Study shows Diflucan may not be not safe in pregnancy: What you need to know about yeast infections!
Like most women, if you are reading this you have likely had to deal with a yeast infection at least once in your lifetime. Pregnancy changes the pH of the vaginal environment thus making pregnant women even more susceptible to vaginal yeast infections.
Many of you are even more familiar with Diflucan (Fluconazole) pill that is often prescribed to treat yeast infections. It is usually prescribed in two 150mg dose pills. You take one pill immediately and may be prescribed a second dose to take after three days. Nothing beats the convenience of Diflucan, especially when compared to messy creams, but did you know that a recent study by Dr. Berad in Canada that reviewed the data of over 440,000 women found,
"...that taking any dose of oral fluconazole while pregnant may be associated with a higher chance of miscarriage." - Dr. Anick Berad
The study also found that,
"...taking higher doses (over 150 milligrams) of fluconazole during a woman's first trimester was linked to an 81 percent higher risk of having a baby with a heart defect."- WebMD
So what are your options?
Over the counter creams or suppositories such as Monistat (Miconazole), Femstat (Butoconazole), Gyne-Lotrimin (Clotrimazole) and Terazol (Terconazole) are all considered safe to use during pregnancy.
While there is no mistaking that itch, the cottage cheese discharge, and overall icky feeling, you should ALWAYS have your provider confirm the diagnosis prior to taking any medications or treatment.
Vaginal discharge can often be mistaken for yeast when its actually Bacterial Vaginosis or an STI like Gonorrhea or Chlamydia.
Though 1-day and 3-day treatment options are available, yeast infections in pregnancy should always be treated for 7 days due to the often stubborn nature of the yeast.
Prevention is Better Than Cure
Here are a few things you can do prevent yeast infections from occurring in the first place, or even in pregnancy:
Good hygiene. Wash your lady bits with a gentle and mild soap at least once or twice a day. Always wash up after sex.
Wear breathable underwear made out of fabrics such as cotton and avoid tight fitting clothes. Whenever possible, especially at night let your vagina be free. Yes, your mama was right, you should sleep in the nude.
DO NOT DOUCHE. This disrupts the natural vaginal flora and pH creating the perfect environment for yeast.
Avoid scented feminine washes and products. Again they often cause more harm than good. Your vagina has its own beautiful scent and it's not vanilla or lavender.
Take a daily probiotic, especially when you are on antibiotics.
Use unscented and gentle detergent to wash your intimate wear especially if you are sensitive and prone to infections.
Maintain a low sugar diet especially if you are a diabetic. Making sure you have good blood glucose control can help prevent yeast infections.
After a 10-day course of two strong antibiotics and weekly vaginal ultrasound placement and cerclage monitoring, (more on that later) it did not come as a surprise that I ended up with a yeast infection.
After consulting my midwife, I used the over the counter 7-day Monistat cream but nothing could have prepared me for the burn 🔥. The first dose was literally hell on fire in my vagina. It got more tolerable with later doses, but I would be lying if I said it went away altogether. I personally do not remember Terazol (Terconazole) burning as much. It was my go to prescription for my patients, and I never heard any complaints. The problem is that Terazole is absorbed by the vagina and thus is not considered safe in the 1st trimester. It also is by prescription ONLY, if deemed appropriate by your provider in the 2nd and 3rd trimesters.
Practice good hygiene. Air out your ladybits often. Take a good probiotic. Avoid a high sugar diet. Keep the sexy satin on long enough to spark the flame, then switch into good ol' cotton. If all that fails, check in with your provider for confirmatory testing and then head over to your nearest Rite Aid.