Summary: Yeast infections are an uncomfortable yet common occurrence during pregnancy. One of the symptoms can be bleeding when wiping. This can be alarming, but there are many reasons why this happens and ways to alleviate the discomfort.
1. Causes of Yeast Infections During Pregnancy
Yeast infections in pregnant women are caused by the changes in hormones, particularly estrogen levels, that occur during pregnancy. These changes can create an environment that is more conducive to yeast growth. Additionally, the immune system is weakened in pregnant women, making it harder to fight off infections. The use of antibiotics or gestational diabetes can also increase the risk of yeast infections.
Studies have suggested that up to 10% of pregnant women experience vaginal yeast infections, usually during their second trimester.
While annoying and uncomfortable, yeast infections are generally harmless and can be easily treated with over-the-counter medications or prescribed antifungal creams. However, if left untreated, the yeast infection can lead to complications such as pregnancy complications or increased risk of preterm labor.
2. Bleeding When Wiping – What Does It Mean?
Experiencing bleeding when wiping can be a symptom of a yeast infection in pregnant women. Although it can be a scary experience, it’s not a cause for alarm. This type of bleeding can be caused by various issues such as vaginal dryness, rough wiping, or excessive rubbing.
Another reason why pregnant women might see some blood when wiping is due to the expansion of blood vessels caused by increased pressure in the pelvic area. The hormonal changes in pregnancy can also thin vaginal tissue and cause micro-tears which can result in bleeding.
If the bleeding is excessive, continuous, or accompanied by significant pain or unusual discharge, it’s essential to speak with a doctor to rule out other potential causes such as infections or ectopic pregnancy.
3. How to Treat Yeast Infections During Pregnancy
Over-the-counter creams and suppositories such as miconazole, clotrimazole, or terconazole can typically treat yeast infections during pregnancy. It’s important to avoid oral medication, particularly fluconazole, in the first trimester of the pregnancy due to the risk of birth defects with high doses of the medication.
Pregnant women are also advised to follow good genital hygiene practices like avoiding scented hygiene products and wiping from front to back after using the toilet. Wearing breathable cotton underwear and avoiding tight-fitting clothing can help keep the area dry and reduce the chance of yeast growth. A diet low in sugar and processed foods can help to maintain bacterial balance.
If the symptoms do not subside or if the infection is recurring, doctors may recommend a longer course of treatment or the use of prescription medications.
4. Home Remedies for Yeast Infections
Several home remedies can be used to alleviate symptoms of yeast infections during pregnancy and reduce vaginal irritation. These remedies include:
- Yogurt – Applying plain, unsweetened yogurt directly to the affected area can help to soothe inflammation caused by yeast infections and reduce itching. Eating plain, unsweetened yogurt containing probiotics can also help restore the natural balance of bacteria that keep yeast growth under control.
- Garlic – Garlic has antifungal properties that can help to kill off yeast and promote healing. Inserting a garlic clove into the vagina overnight or incorporating raw garlic into the diet can help fight off the infection.
- Coconut oil – Coconut oil has antimicrobial properties that can help to fight off infections, including yeast. Applying it directly to the affected area or using it as a lubricant can help promote healing.
Yeast infections are common during pregnancy and can be uncomfortable but can be treated easily. Bleeding when wiping in pregnant women can be caused by various issues, including yeast infections. However, if there is excessive bleeding or other symptoms present, it is important to seek medical attention. Home remedies like yogurt, garlic, and coconut oil can help alleviate symptoms. Overall, good genital hygiene practices and a balanced diet can help minimize the risk of yeast infections during pregnancy.