Many pregnant women who are aware of the potential issues surrounding yeast infection will be asking themselves two questions:
-Are they more likely to become infected during pregnancy?
-Could they pass the infection on to their baby?
To answer these questions we first need some background information and to understand the biological causes of yeast infection.
Background information on Yeast Infection
Yeast infection is triggered when Candida bacteria are able to multiply unchecked. We all have various types of bacteria in our bodies and most of them are needed for all round good health. Candida bacteria are normally found on our skin, particularly in the genital areas, in the mouth and in the gastrointestinal tract.
Candida bacteria keep unhealthy bacteria which can be found in our intestines in check and friendly pro-biotic bacteria keep the Candida themselves in check. This is a somewhat delicate internal equilibrium which can be upset under a number of different circumstances.
When this delicate balance is disturbed the Candia can grow out of control and transform from a yeast type into a fungal type. The fungal type can breach the walls of our digestive tract and find their way into the blood stream. Thus allowing bacteria, yeast and partially digested food to invade the body causing localised and sometimes severe systemic infections.
Conditions that allow Candida Overgrowth
Our delicate internal balance can be disturbed in the following situations:
-The use of certain antibiotics can eradicate the friendly bacteria as well as the infection it was intended to treat. The Candida bacteria can then begin to grow unchecked.
-Increased blood sugar levels due to undiagnosed or poorly controlled diabetes can be a significant issue. The yeast love to feed on sugar and this can unfortunately give them the boost they need to multiply.
-In a similar way, poor diet can bring about increased blood sugar levels which allow the yeast to multiply and a lack of key nutrients can impair our immune system, jeopardising our ability to fight infections.
-An immune system that has been weakened by recent illness or high stress levels can also be a factor.
-Hormonal changes as a result of the monthly cycle or due to birth control or pregnancy can also be a significant factor in triggering Candida overgrowth.
Is Yeast Infection More Likely During Pregnancy?
The straight forward answer is almost certainly yes. In fact, it is estimated that yeast infection is approximately twice as likely during pregnancy.
A womans body goes through a number of changes during pregnancy. These include physiological and hormonal changes which can make overgrowth of Candida more likely.
Many women also experience emotional stress during pregnancy. This can cause the immune system to be weaker than normal and therefore less able to counteract infections.
In addition many pregnant women have food cravings and unfortunately this is often the types of foods that yeast like to feed on.
Can The Infection Be Passed To The Baby?
Unfortunately it is possible for yeast infection to be passed to the baby either during the pregnancy or shortly after the baby is born either through giving birth or breastfeeding.
Also, if the woman did not treat her infection at the earliest opportunity, because of the pregnancy, she could be left with a severe case of yeast infection which is particularly difficult to eradicate once the baby has been born.
Is Yeast Infection Treatment Recommended During Pregnancy?
Most conventional anti-fungal medications and prescription antibiotics are not recommended for pregnant women because of possible implications for the baby.
It therefore becomes far more important for pregnant women to find alternative methods of treatment. In actual fact, all types of yeast infections can be treated safely using holistic techniques which use an all-natural approach to tackle both the symptoms and the root causes. For further information please visit my website.