What's the best way to treat a yeast infection during pregnancy?
Answer From Yvonne Butler Tobah, M.D.
You can safely treat a yeast infection during pregnancy with various over-the-counter antifungal vaginal creams or suppositories. However, it's best to confirm with your health care provider that your symptoms are actually due to a yeast infection before starting treatment.
Yeast infections are especially common during pregnancy because hormone changes can disrupt the pH balance of the vagina. Common yeast infection symptoms include vaginal itching and a white, thick discharge that looks like cottage cheese.
Over-the-counter medications for treating yeast infections — available as creams, ointments or suppositories — include:
- Clotrimazole (Mycelex, Lotrimin AF)
- Miconazole (Monistat 3)
These products can be used at any point during pregnancy and don't pose a risk of birth defects or other pregnancy complications. For best results, choose a seven-day formula. Oral medication isn't recommended if you're pregnant.
Some commonly prescribed antifungals — such as fluconazole (Diflucan) — should be avoided, especially during the first trimester. If you see a doctor about your yeast infection and are very early in your pregnancy, make sure to tell the doctor that you think you're pregnant.
Yvonne Butler Tobah, M.D.
Jan. 06, 2021
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- Walls RM, et al., eds. Acute complications of pregnancy. In: Rosen's Emergency Medicine: Concepts and Clinical Practice. 9th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Elsevier; 2018. https://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed Aug. 30, 2018.
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- Butler Tobah YS (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. Sept. 5, 2018.