It’s all very nice and well talking and writing of the wonderful feelings you get when your partner feels the baby kick for the first time or the joy at the first purchases of new baby products and clothes but what about the more annoying and irritating (literally) aspects of pregnancy including thrush?
The Joys of Thrush
Thrush, or Candidiasis to give it its medical name, refers to a yeast infection caused by any of the candida species. Thrush can affect different parts of the body including the mouth but most pregnant women are simply interested in vaginal thrush. Having to roll around feeling like an overblown bouncy castle and putting up with strange food cravings is nothing compared to the discomfort that thrush can cause during pregnancy and many pregnant women may not know that it’s advisable to see a doctor if you think you have thrush rather than pop a Canesten tablet and stock up on the cream to avoid doing more harm than good for your pregnancy.
On top of all that there’s the added frustration of not being able to jump your partner’s bones because you’re torn between the pull of that “heightened libido” phase of your pregnancy and on the other side – that intense irritation that has you wishing you could carry on regular daily activities at the same time as sitting in a never ending warm bath. Humph. Give me the frustration of not finding a pickled gerkin at 4am any day.
Why Is Thrush More Common When Pregnant
The fungus responsible for thrush usually lives quite harmlessly in the gut of both men and women and only becomes a problem when for some reason or another, it grows to outnumber the healthy bacteria. The reason thrush is more common in pregnant women can be attributed to different factors. Some believe that the generally weaker immune system of pregnant women allows the candida albicans fungus to proliferate and others say that the different hormones at work during pregnancy contribute to the improved conditions the candida albicans needs to flourish.
Diagnosis & Thrush Treatment When Pregnant
The symptoms of thrush are quite similar to those of Vaginal Bacteriosis which is a vaginal infection caused by an imbalance in the bacterial flora of the vagina, as opposed to a yeast fungus. For this reason, it’s important to have it diagnosed correctly when pregnant to avoid taking any unnecessary treatments that could lead to complications for your baby. Untreated thrush can also lead to Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID) which is a different kettle of fish altogether.
Avoiding Thrush When Pregnant
Having read up on avoiding thrush when pregnant, there doesn’t seem to be anything new or different to be done that an average healthy-minded pregnant woman would not do anyway. “Wear cotton underwear, or underwear with at least a cotton crotch section” – what other options are there? Unless you’re overcome with such a heightened libido you want to wear your leather all-in-one every day I don’t see this advice as being necessary. Or maybe I just haven’t been introduced yet to the wonders of non-cotton underwear…hhmm, this has me thinking now…. “Keep the area dry” – Right, so what they really mean is “Go commando at any given opportunity”, possibly easier in Spain as the better climate + increased liklihood of wearing a skirt even during winter is easier to bear on your nether regions. And the constant bath was never going to be a real option anyway. “Avoid too many processed foods, sugar and alcohol” – darn, there’s this weekend’s botellón off the agenda, not. “Some women find that applying natural yogurt directly to their vagina often treats the yeast infection“, I think the keeping-it-dry advice seems simpler….
Hey ho, I suppose that having avoided all morning sickness completely as well as any irrational food cravings or any other problems exacerbated by pregnancy a bit of thrush is the least I can bear to have at least one “Oh-well-when-I-was-pregnant-I-had-to-deal-with-XYZ-problem” sort of story in the future.