Being pregnant is a wonderful experience but, unfortunately, it also has its drawbacks. You may endure morning sickness, backaches, puffy feet, and other discomforts along the way.
One common issue pregnant women often face is the pain and distress of vaginal yeast infections. Although yeast infections do not normally present any severe dangers to mother or baby, the condition is uncomfortable and galling. With all the other discomforts of pregnancy, who needs the added burden of a vaginal yeast infection?
The problem is the medications a pregnant woman can take safely are severely limited. Fortunately, yeast is naturally occurring and there are natural remedies that can eliminate yeast infections without any risks during your pregnancy.
Safety First – Confirm It Is A Yeast Infection
Every precaution should be taken to protect your unborn child so make sure it is a yeast infection that is causing the problem before you begin treatment. Symptoms of a vaginal yeast infection include intense itching, burning, and a thick, whitish colored discharge.
Painful urination and pain during sexual intercourse may occur and the area may become inflamed and swollen. Yeast infections are not the only disorder that cause these symptoms so check with your midwife or physician to confirm the diagnosis.
Why Pregnant Women Are Prone To Vaginal Yeast Infections
As you know, the body goes through wildly shifting hormonal changes when a woman is pregnant. This hormonal roller coaster ride can upset the balance of the internal flora that lives inside each human, especially microbes in the vagina. It can change the vaginal PH balance, tilting it in favor of a normally harmless yeast-like fungus named candida albicans.
When that happens this microorganism begins to grow rapidly and soon grossly outnumbers protective bacteria. The result is a yeast infection.
Candida thrives in areas that are dark, warm, and moist, so the vaginal region is an ideal location for yeast to colonize. In order to relieve the yeast infection, the number of yeast cells living there must be reduced. So how do you accomplish that?
Limit The Foods Candida Thrives On
Like all living organisms, fungi must have food in order to survive. Candida thrives on sugars, white flour, yeasts, processed foods, alcohol, many dairy products, caffeine, and soda pop.
By limiting your intake of these types of food and focusing your diet on lean meats and fresh vegetables, nuts, seeds, and legumes, you’ll take a big step towards starving the candida into submission.
The bonus is that this is also a healthy way to provide your growing baby with the best nutrition possible.
Yogurt Provides Two Avenues Of Treatment
Yogurt is a great way to add probiotics to your diet. These live cultures encourage the growth of helpful bacteria that keep candida albicans in check. Consuming plain yogurt regularly will help your body combat the yeast.
You can use yogurt as a topical treatment as well. Use plain yogurt that contains live cultures and no sweeteners, and apply it directly to the irritated area. Not only will it help fight the yeast, it will cool and soothe the itching. Other women put the yogurt on a sanitary pad and apply it.
Some women like to take an empty tampon applicator, fill it with plain yogurt, and freeze it. The frozen yogurt can then be inserted directly into the vagina and go right to the source of the infection.
Naturopaths advise women with yeast infections to use a garlic suppository. This is done by peeling a clove of garlic and inserting it into the vagina before bedtime. Leave it there overnight. If you are afraid you won’t be able to get it out easily, wrap the clove in a square of gauze before inserting.
It’s also a good idea to increase the amount of garlic in your diet. Garlic contains both antibacterial and antiviral properties and may help kill the candida.
Hygiene And Grooming
Keep the area clean and dry. Sleep without panties at night to promote air circulation and wear cotton panties during the day. Cotton wicks moisture away from the skin and yeasts thrive in dampness. Don’t wear tight clothing and use unscented toilet paper.
Yeast can be transferred between sex partners so either refrain from sex until you are cleared of the infection or use a condom. Your partner may need to be treated as well.
Try to treat yeast infections as early as possible. They are easier to cure before they become resilient and it’s best to clear the infection before the baby is born. It is possible the baby could contract oral thrush if you still have a vaginal yeast infection during deliver.
Because you are expecting, it’s especially important to use safe, natural methods to treat vaginal yeast infections. By following these simple steps you can stop the irritation of a yeast infection and experience the joy of pregnancy.
About the Author: Eric Bakker, ND is a naturopathic physician from New Zealand. He’s spent the past 20 years of his life studying the causes of and treatments for Candida. Please visit him at www.yeastinfection.org for more information.