Candida infection, or genital candidiasis to be more precise, is something almost every woman comes across in her life. This unpleasant disease is not considered to be a grave one, and many treat it without consulting a doctor, which leads to a slow-developing chronic infection.
Candidiasis during Pregnancy
It might not be a serious disease, but for a pregnant woman this disorder can be extremely dangerous, especially if she has forgotten about her having Candida fungus as a result of undertreated vaginal yeast.
What Causes Candida Yeast Infection?
Candidiasis is an infection that is caused by a Candida fungus. This disease is frustrating due to its symptoms: itching of the skin and mucous membranes, a burning sensation, a local increase of temperature in the labia area and inside, reddening in the infected area and secretion of a liquid similar to sour milk, which also has a sour smell.
In some women, candidiasis becomes a persistent chronic disease with periodic recurrence in stressful periods. The emergence of vaginal yeast infection is especially dangerous during pregnancy, when the woman’s immunity is physiologically weaker.
Today, a woman’s intestine is considered to be the main source of the disease, since a small colony of the fungus always lives there under normal conditions. In a healthy state, vagina is a protective factor against the introduction of candidiasis, and the fungi die on its mucous membrane. However, the protection of vagina weakens during pregnancy, especially if the expectant mother used to be a carrier of the fungus or suffered from yeast prior to pregnancy.
Vaginal Candida Infection Treatment during Pregnancy
In addition, candida yeast infection occurs in a weakened body after antibiotic treatment or after the application of hormonal medications. Women themselves often create conditions for the development of candidiasis, using aggressive solutions for syringing, having an unbalanced diet, being nervous, changing sexual partners, or suffering from diseases that are not treated for years.
Candida yeast infection is particularly common in the third trimester of pregnancy. That is why it is important to detect and treat it at an early stage of pregnancy.
Women Suffer from Vaginal Yeast Infection during Pregnancy More Often
Candidiasis during pregnancy occurs three times more often than in non-pregnant women. Some of the main reasons for this fact are the considerably changed level of hormones, illnesses, and stress. In many women, pregnancy exacerbates candida infection, and they feel all the symptoms of the disease for the first time.
Why Is Candidiasis Dangerous during Pregnancy?
Candidiasis is dangerous at any stage of pregnancy. At an early stage, it may cause detachment of the ovum due to infection of the fetus, which leads to miscarriage. At a later stage, active infection can cause defects and fetal abnormalities.
During the last weeks of pregnancy, the tone of the uterus may increase because of the constant itching and burning, as well as because of nervousness and the woman’s prenatal stress. This may lead to the threat of placental abruption, or premature birth.
Can Vaginal Yeast Infection Harm the Baby?
In addition, candidiasis, as any infectious disease, can threaten the fetus, especially just before birth and during labor. Immediately at birth, the infection may be transferred from the half-open cervix to the area of fetal membranes, diluting them and infecting the fetus.
During labor, the candida infection can get to the baby’s mouth and nose, and it can breathe the infection in or swallow it. As a result, the baby may develop fungal pneumonia and intestinal lesions, or even fungal sepsis (in case of a feeble newborn baby).
Rush to the Doctor If You Have Candida
The presence of fungi in the genital tract is dangerous for the woman as well: the risk of infecting the genital tract and the uterus increases after birth, and it can lead to postpartum endometritis (inflammation of the uterus).
So, if you are concerned about the symptoms of vaginal yeast infection, or you have noticed white secretion that resembles sour milk, do not try to treat the disease at home – consult a doctor. The symptoms of candidiasis may sometimes be similar to other diseases, so the doctor will have to analyze the results of the tests before reaching a certain diagnosis and prescribing the treatment that would be safe for you and your child.