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Vaginal candidiasis in pregnant women: A guide for nurses

Margaret Perry looks at how this common infection can affect women during pregnancy

Vaginal candidiasis or vulvovaginal candidiasis, (also more commonly known as thrush) is an unpleasant condition which can affect women around the world. The condition causes inflammation of the vagina and vulva, occurring as a result of a fungal infection. The problem can affect both pregnant and non-pregnant women alike and can be asymptomatic or symptomatic. This article will focus on candida infection in pregnant women and will give an overview of treatment, management and complications and hopes to give nurses and non-medical prescribers more confidence in recognising and treating this condition if they are able to.


Thrush among the general female population is very common and many women will suffer with the problem at least once in their lifetime. In pregnancy, rates of vaginal colonisation of Candida are estimated to rise from 20% in the general population to approximately 30% in pregnancy, and can be asymptomatic or symptomatic, however most episodes of symptomatic infections occur during the second and third trimesters.1

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