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)
  • Terconazole

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.

With

Yvonne Butler Tobah, M.D.

Get the latest health information from Mayo Clinic’s experts.

Sign up for free, and stay up to date on research advancements, health tips and current health topics, like COVID-19, plus expertise on managing health.

To provide you with the most relevant and helpful information, and understand which information is beneficial, we may combine your email and website usage information with other information we have about you. If you are a Mayo Clinic patient, this could include protected health information. If we combine this information with your protected health information, we will treat all of that information as protected health information and will only use or disclose that information as set forth in our notice of privacy practices. You may opt-out of email communications at any time by clicking on the unsubscribe link in the e-mail.

Jan. 06, 2021 See more Expert Answers