28 answers

Acidophilus While Pregnant?

Hi! I've battled with yeast infections for most of my life and have found that acidophilus has really cured that for me. Now that I am pregnant with my second child (22 weeks) I am getting them all the time again. I stopped taking acidophilus once I knew I was pregnant because I wasn't sure if it was safe. I recently asked my OBGYN if I could get back on it and it said it was fine. I looked on the Mayco clinic online to see what they say and this is what I found..."There is not enough scientific study available to establish safety during pregnancy. Therefore, pregnant women should use L. acidophilus cautiously and under medical supervision, if at all." That concerned me a little. I guess I am just looking for some other opinions. I have only taken two days worth so far and am only taking half the dosage. Any thoughts would be appreciated. If you know of a better way to cure them during the pregnancy I would love that too!! I have been given the 3 day injection creams but it didn't cure anything long term.

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So What Happened?™

Thank you everyone for the great advice! My problem stems from years of being on heavy antibiotics. I do usually eat 1 sugar free/fat free yogurt a day and have a fairly decent diet but it does include breads and fruits. I am going to continue to take the acidophilus (vegetarian) and if things don't get better then I will take a harder look at my diet and make some small changes that I feel won't have a negative impact on the baby. Thanks again everyone...you are all great!

Featured Answers

hi J.
congrats on the baby, i had a thought. my mom-in-law has had this problem for yrs & when she reached menopause it got really bad. her ob told her to cut out all flower...wheat & white..all of it. and she did, w/no more problems now. it's been 3 weeks & she seems to be doing great! good luck...J. j

try web md that is the one that moffitt cancer center where i go uses, i have found i prefer it to others, good luck J.

My doctor explained the drug ratings to me...I forget what the letters were, but they are as follows.

Group that has been tested and is safe.
Group that hasn't been tested enough but the testing they have undergone isn't shown to be harmful.
and
Group X (I remember that much) has been tested and proven harmful.

There has been testing, none showing it's harmful, but not enough (which she told me was a HUGE number of tests) to show 100% safe. That doesn't necessarily mean it has been shown to be harmful in a few pregnant women, it just means there haven't been ENOUGH good outcomes to prove safe...meaning they all could have been OK, but it's not up to the number they need. Did I confuse you?? Hope I helped!

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If it helps you, this is the most natural remedy out there. It is a naturally occurring yeast that also is in fermented foods like yogurt and sauerkraut. If it is good for your body, it is good for your baby's. It is implanting good bacteria in your colon. I would suggest taking it if your body responds well.
J.

1 mom found this helpful

You can make a paste of the acidophilus and apply topically for great relief, also be mindful of your diet- no sugar, white flour. I have found very understandable data at Health Alert(Dr. Bruce West) and Weston Price Foundation.
best, k

Acidopholus is totally safe! Mayo clinic is just erring on the side of caution because like they said there is very little research. I ate plain goat yogurt daily when pregnant to get my probiotics, but acidopholus is also fine. Most people in the USA eat such sugary diets, we all have to much yeast and not enough probiotics in our guts. Plus being pregnant tends to raise your yeast levels. sounds like you tend to be pretty yeasty in general, so yes, take acidopholus, and also keep sugar intake down and I don't know if you drink coffee but it kills your friendly bacteria and makes yeast overgrow in your body, so if you are still having coffee, quit! Good luck! Oh and if you go the yogurt route, eat plain yogurt or else the sugar added is defeating your purpose. Yeast feeds on sugar and multiplies. Sugar is not your friend right now.

My doctor explained the drug ratings to me...I forget what the letters were, but they are as follows.

Group that has been tested and is safe.
Group that hasn't been tested enough but the testing they have undergone isn't shown to be harmful.
and
Group X (I remember that much) has been tested and proven harmful.

There has been testing, none showing it's harmful, but not enough (which she told me was a HUGE number of tests) to show 100% safe. That doesn't necessarily mean it has been shown to be harmful in a few pregnant women, it just means there haven't been ENOUGH good outcomes to prove safe...meaning they all could have been OK, but it's not up to the number they need. Did I confuse you?? Hope I helped!

