Thrush in pregnancy

Thrush in pregnancy

You’re more likely to experience thrush in pregnancy as your hormones change causing an imbalance. You should let your midwife know if you’re displaying symptoms.

At a glance

  • Thrush is down to an imbalance in the fungus called candida albicans
  • A common symptom is a thick, creamy discharge

What is thrush?

Vaginal discharge is usually nothing to worry about, and you can expect it to increase during pregnancy due to having more blood flowing to the area as the pregnancy advances. However if the amount of discharge increases or the appearance of the discharge changes you might be experiencing thrush.

Why do I have thrush?

The cause of thrush is down to a fungus called candida albicans that is present in everyone’s body. It’s usually found in the vagina and is will be kept in check by the good bacteria you have ensuring a balance.

Thrush occurs when that balance shifts, creating an imbalance that allows the candida albicans fungus to flourish. You’re more likely to get thrush during your pregnancy as hormonal changes make the vagina rich in glycogen which acts as a food for thrush and helps it thrive.

Although not classed as a sexually transmitted disease (STD), it’s possible to pass on or get thrush from sleeping with someone displaying the symptoms.

What are the symptoms of thrush?

You can expect to have more vaginal discharge during pregnancy but you may have thrush if you display any of the following symptoms:

  • The discharge changes appearance, becoming thick, white and creamy. It may remain fairly odourless or might smell of yeast
  • It’s painful to have sex
  • Stinging or burning sensation when weeing
  • Itching and soreness around your vagina

What should I do if I think I have thrush?

If you’re displaying symptoms of thrush in pregnancy, it’s best to let your midwife know. Your midwife will be able to help with the diagnosis and may take a swap to be sent for further tests.

How is thrush treated?

Thrush in pregnancy will be treated differently to non-pregnant women, and it’s possible that if you have it during your first trimester your doctor might not prescribe any medication until you’re into your second trimester.

The treatment you will receive for thrush in pregnancy is different from the treatment for non-pregnant women and it may not get rid of it for you. The treatment is usually given for longer (around 7 days). Do not take medicines that need to be swallowed to treat thrush if you are pregnant, they can be harmful to your baby.

You can alleviate the symptoms of thrush with the following methods:

  • Avoid over washing the area around your vagina, and try to avoid using soap, instead use a soap substitute
  • Avoid using products that might irritate your skin, and ensure that you’re washing your clothing and underwear in non-biological washing powder

Can thrush harm my baby?

Having thrush during pregnancy will not harm your baby. If you have thrush when your baby is born, your baby may catch it during delivery. This is nothing to worry about and can easily be treated.

At a glance

  • Thrush is down to an imbalance in the fungus called candida albicans
  • A common symptom is a thick, creamy discharge

Pregnancy conditions