Mycosis during pregnancy: causes and treatments

Mycose pendant la grossesse : causes et traitements

As we all know, fungal infections are unfortunately a (very) common occurrence in a woman's life! And in this case, even more so during pregnancy! Of course, vaginal mycosis is an infection that heals very well, and rather quickly, but its symptoms are not the most pleasant. Why is vaginal mycosis so common during pregnancy? How is vaginal mycosis diagnosed? What are the causes and, above all, effective treatments? Is it dangerous for pregnant women? Elia deciphers the subject for you!

What is vaginal mycosis?

Vaginal mycosis is a common gynecological infection of the vagina or vulva, classified as infectious vaginitis. Mycosis is caused by the growth of a fungus, the most common being Candida Albicans (in 80% of cases!). This fungus can also develop in the mouth, digestive tract or intestines, leading to candidiasis. And it has to be said that women are not spared from mycosis: according to the Revue du Praticien, 75% of them are affected by it at least once in their lives! And medical analysis laboratories can testify to this: 20% of examinations carried out concern vaginal mycoses!

What causes vaginal mycosis during pregnancy?

During the pregnancy periodAs a pregnant woman's body prepares to welcome a newborn, a veritable tsunami of changes takes place in the organism! And pregnancy is a risk factor for the development of vaginal mycosis.

Generally speaking, genital mycosis is an infection caused by an imbalance in vaginal flora . When the balance of the flora is disturbed, the result is a reduction in the immune system! And the same applies to intestinal flora! To ensure a balanced vaginal flora, the pH (a measure of acidity) must be between 3.8 and 4.5 . As with intestinal flora, an imbalance in vaginal flora can be caused by antibiotics . More often, however, it is hormonal imbalance that is at the root of the imbalance.

Hormonal imbalance: the hormone party

During this period, the development of fungal infections is more frequent, for the simple reason that hormonal fluctuations tend to upset the balance of vaginal flora. The rise in estrogen also leads to greater production of glycogen, a sugar highly prized by fungi. This explains why vaginal mycoses tend to occur regularly in pregnant women.

Poor intimate hygiene: beware of excess!

Of course, intimate hygiene is important, but only if it's done properly! And it's not a lack of cleanliness that's at fault in the development of mycoses, but rather an excess! Vaginal douches, perfumed products, foaming soaps and all products with a pH that's too acidic or too alkaline are all to blame!

What are the symptoms of pregnancy mycosis?

As far as symptoms are concerned, vaginal mycoses cause itching and a feeling of inflammation in the vulva and vagina, as well as burning, pain (particularly during sexual intercourse), vaginal discharge and a sensation of "dryness". vaginal discharge (leucorrhoea), which is abundant and thick (yellow or white) but generally odourless, and even urination problems (difficulty in urinating or, on the contrary, frequent urges).

Differentiating between mycosis and irritation

Be careful, however, to distinguish between vaginal mycosis and irritation of the vulva or vagina (caused by tight clothing, for example). The main distinguishing symptom is the appearance of vaginal discharge.

In the case of dermatological disease (psoriasis, eczema) or irritation, there may be itching or a sensation of discomfort and burning, but the vaginal discharge remains "normal". Vaginal mycosis, on the other hand, is characterized by a thick, abundant discharge.

Is mycosis dangerous during pregnancy?

Even in normal circumstances, vaginal mycosis remains a benign gynecological infection with no consequences for fertility. However, if you suspect a mycosis, you should make an appointment with your gynecologist as soon as possible, as any infection should be treated as soon as possible, especially at the end of pregnancy.

The risk of mycosis in the last trimester? The development of neonatal candidiasis in the newborn at the time of birth.

In the first case, candidiasis may be ante-natal, i.e. it appears during pregnancy. This infection can occur when the cervix is open in the last trimester , and membranes have prematurely ruptured (a fissure in the water sac, for example). The virus can then spread through the amniotic fluid and infect the fetus in the digestive tract, skin or lungs.

Candidiasis can also be perinatal, which is the most frequent form of neonatal candidiasis. The baby's passage through the genital area during delivery can be a transmission factor if the mother suffers from untreated genital mycosis at the time of birth.

