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Thrush in pregnancy

Pregnant woman sat holding bump
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Is it normal to get thrush in early pregnancy?

During pregnancy many women experience thrush and this is completely normal. Your body is going through a huge amount of changes that can disrupt your body’s natural harmony and this can make you more susceptible to thrush.

This unbalancing of bacteria and microorganisms can lead to yeast infections, as the Candida albicans that live in your body multiple uncontrollably. You might find that during your pregnancy you have recurring thrush or that the symptoms can take a while to clear even with treatment.

Can thrush hurt my unborn baby?

There is no evidence to suggest that having thrush while you’re pregnant will harm your baby. Your baby is safely sealed inside you womb (uterus) and will not into come into contact with the yeast infection. If you have thrush when the baby is born they can catch the infection during labour, however this is very straight forward to treat and nothing to worry about.

Can you treat thrush when pregnant?

If you have thrush and are pregnant you should speak to your GP, midwife or neighbourhood pharmacist before using any treatments. The'll be able to diagnose the infection and suggest suitable treatments for you, whether a cream or pessary (a tablet inserted into the vagina).

If you’re pregnant, breastfeeding or trying to get pregnant you shouldn’t take oral anti-thrush tablets.

What thrush cream is safe to use in pregnancy?

The anti-fungal drug, clotrimazole is considered safe to use when you need to treat thrush in pregnancy. It comes in the form of a cream that can be applied to the affected skin around your vagina or as a pessary that is inserted into your vagina. If you are using a pessary, take care when inserting it and you may want to use your fingers to insert it rather than the applicator.

What can I do to prevent thrush?

Having thrush while you’re pregnant is not a reflection on you or your pregnancy, it can just happen. Although there are a few things that you can do which may stop you from developing the infection:

  • Wearing loose cotton underwear
  • Avoid wearing tights and instead opt for loose fitting trousers or skirts
  • Avoid using perfumed soaps, washes, deodorants etc. around your genitals
  • Don’t use lubricants if they irritate your vaginal area

Read our home thrush treatment blog for more information. 

Can I use Canesten during pregnancy?

Canesten creams are safe to use during pregnancy, however always talk to your GP or midwife before you begin taking any thrush treatment.

Can thrush go away on its own?

If you have a mild case of thrush it can go away by itself, however this can take up to two weeks. If you are pregnant you should visit your GP or talk to your midwife.

What are the symptoms of thrush?

You may have thrush if you have soreness and itching around your vagina, thick white discharge and swollen vaginal lips (labia). Find out more about thrush and the signs here