My patients and other pregnant women with yeast infections have been wary of taking the anti-fungal medicine fluconazole (brand name Diflucan®). The concern stems from a 2011 FDA report that it may cause birth defects in high doses if taken during the first trimester of pregnancy.
However, if you’re pregnant or a new mom, and are worried about the medication, you can rest easier now. There’s reassuring news about the normal use of fluconazole during pregnancy.
Study shows no increased risk with usual single dose
Researchers in Denmark studied more than 7,400 women who’d taken fluconazole while they were pregnant. They found that in nearly all cases a single 150- or 300-milligram dose for yeast infection does not increase the risk of birth defects.
The researchers looked at 14 specific birth defects out of 15 and found no increased risk. There was one heart condition that showed that showed a slightly increased risk, but it’s a very, very rare condition. So, a single dose has a minimal downside during pregnancy.
And, if you’re now a mom — if you took a dose during your pregnancy and your second trimester ultrasound was normal, you have nothing to worry about.
Other treatments for yeast infection during pregnancy
As reassuring as the news about fluconazole is, topical creams and gels may be a better and safer choice for you to treat yeast infections if you might be pregnant or are in the early stages.
In my earlier blog, I talk about different kinds of over-the-counter treatment for yeast infections and when you should go to the doctor if those aren’t effective for you.