If you're pregnant and prone to vaginal mycosis, don't panic! The monitoring you receive (especially at the end of gestation) enables you to detect mycoses (if they appear) and treat them.

Given that these infections are generally benign, it's also possible that the baby is just a "healthy carrier" of the infection, with no risk of developing symptoms.

How can vaginal mycosis be effectively treated during pregnancy?

Vaginal mycosis is a benign infection that can be treated relatively quickly and easily, provided that it is treated as soon as possible to avoid any consequences for the health of the mother or child.

Medical treatments

When it comes to medical treatments for vaginal mycosis, several options are available:

  • Antifungal treatment: taken orally (in tablet or capsule form), or as an antifungal cream to be applied to the vulva, this medication destroys the germ responsible for mycosis by passing through the bloodstream. It is prescribed by a doctor. To determine the most appropriate treatment (and the most effective at eradicating the fungus in question), it's a good idea to take a vaginal swab in a laboratory;
  • Local treatment with vaginal ova: the most common method! Generally speaking, all you need to do is insert the ovule into the vagina in the evening (it works during the night, avoiding descending too quickly), over a period of time that depends on the treatment. Some vaginal ovules need to be inserted over a 7-day period, others over a single night (monodose). These highly effective products are available in pharmacies without prescription.

Natural alternatives

As for natural alternatives to combat vaginal mycosis, we can mention the relevance of probiotics, which, without going so far as to eliminate the mycosis, help to rebalance the vaginal flora. In fact, this is the mechanism behind vaginal ova, which contain strains of lactic ferments! The Apyforme brand offers a probiotic formula to help prevent vaginal mycosis.

Some websites recommend taking essential oils diluted in a spoonful of vegetable oil (such as mint, basil, lavender, tea tree, winter savory and oregano), but essential oils are not recommended during pregnancy!

It's best to consult your doctor for advice.

Our advice on preventing the appearance of mycoses

Although vaginal mycoses are common during this period (and even outside it), there are a few things you can do to prevent them:

Be careful with hygiene products

As far as intimate hygiene is concerned, given that this vaginal infection is due to a disturbance in the flora, it's best to draw a line under aggressive products such as soaps containing perfume, intimate sprays (an aberration!) or cleansing wipes. When it comes to cleaning the vulva (labia minora and majora) and vagina, there's only one product you need: clear water! Simple, effective and natural!

Choosing the right material

When it comes to fabrics, priority should be given to cotton undergarments that can be washed at 60°C: that's the temperature at which you're sure to eradicate bacteria.

Moisturizing during intimate acts

If you're prone to burning sensations during intercourse, an organic, water-based intimate lubricant will be perfect for preventing painful friction.

Avoid irritating sanitary pads

We strongly advise against wearing sanitary towels or panty liners. As well as being known for their dubious composition, they irritate mucous membranes and encourage the growth of bacteria. The alternative? The period pantiesbut you already know we're convinced!

Don't stay wet for too long

If you go for a swim or a dip in the sea, make sure you rinse off thoroughly under running water, and don't keep your wet bathing suit on for too long, as dampness is an ideal breeding ground for fungal infections.

Eat a healthy diet

Finally, when it comes to food, it's best to cut down on sugary products, which tend to "feed" fungus.

Pregnancy fungus FAQ

Is it serious to have a yeast infection during pregnancy?

It remains a benign infection with no health consequences, affecting one pregnant woman in four! If detected and treated promptly, it generally poses no risk to the baby. Beware, however, of fungal infections that appear during the last trimester: in the case of an open cervix and cracked membranes, bacteria can penetrate the amniotic fluid and infect the baby. Fortunately, this is a very rare occurrence.

Can mycosis cause miscarriage?

Mycosis is not normally responsible for miscarriage. In rare cases, it can cause uterine contractions, but this is exceptional.

More articles

Back to blog

Our best sellers

1 of 8

The information contained in the articles on is general information only. Although reviewed by health professionals, this information is not error-free, does not constitute health advice or consultation, and is not intended to provide a diagnosis or suggest a course of treatment. Under no circumstances may this information be used as a substitute for medical advice or consultation with a healthcare professional. If you have any questions, please consult your doctor.