Higher levels of oestrogen make the vagina produce more glycogen, making it easier for the yeast to grow there. Also, if the mother is high on antibiotics, the probability of developing a yeast infection is more. That happens because apart from killing the disease-causing bacteria, antibiotics may also affect the growth of normal protective bacteria in the vagina, allowing yeast to overgrow.
Vaginal douching, birth control pills or high blood sugar (diabetes) can also cause yeast infection.
Common symptoms of yeast infection are:
- Itchiness, irritation, swelling, soreness, burning, and redness in the vaginal region and labia
- Odourless vaginal discharge – often white or creamy
- Discomfort or pain during intercourse
- Burning sensation while passing urine (when the urine hits your already irritated genitals)
If these symptoms show up, one should contact a medical practitioner for further advice. Do not administer any ointment or creams to the affected region on your own as they may not be safe for use during pregnancy.
These symptoms maybe an outcome of some other illness or disease. For instance, it could point towards a sexually-transmitted infection.
Some tips to follow to keep yeast infection at bay are:
- Wear breathable cotton underwear; avoid tight pants, particularly the ones made out of synthetic material.
- Change underwear regularly; maintain good hygiene, especially around the private parts
- Try sleeping without underwear at night.
- Avoid bubble baths or perfumed soaps. One never knows what kind of infection or allergy it may trigger. So maintain extra caution during pregnancy.
- Clean your genital area gently with warm water. (Never douche during pregnancy – or any other time.)
The good news is that yeast infection will not hurt or affect the baby’s development. But if the delivery is sometime when the infection is at its peak, then the new-born can contract the infection as he passes through the birth canal.
He may then develop a yeast infection in his mouth, known as thrush. It is characterized by white patches on the sides and roof of the mouth and sometimes on the tongue.
Hence to avoid yeast infection it should be treated as soon as the symptoms and signs show up.