About 75% of adult women have experienced yeast infection at least once in their lifetime. Vaginal yeast infection or vaginal candidiasis is often caused by an overgrown fungus known as Candida albicans, which lives naturally in your vagina.
It is a common experience in pregnant women because of hormonal changes that disrupt the acid-base balance of the vagina. For pregnant women, experiencing vaginal itching and white, thick discharge along with pregnancy symptoms can be annoying and uncomfortable.
Fortunately, yeast infection doesn't affect the health of the baby in your womb. However, if you still have it when you go into labor, there's a possibility of infecting the baby during delivery. The fungus that causes yeast infection- Candida albicans, can cause thrush, a mouth yeast infection. What happens is that the baby develops white patches in the mouth, which can re-infect the mother during breastfeeding. Luckily, thrush can be treated with a mild anti-fungal medication for babies. But to be on the safer side, you can quickly help this infection cycle with natural soothing home remedies.
How to get rid of yeast infections with natural remedies while pregnant
Most medical practitioners encourage complementary therapies, combining traditional and natural remedies to provide relief and promote healing when dealing with yeast infections. Here are some popular natural remedies you can try at home:
Studies show that probiotics are quite effective against Candida albicans. They are a safe choice for pregnant women as it also supports the immune system and reduces the risk of premature birth. Probiotics contain live bacteria, such as Lactobacillus acidophilus, essential in creating a healthy environment in your vagina. For home remedies, you can add Greek yogurt to your diet; it's the best kind to use but make sure it doesn't contain sugar as it fuels the fungus's growth. A better option to go with the yogurt is bee-honey, according to research in 2012.
Coconut oil is one of the few home remedies with remarkable evidence that it works. Rich in anti-fungal properties, coconut oil is a safe yeast infection remedy for pregnant women, especially when you don't want over-the-counter medications. Coconut oil strengthens both the expectant mom and unborn baby's immune system with a bonus of relieving pregnancy symptoms such as heartburn and morning sickness. It can be applied directly to the infected area as treatment; however, you need to make sure it's pure and organic coconut oil.
Tea tree oil
Tea tree oil is also known as melaleuca oil. It is a powerful solution for vaginal yeast infection; that's why it's best to dilute with coconut oil or use an already prepared tea tree soothing solution for treatment —especially if you're pregnant.
Vitamin C, or ascorbic acid, is an immune system booster that brings your body back into balance. It helps your body beat yeast overgrowths. It's meant to be taken as a supplement to your diet, so do not apply acidic vitamin C to your sensitive vagina. Don't forget that you can boost your immune system with foods rich in vitamin C, which is also an effective and safe way to treat yeast infection during pregnancy.
Some home remedies bring relief within a few days. Others may take up to a week, so patience is required. However, if it's reoccurring even after trying these remedies, it's best to contact your doctor immediately before your delivery date is due.