I’m in my second trimester, and I think I have a yeast infection. The discharge and itching are making me nuts. What did you do for them?
Our Mommy MD Guide’s reply: Before I got pregnant, I had never had a yeast infection. In fact, during pregnancy, I had one and I didn’t know it! It turned up on my Pap test. The yeast infection wasn’t symptomatic enough for me to feel it, but I treated it anyway with a three-day treatment.
My yeast infection wasn’t uncomfortable. I mainly found it to be proof of what the textbooks say, that yeast infections are common in pregnancy. That’s because pregnancy decreases your immune system. Your baby has foreign DNA to yours, and so your immune system has to decrease a bit to allow the pregnancy.
—Diane Connelly, MD, MPH, a mom of a six-year-old daughter and an ob/gyn in private practice in Riverside, CA
When to Call Your Doctor or Midwife: Yeast infections are never fun, but if it’s possible, they’re even more of a pain during pregnancy. They are more common during pregnancy than any other time in a woman’s life. Interestingly, they’re most common the second trimester.
The symptoms of a yeast infection are a white, curdy discharge that often causes itching, burning or irritation. If you think you might have a yeast infection during pregnancy, talk it over with your doctor or midwife at your next appointment, sooner if the itching is making you crazy. They may recommend an over the counter treatment.
If you have a discharge with more of a fishy odor, that may be another type of vaginitis, called bacterial vaginosis. However, a heavier discharge with no odor and no symptoms is quite common in pregnancy and does not need to be treated unless infection is found.
Yeast infections don’t have a negative effect on pregnancy, but they’re often more difficult to control during pregnancy, which can cause significant discomfort for you.