Yeast Infections During Pregnancy

Posted by on Thursday, 5 June 2014



Yeast infections during pregnancy are more common than any other time in a woman’s life, especially during the second trimester of pregnancy. You may be noticing an increase in the amount of thin, white, odd smelling discharge. This is common and a normal symptom in the second trimester. If you think you may be experiencing a yeast infection, the following information will prepare you to discuss the possibility with your doctor. Though yeast infections have no major negative effect on pregnancy, they are often more difficult to control during pregnancy causing significant discomfort for you. Don’t waste time in seeking treatment.



What Is A Yeast Infection?

Yeast infection occurs when the normal levels of acid and yeast in the vagina are out of balance, which allows yeast to overgrow causing an uncomfortable, but not serious, condition called yeast infection.

If you have never been diagnosed or treated by a physician for a yeast infection and have some of the symptoms, you should see your physician first for accurate diagnosis and treatment.





What Causes A Yeast Infections During Pregnancy?

A yeast infection can be caused by one or more of the following:
  • Hormonal changes that come with pregnancy or before your period
  • Taking hormones or birth control pills
  • Taking antibiotics, or steroids
  • High blood sugar, as in diabetes
  • Vaginal intercourse
  • Douching
  • Blood or semen
Why Are Yeast Infections More Common During Pregnancy?

Your body is going through so many changes right now, and it is difficult for your body to keep up with the chemical changes in the vaginal environment. There is more sugar in the vaginal secretions on which the yeast can feed, causing an imbalance, which results in too much fungus.

What Are The Symptoms Of Yeast Infections?

The symptoms of a yeast infection may include one or more of the following:
  • Discharge that is usually white, similar to cottage cheese and may smell like yeast/bread
  • Other discharge may be greenish or yellowish, also similar to cottage cheese and may smell like yeast/bread
  • Copious amounts of discharge
  • Redness, itching, or irritation of the lips of the vagina
  • Burning during urination or intercourse
  • What Else Could I Be Experiencing?
If you are experiencing symptoms similar to a yeast infection, but a physician has ruled this diagnosis out, you may have one of the following:
  • Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STD’s) like Chlamydia, Gonorrhea, & Trichomoniasis
  • A vaginal infection called Bacterial Vaginosis

How Do I Know For Sure If I Have A Yeast Infection?

At your doctor’s office or medical clinic, a clinician will use a simple, painless swab to remove discharge or vaginal secretions and examine it through a microscope. Usually, upon a simple examination of the vagina, a physician can diagnose a yeast infection. In rare cases the culture may be sent to a lab.

How Are Yeast Infections Treated During Pregnancy?

During pregnancy physicians recommend vaginal creams and suppositories only. The oral medication, Diflucan (a single-dose medication), has not been proven safe during pregnancy and lactation. If left untreated, yeast infections can pass to your baby’s mouth during delivery. This is called “thrush” and is effectively treated with Nystatin.

It may take 10-14 days to find relief or completely clear up the infection while you are pregnant. After the infection has cleared up and any sores have healed, it may be helpful to use a starch-free drying powder, or Nystatin powder to prevent a recurring infection.

How Can I Prevent A Yeast Infection Or Recurring Yeast Infections?

Most yeast infections can usually be avoided by doing the following:
  • Wear loose, cotton, breathable clothing, and cotton underwear.
  • After regular, thorough washing, use your blow dryer on a low, cool setting to help dry your genital area.
  • Always wipe from front to back after using the restroom.
  • Shower immediately after you swim. Change out of swimsuit, workout clothes or other damp clothes as soon as possible.
  • Don’t douche; and don’t use feminine hygiene sprays, sanitary pads, and tampons that contain deodorant, bubble bath, colored or perfumed toilet paper
  • Include yogurt with “lactobacillus acidophilus” in your diet
  • Limit sugar intake, as sugar promotes the growth of yeast
  • Get plenty of rest to make it easier for your body to fight infections
When Should I Contact My Doctor?

If you are experiencing the symptoms described in this article, call your doctor now. Yeast infections have similar symptoms of other infections, and among them STD’s. Proper diagnosis every time you experience these symptoms is vital for the most effective, immediate treatment, or your condition may worsen.

If you see no improvement within three days or if symptoms worsen or come back after treatment, you should contact your health provider again.
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GBS Bacterial

Posted by on Wednesday, 4 June 2014


Group B streptococcus (GBS) is a type of bacterial infection that can be found in a pregnant woman’s vagina or rectum. This bacteria is normally found in the vagina and/or rectum of about 25 % of all healthy, adult women.

