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Pregnancy and Yeast Infection: The Alternative Medicine Perspective


For handling pregnancy and yeast infection prior to conception, one is best advised to consult a naturopathic physician who meets the criteria of the AANP.








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Pregnancy and Yeast Infection: an Alternative Medicine Perspective

Todd Luger, LAc

It is not uncommon for women to experience yeast infections during pregnancy. Chinese and naturopathic medicine may be able to shed some light on why this is so and what can be done to prevent it. In order to avoid the combined discomfort of both pregnancy and yeast infection, the keys are getting one's house in order and keeping it that way. The great strength of alternative medicine is the ability to identify key lifestyle factors that impact the disease process.

Many women will make lifestyle changes prior to or just after getting pregnant. These changes may involve diet and exercise and possibly supplements. If one wants to avoid yeast infections, one must first consider one's past history. Excessive antibiotic use for things such as recurrent bladder infections or acne may predispose to concurrent pregnancy and yeast infection. The added hormonal changes of pregnancy may be the factor that finally tips the balance towards a symptomatic overgrowth.

Women planning on getting pregnant should determine if they already have an asymptomatic overgrowth of candida in both the vagina and large intestine. If so, one can use natural methods prior to both pregnancy and yeast infection can help prevent the latter from occurring in the first place. In order to determine if one has such a preexisting condition, cultures such as those available through various Great Smokies Diagnostic Laboratories can be used to make these diagnoses. One should seek out a sympathetic healthcare professional to order and interpret these tests as well as prescribe treatment. For handling pregnancy and yeast infection prior to conception, one is best advised to consult a naturopathic physician who meets the criteria of the AANP.

According to most authorities in Chinese Medicine, candida yeast tends to occur in patients who overindulge in what are called "damp" foods. These are many of the same foods as those held culpable by modern experts in systemic candida, such as sugar, yeasted wheat products, alcohol. However, this list would also be extended to all greasy and sweet foods in general. Dairy is considered particularly problematic in pregnancy and yeast infection, as are soy products. In general, a diet of light foods with mild aromatic herbs is considered ideal to avoid dampness. This includes whole grains, vegetables and lean meats and fish. It is best to adhere to such a diet both before and during pregnancy.

If one does unfortunately end up with both a pregnancy and yeast infection at the same time, it is advised that immediate attention be sought. There are no readily available herbal remedies or other supplements that can reliably treat all yeast infections. In addition, it is not clear whether remedies used under normal circumstances are completely safe when used during pregnancy and yeast infection. Fetuses may be sensitive to strong substances used to destroy candida. While no incidences have been reported or adverse effects of using natural medicines for yeast infection during pregnancy, there also have been no controlled tests proving safety. In all cases involving pregnancy, one should always err on the side of caution and remember the absence of evidence of harm is not necessarily proof of safety.

Todd Luger, Licensed Acupuncturist and Herbalist, has 14 years of clinical experience in Chinese Medicine, focused on chronic pain and illness, has been a professor of Herbology and Clinical Medicine at Pacific College of Oriental Medicine since 2000, and is director of the Chinese Herb Academy. You can read more of his articles on, at the Chinese Herb Academy, or on his Health Weblog.
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