Vaginal yeast infection during pregnancy

Vaginal yeast infections are a common problem during pregnancy, likely caused by high estrogen levels. Although these infections don't endanger a pregnancy, they can cause unbearable symptoms.

If you are pregnant and have vaginal infection symptoms, don't assume that your symptoms are caused by a harmless yeast infection. Instead, see your doctor to make sure that you don't have some other condition that could endanger your pregnancy. If you have bacterial vaginosis or a sexually transmitted disease (STD), such as gonorrhea or chlamydia, you will need treatment to prevent pregnancy complications.

If you are pregnant, do not use nonprescription yeast infection medicine without first discussing your symptoms with your doctor. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that during pregnancy:1

  • Only vaginal medicines, such as creams or vaginal suppositories, should be used for yeast infection treatment. Oral medicines are not recommended for women who are pregnant.
  • Only certain medicines should be used. Nonprescription medicines include clotrimazole (such as Gyne-Lotrimin), miconazole (such as Monistat), terconazole (such as Terazol), and butoconazole (Femstat).
  • Treatment should be used for 7 days (it can take longer than usual to cure a yeast infection during pregnancy).

In the past, nystatin (such as Mycostatin) was the drug of choice for the first trimester of pregnancy, but now all vaginal medicines are considered safe during pregnancy.

Citations

  1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2006). Vulvovaginal candidiasis section of Sexually transmitted diseases treatment guidelines, 2006. MMWR, 55(RR-11): 54–56.

Last Updated: June 17, 2008

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