Yeast infections are the bane of women. Well, perhaps menstrual cramps are the bane of women. Yeast infections are certainly a close second, and when you’re pregnant they can escalate to No. 1 in a hurry. Yeast infections are often more common during pregnancy, precisely when prescription medications are not a wise idea due to possible side effects on the developing baby. There are some good, natural remedies that are safe during pregnancy, both to help cure the yeast infection and to relieve the symptoms until it has cleared up.
Probably the most effective method of home treatment, probiotics such as acidophilus promote the growth of good bacteria in those nether regions where the yeast has multiplied. The good bacteria, when greater in number, eliminate yeast infections by consuming the source of food before the harmful yeast bacteria can. Almost any major pharmacy will carry acidophilus pills, and they are safe to use during pregnancy. For most women, it’s just a matter of taking them regularly according to the dosage on the bottle.
Yogurt, which contains live acidophilus, is also helpful in combating yeast infections, though it won’t be as effective as the acidophilus capsules. Include plenty of yogurt in your diet; it’s a great source of calcium and protein and can help prevent yeast infections from developing during pregnancy. Some women also find relief from itching and burning by applying yogurt topically to the spots that are itching and burning.
Yeast thrives on warmth and moisture; that dark, humid environment encased in a pair of panties and a skirt or slacks is just perfect for it to grow and develop. If you can, eliminate the underwear altogether and wear a skirt. The increased dryness will help to kill off yeast and reduce the duration of the infection. If you’re very far along in pregnancy, you may find that an increased vaginal discharge or the occasional urine leak makes going sans underwear a bad idea; in that case, switch to underwear that is all cotton. Cotton dries faster and allows for air flow. And aim for loose-fitting pants or skirts that don’t constrict or sit closely against your groin area.
Yeast loves sugar, so give it less. Drop the sodas and candy bars; they’re not a great idea for pregnant women, anyway. They’re really not a great idea for any women. If you crave ice cream, have a little bit but not a whole bowl. Switch to fruit instead of cookies. Drink unsweetened tea or diluted fruit juices instead of sugary beverages. And keep yourself hydrated so that you urinate frequently (as if you didn’t already) and get any excess sugar out of your system as soon as possible.
Use Witch Hazel Pads
Sanitary wipes, such as Tux pads, may not do anything to cure the yeast infection, but they can make life a lot more bearable in the meantime. After every bathroom visit, wipe with toilet paper and then with a sanitary wipe. Most are flushable. You can also wear them: Put a sanitary napkin in your underwear and layer two or three wipes on top. The coolness relieves the burning and itching. Simply change them every time you take a trip to the loo.