Prevalence studies indicate that Candida species colonize the vagina in at least 20 % of all women, rising to 30 % in pregnancy. Although, some studies concluded that pregnant women were more likely to have symptomatic vaginal infections caused by Candida, yet other studies found a high prevalence of asymptomatic infection only during pregnancy. Most episodes of symptomatic vulvovaginal candidiasis (VVC) occur during the second and third trimesters. The increased risk of VVC in pregnancy is likely sustained by pregnancy-related factors, such as immunologic alterations, increased estrogen levels, and increased vaginal glycogen production. Although evidence is incomplete, there is some emerging data which suggests that candidiasis in pregnancy may be associated with increased risk of pregnancy complications, such as premature rupture of membranes, preterm labor, chorioamnionitis, and congenital cutaneous candidiasis. In contrast to nonpregnant women, there are no formal studies, evaluating the use of long-term suppressive maintenance oral azoles in the treatment of recurrent VVC (RVVC) in pregnancy. Most clinicians do not offer suppressive therapy in pregnancy and prefer to treat individual symptomatic episodes only utilizing a topical imidazole vaginally for 7 days to minimize systemic exposure to medications.
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Tina Aguin and Jack Dr Sobel have no conflict of interest.
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This article is part of the Topical Collection on Genitourinary Infections
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Aguin, T.J., Sobel, J.D. Vulvovaginal Candidiasis in Pregnancy. Curr Infect Dis Rep 17, 30 (2015). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11908-015-0462-0