When you're pregnant, any minor health issues can suddenly feel scary. For instance, you may wonder what happens if you get a yeast infection when pregnant? The itchy infection is a somewhat commonplace annoyance for many women, but you likely wonder about its ability to affect your developing baby.
First of all, it's helpful to understand a little more about these pesky infections. According to the Mayo Clinic, vaginal yeast infections are caused by an overgrowth of the fungus candida. Normally, the vagina contains a mix of bacteria and yeast, but if something decreases the bacterial balance, the yeast may grow out of control and lead to a yeast infection, as further noted by the Mayo Clinic. When this happens, you may experience the typical symptoms of a yeast infection, such as itchiness, burning, and thick discharge in your vaginal area, according to WebMD. If you've ever had a yeast infection, you know it can be massively uncomfortable, and you'll try to avoid any relapses.
Thankfully, the causes of yeast infections are simple enough to spot. As explained by Healthline, this overbalance of yeast may be caused by antibiotics, diabetes, and even pregnancy. Yes, simply being pregnant can cause a yeast infection.
With that in mind, getting a yeast infection during pregnancy is usually not a terrible ordeal. In fact, yeast infections are more common during pregnancy than any other time in your life, according to the American Pregnancy Association (APA). All of those lovely hormonal changes associated with pregnancy can make it harder for your body to maintain its balance of bacteria and yeast, as further noted by the APA, and a yeast infection may result.
That said, it is still in your best interest to visit a doctor for proper diagnosis and treatment. Although a yeast infection will not present a risk to your pregnancy, its symptoms are similar to other conditions such as bacterial vaginosis or certain STIs, as noted by WebMD. Because of this, it's safest to go in for a diagnosis to make sure your suspected yeast infection is not actually a potential complication to your pregnancy. Seeing a doctor, however, will make sure you get the most effective treatment for whatever may be causing those irritating symptoms.