Can Chronic Yeast Infection Hinder Getting Pregnant?

QUESTION

Dear Midwife,
Can having chronic yeast infections over the years hinder getting pregnant?

I always seem to have one, don't always have symptoms, but tests show. I've done meds and nothing seems to help keep them away.

We've been trying for many, many years and no luck. I didn't know if this would have any effect on us trying.

ANSWER

I know of no data that says chronic yeast infections cause infertility. That said, I'm wondering if you have had any counseling about your diet (yeast loves sugar and carbs) and whether you have been checked for diabetes, HIV and other conditions that can cause chronic yeast infections. If your other tests are all negative, it sounds like it is time to make sure that the type of yeast is the common one (candida albicans), because if it is not, a special medication may be needed to clear it up.

As for the infertility, if you have been trying for more than 12 months, it is time to see someone who helps couples with problems conceiving. Often, small changes can make a HUGE difference in your chances, so it is good to find out what options make sense in your particular case. Good luck!

-- Cynthia, CNM

Cynthia Flynn

Cynthia Flynn, CNM. PhD, is the General Director of the Family Health and Birth Center which provides prenatal, birth, postnatal, gynecological and primary health care to underserved women and their families in Washington, D.C. Recently Cynthia served as Associate Professor of Nursing at Seattle University. There she not only taught, but remained in full scope clinical midwifery practice at Valley Medical Center where she cared for pregnant and birthing women, and practices well-woman gynecology, family planning, and treatment of sexually transmitted diseases.

Cynthia founded Columbia Women's Clinic and Birth Center, where she took care of pregnant women and infants up to two weeks of age and attended both birth center and hospital births. Before Cynthia earned her CNM, she worked as a registered nurse in labor and delivery and postpartum and is a certified Doula and Doula trainer.