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 include:
- Miconazole (Monistat)
- Clotrimazole (Gyne-Lotrimin)
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. Home remedies or natural treatments generally aren't recommended.
Some commonly prescribed antifungals (such as fluconazole) 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.
Oct. 29, 2015
Yvonne Butler Tobah, M.D.
See more Expert Answers
- Aguin T, et al. Vulvovaginal candidiasis in pregnancy. Current Infectious Disease Reports. 2015;17:462.
- Sobel JD. Candida vulvovaginitis. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Aug. 27, 2015.
- Frequently asked questions. Gynecologic problems FAQ028. Vaginitis. American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. http://www.acog.org/~/media/For%20Patients/faq028.pdf?dmc=1&ts=20121016T1200181031. Accessed Aug. 27, 2015.
- Diseases characterized by vaginal discharge. Sexually transmitted diseases treatment guidelines, 2015. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. http://www.cdc.gov/std/tg2015/candidiasis.htm. Accessed Aug. 27, 2015.
- Lentz GM, et al. Infections of the Lower and Upper Genital Tracts: Vulva, Vagina, Cervix, Toxic Shock Syndrome, Endometritis, and Salpingitis. In: Comprehensive Gynecology. 6th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Mosby Elsevier; 2012. http://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed Sept. 29, 2015.
- Butler Tobah YS (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. Sept. 17, 2015.
- Pilmis B, et al. Antifungal drugs in pregnancy: an updated review. Journal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy. 2015;70:14.
- Rohren CH (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. Sept. 2, 2015.