Those women who test positive for GBS are said to be colonized. A mother can pass GBS to her baby during delivery. GBS is responsible for affecting about 1 in every 2,000 babies in the United States. Not every baby who is born to a mother who tests positive for GBS will become ill.

Although GBS is rare in pregnant women, the outcome can be severe, and therefore physicians include testing as a routine part of prenatal care.

How Can I Find Out If I Have Group B Strep Infection?

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has recommended routine screening for vaginal strep B for all pregnant women. This screening is performed between the 35th and 37th week of pregnancy (studies show that testing done within 5 weeks of delivery is the most accurate at predicting the GBS status at time of birth.)

The test involves a swab of both the vagina and the rectum. The sample is then taken to a lab where a culture is analyzed for any presence of GBS. Test results are usually available within 24 to 48 hours.

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that all women who have risk factors PRIOR to being screened for GBS (for example, women who have preterm labor beginning prior to 37 completed weeks’ gestation) are treated with IV antibiotics until their GBS status is established.

How Does Someone Get Group B Strep?

The bacteria that causes group B strep normally lives in the intestine, vagina, or rectal areas. Group B strep colonization is not a sexually transmitted disease (STD). Approximately 25% of all healthy women carry group B strep bacteria. For most women there are no symptoms of carrying the GBS bacteria.

What If I Test Positive For Group B Strep Infection?

If you test positive for GBS this simply means that you are a carrier. Not every baby who is born to a mother who tests positive for GBS will become ill. Approximately one out of every 200 babies whose mothers carry GBS and are not treated with antibiotics, will develop signs and symptoms of GBS disease. There are, however, symptoms that may indicate that you are at a higher risk of delivering a baby with GBS. These symptoms include:
  • Labor or rupture of membrane before 37 weeks
  • Rupture of membrane 18 hours or more before delivery
  • Fever during labor
  • A urinary tract infection as a result of GBS during your pregnancy
  • A previous baby with GBS disease
In this case your physician will want to use antibiotics for prevention and protection.

According to the CDC, if you have tested positive and are not in the high risk category, then your chances of delivering a baby with GBS are:
  • 1 in 200 if antibiotics are not given
  • 1 in 4000 if antibiotics are given
How Can I Protect My Baby From Group B Strep Infection?

If you test positive for GBS and meet the high risk criteria, then your physician will recommend giving you antibiotics through IV during your delivery to prevent your baby from becoming ill. Taking antibiotics greatly decreases the chances of your baby developing early onset group B strep infection.

For women who are group B strep carriers, antibiotics given before labor begins are not effective at preventing the transmission of the group B bacteria. Since they naturally live in the gastrointestinal tract (guts), the bacteria can come back after antibiotics. A woman may test positive at certain times and not at others. That’s why it is important for all pregnant women to be tested for group B strep between 35 to 37 weeks of every pregnancy.

If you are at a low risk, the decision to use antibiotics is up to you. There are herbal remedies that you can take 2-3 weeks before delivery that a midwife or homeopathic physician can recommend.

How Does Group B Strep Infection Affect A Newborn Baby?

Babies may experience early or late-onset of GBS.

The signs and symptoms of early onset GBS include:

  • Signs and symptoms occurring within hours of delivery
  • Breathing problems, heart and blood pressure instability
  • Gastrointestinal and kidney problems
  • Sepsis, pneumonia and meningitis are the most common complications
Newborns with early-onset are treated the same as the mothers, which is through intravenous antibiotics.

The signs and symptoms of late-onset GBS include:

  • Signs and symptoms occurring within a week or a few months of delivery
  • Meningitis is the most common symptom
  • Late-onset GBS is not as common as early-onset
Late-onset of GBS could be a result of delivery, or the baby may have contracted it by coming into contact with someone who has GBS.
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Pregnancy Symptoms

Posted by on Saturday, 24 May 2014



Every woman is different. So are her experiences of pregnancy. Not every woman has the same symptoms or even the same symptoms from one pregnancy to the next.

Also, because the early symptoms of pregnancy are often like what happens right before and during menstruation, those symptoms aren't always recognized.

What follows is a description of some of the most common early symptoms of pregnancy. You should know that these symptoms may be caused by other things besides being pregnant. So the fact that you notice some of these symptoms does not necessarily mean you are pregnant. The only way to tell for sure is with a pregnancy test.

