Facts about thrush and pregnancy

Common among women, vaginal yeast infection ­– known as thrush – is mainly caused by the Candida fungus and affects 3 out of 4 women during their lifetime. Often developed as a result of taking medication or overly tight clothes and underwear, pregnant women can get thrush because of the rapid changes affecting their bodies. Hormonal imbalances, and especially the high level of oestrogen, increase the likelihood of developing vaginal thrush.

If you develop thrush during pregnancy or whilst trying for a baby, you should not worry. Here are some facts about thrush that every soon-to-become mother should know:

  • Although it may cause discomfort or pain during sex, thrush will not prevent you from getting pregnant

  • Thrush is not known to harm your unborn baby

  • In only around 2% of cases is thrush passed on to a baby during delivery

  • If passed on during delivery, thrush in babies is usually harmless, easy to spot and treat

Avoiding and treating thrush during pregnancy

There is a number of precautionary steps every pregnant woman can take to lower the risk of developing thrush while pregnant. They are easy, practical and effective in preventing a vaginal yeast infection. Proper hygiene, breathable cotton underwear, and regular check-ups with your GP are some of the things that help lower the risk of thrush.

However, if you have still developed a yeast infection, first see your GP before undertaking any treatment. Thrush treatments often include recommending an anti-thrush vaginal tablet or cream. Important to know that oral capsule containing fluconazole should not be taken during pregnancy for treating thrush.

Given that prevention is better than cure, here are some tips to help you avoid thrush:

  • Wear breathable cotton underwear that is not too tight

  • Ensure proper hygiene but avoid bubble baths, using soaps or any personal care products made with harsh chemicals around your vagina

  • Do not douche as it might increase the risk of vaginal irritation and disrupt the vaginal pH balance

  • Change underwear daily and wash it in hot water

  • Wipe from the front to the back ­to stop the bacteria from being transported to your vagina


Multiple authors, (2006), Vaginal yeast infection (thrush): Overview, Cologne, Germany: Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care (IQWiG); Retrieved from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK543220/

Anonymous, (2018), Can thrush harm my baby during pregnancy? NHS UK. Retrieved from: https://www.nhs.uk/common-health-questions/pregnancy/can-thrush-harm-my-baby-during-pregnancy/

Anonymous, (2018), Vaginal thrush during pregnancy. Pregnancy, birth & baby. Retrieved from: https://www.pregnancybirthbaby.org.au/vaginal-thrush-during-pregnancy

Dr. Kathryn Basford, (2019), Thrush in pregnancy. Zavamed. Retrieved from: https://www.zavamed.com/uk/thrush-in-pregnancy.html