What is Thrush?
Candida alb cans are the microscopic fungus which is responsible for thrush. While this organism ordinarily lives in the intestinal tract of men and women, nearly one out of three women have Candida alb cans present in their vagina. This can become a problem when its numbers outgrow the good bacteria – it’s a battle of the good bacteria with the bad bacteria and the side with the most ‘soldiers’ wins.
During pregnancy, the vagina becomes rich in a form of glucose named ‘glycogen’, which feeds the growth of Candida alb cans. It’s believed the higher levels of glycogen occur due to increased estrogen levels and reduced acidity in the vagina. This is why a pregnant woman is ten times more likely to get thrush than normal – instead of being a nice cozy home for thrush; the vagina is now a five-star hotel!
Other things which can kill good pro-biotic bacteria include:
- Birth Control Pills
- Steroidal/hormonal drugs
- Coffee/Tea/Carbonated Drinks
- Synthetic vitamins
What are the symptoms of thrush?
Increased cervical fluid production is common during pregnancy; you may notice thin, milky discharge which is a result of your body’s hormones doing their job. If you notice that the discharge becomes thick, white and creamy (like cottage cheese) and if you have to itch in your vaginal area, you may have thrush. Some women notice a stinging or burning sensation on the labia during urination and others feel the same unpleasant sensations during sexual intercourse. If this is you, it is important to have this checked out by your carer, to ensure nothing else is going on.
For some women, the only sign is the anal or perineal burning when urinating or showering.
How can I prevent thrush?
“I took 2×25 ml (of Fast Track) per day for the first three or four days, but now I have cut down to 1×25ml per day. I can even eat sweets again with absolutely no problems! I can’t tell you how over the moon I am….no more creams, diets, drops, vinegar, or painful sex! I intend to keep taking it until I have the baby at least.”—happymum2
There are many pro-biotic preparations on the market, usually in powder form found at your health food store or at the chemist. They store the pro-biotic ‘acidophilus’ in the fridge being a live bacteria – you will likely need to ask for it as it won’t be on the shelf. However the best pro-biotic product to take is Fast-Tracked which you can read about HERE – it contains not only one or two strains of pro-biotic but thirteen different ones – a much better product by far! Fast-Track is not fast-tracked in the faucal matter like some other commercially made pro-biotic products. The bacteria are produced from fruit and vegetables and they have been able to achieve a massive 265 million CFU’s (colony forming units) per ml of liquid – and it doesn’t taste that bad at all! The level of colony forming units is significant because higher bacteria counts improve the ability of the colonies to establish themselves faster.
You only need to drink a small amount per day and it not only gives you the added benefits of helping with thrush but many other health issues too. Many women I personally know who have taken Fast-Tract (or a related product called In-Liven which also contains other nutrients, but not so abundant in pro-biotic) have found their thrush to disappear after many months of nothing else working for them.
It makes good sense to load up your body with good bacteria to win the ‘battle of the bacteria.’ If you can keep taking the Fast-Tracked or In-Liven on a regular basis to prevent it, rather than use creams as a band-aid fix, you’ll likely get a much better result. Prevention is always better than cure!
You can also cut back on the things listed above which kill pro-biotic.
“I too upped my daily Fast-Tracked to 2×25 ml for a few days and I am now pain-free!!! Yet! I even have indulged in a couple of sweet treats without having to pay for it later with pain! (Which is probably a mixed blessing as now I’m less motivated to keep my sweet-tooth in check!)? Yet for Fast Track! And Yet for Belly for telling me about it!”
Is there anything I can do to treat it?
Of course, if you think you have thrush, be sure to let your carer know. You may be prescribed a medication in the form of peccaries or creams which are safe to use during pregnancy – oral forms of medications are generally not recommended in pregnancy. Don’t buy any other medications unless you have spoken to your carer first as some are not safe to use.
Many caregivers won’t worry about a diagnosis of thrush and are often dismissive, even with the heavy growth of Candida because it’s considered harmless – but it’s very uncomfortable if you are the person who has it. So you will need to be quite insistent if you want treatment prescribed.
Just because one type/brand of treatment doesn’t work e.g. Canasta, it doesn’t mean another like Nil stat won’t work. Try them all because they have slightly different constituents.
If you are in your first trimester, your carer will be least likely to want to prescribe you something for thrush. Here are some suggestions below if you cannot take any medication:
- Get onto Fast-Tracked as soon as you can – this will help the actual problem of a bacterial imbalance and will get to work right away. The good bacteria will begin to grow and outnumber the bad bacteria.
- Natural live yogurt contains a pro-biotic called acidophilus. However, the level of pro-biotic in yogurt is quite low, so it can take a little more time to help, which can be frustrating especially if itching is a problem. You can eat the yogurt as much as you like, some women swear by inserting some plain natural yogurt into their vagina. You can soak a tampon in natural yogurt, (differentiate just unsweetened from true natural yogurt) and insert into the vagina for 2 hours, then change for new one.
- Avoid underwear that is tight or contains materials like lycra and other fabric which reduces air circulation – cotton is best. Avoid underwear wherever possible – not a good idea though if you are going to work and wearing a skirt! Around the home and overnight is a good start.
- Avoid tight jeans or trousers where possible – opt for skirts if you can.
- Candida alb cans thrive in moist, warm environments so try to avoid long, hot baths.
- Good old Gentian Violet in an aqua or water Base is still extremely effective for vag thrush (just messy & ‘out there’ being bright purple) especially good for nipples & babies mouths as it is very liquid and soaks into all the crevices in the tissues which a gel-like Detrain cannot.
- Douching isn’t recommended in pregnancy even though it’s effective whilst non-pregnant
- Try avoiding yeast – a lot of women swears that yeast in their diet increases the growth of Candida. It’s often present in iron tonic supplements so a checklist of ingredients when taking these.
- High levels of sugar in diets seem to be a very common culprit, look to amending the diet primarily.
Will thrush hurt my baby?
Not at all. If you have thrush when you go into labor, there is a small chance that your baby will catch it as he or she comes through the vagina. If a baby has thrush this is often seen as white patches in the baby’s mouth, but it isn’t serious and is easily treated.
If your baby does get thrush in the mouth, this may be passed back to you through breastfeeding and you can keep re-infecting each other, so it’s important that you treat the both of you at the same time. Fast Track is safe for babies, you can give them 1ml and you can take the adult dose.
If your baby has passed thrush onto you, you may experience sore, tender nipples and a ‘shooting’ pain while breastfeeding your baby. The shooting pains may also occur after feeding and seem to radiate from the nipple right through to the back of the breast. It’s pain which can make the eyes water and it can create so much tension in mum prior to feeding that it makes for an unpleasant experience and you may have feelings of wanting to give up breastfeeding. So before you do this, make sure you seek the services of a qualified Lactation Consultant (ideally an IBCLC – International Board Certified Lactation Consultant), who can come to your home and help identify any problems and/or diagnose any possible thrush, getting you on the road to more pleasant feeding! Click Here- Kidney Infection While Pregnant