A vaginal yeast infection is an infection caused by the overgrowth of a yeast fungus. They are mostly caused by the fungus Candida Albicans. Up to 75 percent of women will suffer from a yeast infection at least once during their lives. Some women have recurring infections, several times a year.
A yeast infection causes itching, burning and redness just outside the vaginal area, called the vulva. Urination and intercourse may cause pain and discomfort. During pregnancy, yeast infections can become a lot more frequent. For the most part, yeast infections are not dangerous, even when pregnant. They are simply uncomfortable. It has been reported that women with yeast infections during delivery can pass the infection to the baby. If is treated with an anti-fungal medication.
Fluconazole Linked to an Increase in Miscarriage
A recent Danish study linked the use of Fluconazole, and anti-fungal drug used for vaginal yeast infections to a slightly higher risk of miscarriage. This is a significant finding, as yeast infections are quick common in women during pregnancy. The study showed that women treated with the drug, experience miscarriage more often than women not treated with it. Of 3,300 women who took the oral medication, between the 7th and 22nd 147 miscarried. This is compared to 13,000 who did not take the drug, having 563 miscarriages.
The study, however, did not directly connect the use of the drug to the miscarriages. Since it is the only drug specifically used to treat vaginal yeast infections, doctors are recommending caution in prescribing the drug to pregnant women.
Natural Cures for Vaginal Yeast Infection
• Boric Acid Suppositories – Boric acid suppositories have been studied as a treatment for vaginal yeast infection. The published information on its safety is limited, however, a recent Hungarian study found little association between using boric acid suppositories and problems during pregnancy. When used in this manner, there is little absorption into the body. The typical dose is 600 mg intravaginally for 14 consecutive nights. The boric acid basically kills the fungus which has been causing the problem. (Boric acid kills roaches, so why not yeast infection?)
• Tea Tree Oil – is available in most health food stores. In Italy, it is reported that women regularly use this a natural cure for yeast infections. You simply put some KY jelly or olive oil on the end of a tampon, then put a few drops of tea tree oil on it and insert it. The olive oil or KY jelly prevents the tea tree oil from being absorbed into the tampon. It is not believed to be harmful to pregnant women, however, it is not recommended for women going into childbirth because it may reduce the strength of contractions.
• Probiotics – The use of probiotics in treating vaginal yeast infections in pregnant women showed basically no harmful effects on the mothers or the babies. It can be used from the 1st trimester through to birth. In some studies, it actually showed that it helped prevent overgrowth of the fetus during pregnancy.
• Garlic – Garlic kills the yeast. For a simple and easy way to get rid of a yeast infection, pull all the paper outside of a clove of garlic off, exposing just the main part. Cut the clove in half. Sew a string through the clove and insert it just inside the vagina. It is best to do this at bedtime. Leave it in all night. In the morning, remove it and flush it. Do this for two or three nights, until the itching is gone. Do this as soon as you feel like a yeast infection is coming on. With pregnant women, this can be fairly often. There are no known harmful effects on the mother or child with this technique, except that you will smell the garlic all night. Most women claim that as soon as the insert the garlic, they can smell it. In the morning, use a good mouth wash.
These are just a few ideas of how pregnant women can treat yeast infections naturally, without having to take drugs. As mentioned, drugs can have harmful side effects and when you are in the family way, you should avoid drugs of any kind.