Genital fungus in pregnancy and breastfeeding

Verified by

Sara Dellner

Midwife

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    Genital fungus in pregnancy and breastfeeding

    Verified by

    Sara Dellner

    Midwife

    Many people suffer from genital fungus during pregnancy and some also suffer from it while breastfeeding. Fungus is not dangerous and can be treated with over-the-counter medicines.

    Fungus in the abdomen during pregnancy

    It is estimated that around 75% of all women suffer from a yeast infection at least once in their lives. We are talking about *Candida*, a yeast that can appear in many parts of the body, but is particularly common in the vagina and gastrointestinal tract. An infection occurs when there is an imbalance in the bacterial flora of the vagina, which can cause an abnormal amount of yeast to multiply in the vagina. Pregnant women are about 2-10 times more likely to get a yeast infection (!) due to the changes in hormone levels caused by pregnancy and the impact of pregnancy on the immune system.

    Yeast infections cause symptoms such as reddened mucous membranes, itching and a grayish discharge. A yeast infection during pregnancy is generally more difficult to treat and is more likely to come back despite treatment. There are over-the-counter medicines to treat the infection - but you should always talk to your midwife or doctor before treating yourself.

    There is no definite advice to avoid yeast infection, but it is wise to avoid excessive vaginal washing and all forms of soap in the genital area. Yeast fungus also dies at 60 degrees, so it is a good idea to wash underwear at 60 degrees. This type of fungal infection is not considered a sexually transmitted disease.

    The risk of transmitting yeast infection to the fetus is very small (less than 1%) and the risk of infecting the baby during vaginal delivery is very rare, although many pregnant women (20-30%) show yeast in the vagina during delivery.

    Fungal infection during breastfeeding

    Women who breastfeed can get a fungal infection on their nipples and sometimes in their milk. This usually occurs after antibiotic treatment for another infection, or if there are sores or eczema on the nipples. Symptoms of a fungal skin infection include redness, itching, burning, pain during breastfeeding and/or a scaly area.

    It is not uncommon for the baby to get a fungal infection in the mouth at the same time if you are breastfeeding and get a fungal infection, known as oral thrush. To tell the difference between a fungal infection in your baby's mouth and residue from the milk, you can try scraping off the white coating. If you can't scrape off the white coating, it's probably oral thrush. If your child shows signs of having this, you should contact the BVC.

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