in and around the vagina.
  • A white cottage cheese-like discharge, which usually doesn’t smell.
  • Redness in and around the vagina.
  • Feeling sore.
  • Soreness during sex.
  • Stinging or burning sensation when you pee.


If you spot any of these symptoms and think you may have thrush, make an appointment with your doctor or local sexual health clinic to get a check-up.


They’ll be able to confirm whether or not you’re suffering with thrush, and often they’ll be able to tell just by listening to a description of your symptoms.



Which thrush treatments can I use while I’m pregnant?


So, you’ve been diagnosed with thrush. Now what? Well, you’re going to want to look for a treatment that is suitable for use during pregnancy.


You should never take any kind of treatment without speaking to your doctor or a healthcare professional first, especially when you’re pregnant as your medication may not be safe for baby and may not be suitable for the stage of pregnancy that you’re at.


Let’s take a look at which medications your doctor may recommend and which ones you should stay away from when you’re pregnant and suffering with thrush.




Usually, a doctor or pharmacist would recommend that you take an antifungal tablet to treat thrush, but when you’re pregnant these aren’t always suitable.


They are one of the most effective ways to treat thrush, but not all of them are safe to take during pregnancy or when you’re breastfeeding, so don’t take any tablets unless you’ve been specifically told to by your doctor or other healthcare professional.



Although tablets aren’t recommended for those who are pregnant, your doctor might still recommend that you use a pessary.


Pessaries are tablets which are inserted into the vagina, instead of taken orally, and are very effective at combatting thrush.


Many pessaries come with an applicator which can be used to help you to insert the tablet into your vagina, but if you’re pregnant it is recommended that you insert a pessary by hand as this is considered to be safer.


Again, speak to your doctor before using any medication, just to be sure that you’re making the best choice for you and your baby.



Creams are also usually suitable for treating thrush during pregnancy and may also be recommended by your doctor or health care professional.


Cream thrush treatments come in versions that are suitable for both the inside and the outside of the vagina, helping to treat thrush while easing the symptoms of itching and irritation.


You may also want to use an external thrush treatment cream alongside your pessary to ease your symptoms while the treatment gets to work.


Again, this should always be discussed with your doctor first.

Are there any natural remedies for thrush that I can use while I’m pregnant?


The best way to treat a yeast infection is by using the medication recommended by your doctor, however there are a couple of other things you can do to help to keep thrush at bay.


Thrush thrives in warm, moist environments so making sure that your intimate area is properly cared for is important.


Try using water and an emollient (such as E45 cream) in place of soap when washing your vagina, and always make sure to dry the area properly after bathing or showering. Taking showers instead of baths can also help to keep thrush under control.


Always make sure that your underwear is clean and changed every day.Wearing cotton underwear is recommended when you’re battling thrush and you should try to avoid wearing tight underwear or tights until the infection has cleared.


Many people choose to stop having sex when they’re suffering with thrush, as it can be uncomfortable, but if you choose to have sex make sure to wear a condom to stop thrush from spreading to your partner.

Can I get thrush in my mouth when I’m pregnant?


When you think of thrush, you may be most concerned with vaginal thrush, but did you know that you can also get thrush in your mouth?


Oral thrush can also happen more often when you’re pregnant and can be treated just as easily as vaginal thrush.


Some of the most common symptoms of oral thrush include:


  • Redness inside the mouth.
  • White patches in the mouth which may bleed if you try to wipe them away.
  • An unpleasant taste in the mouth, or not tasting things properly.
  • Difficulty eating and drinking.
  • Pain in your mouth, such as a sore tongue or gums.
  • Cracks in the corners of your mouth.


If you notice these symptoms, speak to your doctor straight away. They’ll be able to give you the best advice for how to treat oral thrush during your pregnancy.



If I have thrush when I’m pregnant, will it harm my baby?


You’ll be glad to learn that if you get thrush during pregnancy, your unborn baby will not be harmed in any way.


As long as you follow the instructions given to you by your doctor and only use the medication they recommend, your baby will be safe and sound even when you’re treating thrush.


If you have thrush when you go into labour, your baby may catch thrush during birth, however this is very easily treated and you shouldn’t worry about it.


We’re hoping that we’ve put your mind at ease when it comes to developing thrush during your pregnancy.


It really is nothing to worry about, and as long as you treat it properly and follow your doctor’s recommendations both you and your little one will be fine.



If you still have any questions about thrush or just want to be sure that you’re making the right medical choices for you and your unborn child, why not give our Chemist 4 U pharmacists a call? They’ll be able to put your mind at ease, so you can get back to enjoying your pregnancy.

Laura Henderson - Medical Content Writer
James O'Loan - CEO & Superintendent Pharmacist
James O'Loan , CEO & Superintendent Pharmacist on 22 September 2021
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