Pregnant women who are aware of the potential issues surrounding yeast infection will be asking themselves these questions: is it safe to take medication for a yeast infection while pregnant, and what are the best methods for preventing or treating a yeast infection during pregnancy? 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 to understand the biology behind yeast infection. What causes it? How does it develop? Once we have this information, we can put together a plan to address the problem.
Background information on Yeast Infection
A yeast infection is caused when the Candida bacteria are able to multiply unchecked. We all have different types of bacteria in our bodies and most of them play an important role in our overall health. The Candida bacteria are normally found on our skin, in the genital area, in the mouth, and in the gastrointestinal tract. However, when these bacteria start to multiply too much, it can lead to a yeast infection.
Everyone has different kinds of bacteria living in their intestines. Some of these bacteria are helpful, while others can make you sick. Candida bacteria help to keep the harmful bacteria in check. But if the Candida get out of balance, they can cause problems.
When the natural balance between different types of organisms is disturbed, the Candida can grow out of control. If this happens, it can transform from a yeast type into a fungal type. The fungal type can breach the walls of our digestive tract and find its way into the blood stream. This allows bacteria, yeast, and partially digested food to invade the body, causing localized and sometimes severe systemic infections.
Conditions that allow Candida Overgrowth
Our internal balance can be disrupted by a number of things, including:
-Certain antibiotics don’t just kill the infection-causing bacteria; they also kill the good bacteria that keep harmful organisms in check. When this happens, Candida can proliferate and cause a whole host of problems.
-High blood sugar levels can be a big problem for people with diabetes. The yeast in their bodies feeds off of sugar, and this can cause the yeast to multiply.
-A lack of key nutrients in our diets can have a similar effect on our bodies as poor sleep does. It can bring about increased blood sugar levels, which allows yeast to multiply, and it can impair our immune system’s ability to fight infection.
-A weakened immune system can make you more susceptible to illness, especially if you’ve been under a lot of stress recently. If you think your immune system might be compromised, there are a few things you can do to try to strengthen it.
-Hormonal changes – such as those that occur during the monthly cycle, due to birth control, or pregnancy – can trigger an overgrowth of Candida.
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 woman’s body goes through a lot of changes during pregnancy. These can include both physiological and hormonal changes, which in turn can make overgrowth of Candida more likely. However, there are ways to help prevent this from happening. For example, eating a healthy diet and maintaining good hygiene habits can go a long way in keeping Candida at bay.
Women aren’t the only ones who experience emotional stress during pregnancy; men can have a difficult time as well. This can cause the immune system to be weaker than normal and therefore less able to counteract infections.
Pregnant women often experience food cravings, which unfortunately tend to be for the types of foods that yeast loves to eat.
Can The Infection Be Passed To The Baby?
Yeast infections unfortunately can be passed to babies either during pregnancy or after they’re born, whether it’s through the birthing process or breastfeeding.
If a woman does not treat her infection early on, the yeast infection could become severe and be difficult to get rid of after the baby is born.
Is Yeast Infection Treatment Recommended During Pregnancy?
Pregnant women are often told to steer clear of conventional antifungal medications and prescription antibiotics. These drugs might have implications for the baby, so it’s best to play it safe. However, there are some natural remedies that are perfectly safe for both mom and baby. Talk to your doctor about which options are best for you.
It’s especially important for pregnant women to find alternative methods of treatment for yeast infections. In fact, all types of yeast infections can be treated safely using holistic techniques that use an all-natural approach to tackle both the symptoms and the root causes. For more information, please visit my website.