Spotting and Cramping

A few days after conception, the fertilized egg attaches itself to wall of the uterus. This can cause one of the earliest signs of pregnancy -- spotting and, sometimes, cramping.

That's called implantation bleeding. It occurs anywhere from six to 12 days after the egg is fertilized.

The cramps resemble menstrual cramps, so some women mistake them and the bleeding for the start of their period. The bleeding and cramps, however, are slight.



Besides bleeding, a woman may notice a white, milky discharge from her vagina. That's related to the thickening of the vagina's walls, which starts almost immediately after conception. The increased growth of cells lining the vagina causes the discharge.

This discharge, which can continue throughout pregnancy, is typically harmless and doesn't require treatment. But if there is a bad smell related to the discharge or a burning and itching sensation, tell your doctor so they can check on whether you have a yeast or bacterial infection.

Breast Changes

Breast changes are another very early sign of pregnancy. A woman's hormone levels rapidly change after conception. Because of the changes, her breasts may become swollen, sore, or tingly a week or two later. Or they may feel heavier or fuller or feel tender to the touch. The area around the nipples, called the areola, may also darken.




Other things could cause breast changes. But if the changes are an early symptom of pregnancy, keep in mind that it is going to take several weeks to get used to the new levels of hormones. But when it does, breast pain should ease up.


Fatigue


Feeling very tired is normal in pregnancy, starting early on.

A woman can start feeling unusually fatigued as soon as one week after conceiving.

Why? It's often related to a high level of a hormone called progesterone, although other things -- such as lower levels of blood sugar, lower blood pressure, and a boost in blood production -- can all contribute.

If fatigue is related to pregnancy, it's important to get plenty of rest. Eating foods that are rich in protein and iron can help offset it.


Nausea (Morning Sickness)


Morning sickness is a famous symptom of pregnancy. But not every pregnant woman gets it.

Here's why it happens. A pregnant woman's hormone levels can slow the emptying of her stomach. That contributes to nausea, often called morning sickness, though it can happen at any time during the day.

Also, some women crave, or can't stand, certain foods when they become pregnant. That's also related to hormonal changes. The effect can be so strong that even the thought of what used to be a favorite food can turn a pregnant woman's stomach.

It's possible that the nausea, cravings, and food aversions can last for the entire pregnancy. Fortunately, the symptoms lessen for many women at about the 13th or 14th week of their pregnancy.

In the meantime, be sure to eat a healthy diet so that you and your developing baby get essential nutrients. You can talk to your doctor for advice on that.
Missed Period

The most obvious early symptom of pregnancy -- and the one that prompts most women to get a pregnancy test -- is a missed period. But not all missed or delayed periods are caused by pregnancy.

Also, women can experience some bleeding during pregnancy. If you are pregnant, ask your doctor what you should be aware of with bleeding. For example, when is bleeding normal and when is it a sign of an emergency?

There are reasons, besides pregnancy, for missing a period. it might be that you gained or lost too much weight. Hormonal problems, fatigue, or stress are other possibilities. Some women miss their period when they stop taking birth control pills. But if a period is late and pregnancy is a possibility, you may want to get a pregnancy test.

Other Early Symptoms of Pregnancy

Pregnancy brings changes in your hormonal balance. And that can cause other symptoms.

Frequent urination. For many women, this starts around the sixth or eighth week after conception. Although this could be caused by a urinary tract infection, diabetes, or overusing diuretics, if you're pregnant, it's most likely due to hormonal levels.

Constipation. During pregnancy, higher levels of the hormone progesterone can make you constipated. Progesterone causes food to pass more slowly through your intestines. To ease the problem, drink plenty of water, exercise, and eat plenty of high-fiber foods.

Mood swings. These are common, especially during the first trimester. These are also related to changes in hormones.

Headaches and back pain. Many pregnant women report frequent mild headaches, and others experience chronic back pain.

Dizziness and fainting. These may be related to dilating blood vessels, lower blood pressure, and lower blood sugar.

A pregnant woman could have all of these symptoms, or maybe have only one or two. If any of these symptoms become bothersome, talk with your doctor about them so you can make a plan to offset them.
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Considering Pregnancy

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Considering Pregnancy




Many of us want to become parents someday. Some of us never want to become parents. And many people are unsure.


No matter if you are married, partnered, or single, you have a lot to think about if you're considering getting pregnant and having a child. Only you can decide when the time is right for you.
  • Only you can decide if and when you are ready
  • The right time to have a child is different for everyone
  • Parenting is a lifelong commitment

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