Everything you need to know about vaginal thrush during pregnancy

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Morning sickness isn’t the only unpleasant thing you may experience during pregnancy. It seems many expectant mums have endured a case or two of vaginal thrush.

Yeast lives naturally in the bowel and in small numbers in the vagina. Typically, yeast in the bowel and vagina do not cause infection. However, vaginal thrush is caused by an overgrowth of Candida albicans yeast.

Thrush is very common during pregnancy and after birth, and this is due to the changes in your hormone levels.


What you need to know about vaginal thrush during pregnancy

Registered Midwife, Ali Pickles has shared some information about thrush during pregnancy.

Pregnancy naturally decreases your immune system, as it has to work harder to prevent illnesses as it protects your unborn baby, so don’t be alarmed if you experience vaginal thrush throughout your pregnancy. And it may occur more than once.

What causes thrush?

  • Pregnancy, changes to hormones, decreased immune system, build up of yeast in the vaginal/bowel area.
  • Diabetes.
  • Antibiotics.
  • You are at higher risk if you suffered pre-pregnancy.
  • Sometimes the cause is unknown.


What are the symptoms?

  • Itching and burning in the vaginal area.
  • White discharge different to mucous passed during pregnancy (appears like cottage cheese).
  • Stinging or burning when passing urine.
  • Distinct yeast smelling discharge.
  • Splits or discolouring in the skin in the vaginal area.
  • Redness or yellowing and burning around the nipples and areola.
  • If bub is born bub may have it too. Babies naturally have milk patches in their mouths but if it’s yellowish or can’t be gently scratched off it may be thrush.


Many of the treatments for thrush can be bought over the counter at the pharmacy but make sure you speak to your pharmacist or doctor about which treatment is best suited to pregnancy and your issues.

  • Anti-fungal creams.
  • Pessaries (to be used with caution in pregnancy as you don’t want to hurt your cervix if inserted too far).
  • Oral tablets.
  • Depending on the severity thrush can disappear itself.

How can you avoid getting vaginal thrush?

  • Avoid using soaps high in perfumes around your genitals. You need some natural bacteria to live in those areas so if you use harsh soaps you will wash these away.
  • Wiping from front to back when you go to the toilet.
  • Do not over use vaginal products including powders.
  • Do not use antiseptics in your genital area. This will cause burning and stinging.
  • Allow your genitals to breathe/air by wearing looser fitting underwear.
  • Change your underwear regularly.
  • Avoid perfumed laundry detergents.

Foods known to prevent thrush:

What you eat may also play a role in whether or not you get thrush. As well as keeping up your water intake, you can try:

  • Yoghurts (Greek, natural)- preferably ones with acidophilus/bacillus.
  • Vegetables (all).
  • Herbs – garlic, thyme, turmeric, calendula, Echinacea.
  • Meat, poultry, fish.
  • Nuts and seeds.
  • Probiotics (these are strongly recommended).
  • Fruit.
  • Rice.
  • Yeast free breads.
  • Oats, quinoa, cous cous.

Foods to avoid:

It is recommended you avoid these foods if you have had multiple bouts of thrush.

  • Foods containing yeast including bread or Vegemite.
  • Processed foods.
  • Cheese.
  • White flour.
  • Tea.
  • Coffee.
  • Mushrooms.
  • Sugar.
  • Melons, grapes.
  • Honey.
  • Dried fruits.

The Healthy Mummy Pregnancy Eating Plan recommends you start the day with a glass of water with a slice of lemon. Lemon can help restore the body’s natural condition and balance so adding this to your diet can help maintain balance.

Have you checked out The Healthy Pregnancy Eating & Exercise Plan Book?

Pregnancy is such an exciting time, and feeling your body bloom as your baby grows and develops is a truly joyous experience.

However, pregnancy can also be a very confusing time. There’s so much information out there and it can be hard to wrap your head around which advice to follow. The experts are often most clear on what not to do, leaving mums-to-be feeling unsure of what they should be doing to keep themselves and their babies healthy.


But never fear! Our new Healthy Mummy Pregnancy Eating & Exercise Plan book aims to take some of the confusion out of pregnancy, giving clear guidelines on how to stay in your best possible health: what to eat, how to move and how to tackle some of the challenges of pregnancy, such as cravings and nausea.

It includes lots of nutritious recipes to support a woman and her growing baby in pregnancy and will be your must read healthy eating and exercise book in your pregnancy.

You can purchase the Pregnancy Eating & Exercise Plan book here.

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