Thrush is a common problem during pregnancy. It’s caused by changes to the ph of the vagina allowing an overgrowth of Candida albicans, a fungal bacteria, and it’s totally normal. It hasn’t been found to have any long-term detrimental affect to baby or Mum aside from how incredibly irritating it can be! If you’re already prone to thrush pregnancy is likely to be a difficult time for you. You might have built up a tolerance to the anti-fungal creams which you’d normally use in combination with a tablet. Unfortunately, the tablets may not be safe during pregnancy and therefore aren’t recommended, so you can feel like you've got no options other than to wait till baby is born. But I’m here to tell you you do have options, lots of them and they’re all safe and effective.
- Marigold tea, it’s perfectly safe to drink this tea during pregnancy. It’s anti-fungal and supports healing of tissue. To use it make a cup of tea using 1 heaped tsp of herb. Infuse for 5mins and drink up to 3 times a day.
- Marigold douche, to support the teas actions you can also apply it directly to the vagina. Make yourself a tea as above then add it to bath water. Fill the bath just high enough that you can cover your vagina. Sit in the bath with your legs open and swish the water between your legs gently.
- Probiotic pessaries, introducing “good” bacteria to the vagina will make it harder for the Candida to thrive. Simply pop one inside the vagina like a tampon and wear for… If you’re upright the pessary is likely to leak a bit so wearing a panty liner can help protect your underwear. It’s also easier to use them at night when you are lying down for this reason. Probiotic yoghurt on a tampon is a cheaper alternative to the probiotic pessaries. Simply soak a tampon in a live probiotic yoghurt and insert. Change this over a few times a day.
- Tea tree cream for the itch, there are a lot of anti-fungal herbs which you can’t consume internally during pregnancy but you can still apply them to the outside of the vagina. By using a cream with tea tree you’ll make the vagina less hospitable for the Candida and soother the irritation too.
- Salt baths, using epsom salts in you bath along with the Marigold tea will help too. You might even want to add some drops of Tea tree, Thyme or Lavender essential oil. 7 drops should do it.
- Kefir/probiotic drinks, by eating probiotic foods you make it harder for the Candida albicans to survive in the gut and the vagina.
Along with the remedies above you can support your treatment by wearing loose fitting underwear, avoiding sugar (including excessive fruit intake), alcohol, refined wheat and mushrooms. Sugars feed Thrush, if you need help avoiding it I’d recommend the 8 Week Sugar Detox by Sarah Wilson. If you use 3 or more of the treatments above in tandem I would expect Thrush to clear up within a week, perhaps two. If you’re still suffering after 2 weeks I’d recommend seeing a Herbalist so they can give you some individualised advice on what you can do.