You could try making your own yogurt, it's FULL of a variety of healthy cultures. Some women even insert a teaspoon of yogurt into their vagina as a preventative. Go underwearless as often as possible and avoid bathing suits and tub baths. Use a hair dryer to dry your "area" after each shower. Clip excess hair that might be trapping moisture. Making your own yogurt is super easy, get a few table spoons of all natural yogurt from the grocery store, make sure it has live cultures. Bring a half gallon of milk slowly to a boil, stirring frequently with a clean spoon. When it gets to 185 degrees or 5 minutes after it starts to froth, remove it from the stove and place it in a sink of water with ice cubes, stirring frequently until it drops to 110 degrees but not below 90 degrees. Then add the yogurt, stir well and cover the pot. Place it on a heating pad on medium or low and cover the covered pot with a few towels. Leave it alone for at least 8 hours, 12-15 for more cultures and a tangier tasting yogurt. Pour off the whey ( you can reserve it for adding in smoothies if you want). Refridgerate and it will be nice and thick and yummy. I add fresh local honey to the top of mine and a little high fiber granola and fresh fruit...mmmmm. Save a little ( 1/4 cup or so) in a container as your "starter" for the next batch. This makes a cup of yogurt only about 17 cents and is healthier.

Acidophilus as absolutely fine during pregnancy. I've worked with midwives in nutritional counselling.

In my view it's pretty safe to use, probably safer to use when pregnant than some common foods and beverages which the medical scientists haven't researched much to determine safety during pregnancy either. Remember, it's a helpful bacteria for the intestines that naturally lives there and keeps a balance that stops outbreaks of other kinds of disruptive bacteria like yeast. If your body needs it then it's safer to take it during pregnancy than to not take it and have health problems that could themselves negatively affect the pregnancy or the child.

I would tend to think probiotics are fine to take while pregnant. They are recommended for nursing moms while on antibiotics to prevent thrush. As a matter of fact, you can directly give probiotics to babies. There are some studies showing probiotics reduce colic. They are safe enough for newborns so I wouldn't stress too much over taking them while pregnant.

I used it with absolutely no problems......
check with la leche league (or call the office of a local homeopath/naturopath/holistic physician) if you are still feeling unsure. They have a reference book that list drugs and supplements into different classes on safety to use during pregnancy, while nursing,etc-
Think about it this way too.....Mayo Clinic(as well as FDA)gives that standard warning on most "supplements" because if a drug company isn't marketing it they aren't profiting from it. Its a safe way to cover their butts as well....a broad statement of "the FDA hasn't approved, proven, this supplement....blah blah blah!"
The misery of yeast/candida infections is definitely no fun... I feel your pain! Good luck to you! L.

Acidophilus is present in regular yogurt. Yogurt is most certainly safe while pregnant and I would assume since acidophilus is in yogurt, that is safe too. If you are nervous about it, just switch to eating yogurt. Also, you can use plain (flavor and sugar free!) yogurt as a vaginal cleanser. I use this whenever I have a yeast infection. 3 days of rinsing with yogurt while I'm in the shower and the yeast infection is gone. Although, when I started eating yogurt every day my incidence of yeast has completely disappeared.

Years ago they pumped me full of antibiotics before surgery and it destroyed my entire flora. I suffered the worst yeast infection of my life and long story short, the only cure was long term Diflucan. Armed with all the research I did, I am still very suseptable so I take supplements and try to stay clear of sugar and yeast products, they are the enemy. Try eating no sugar yogurt or Dan active everyday if you are uncomfortable with taking the acidophilus supplements while pregnant. And vaginal creams dont work its a waste of money.

Hi, J.. Well, there is no scientific reason why acidophilus that goes into your stomach should be harmful to the baby inside your womb, but the Mayo clinic has to be very careful how they word things, so they have to say that there have been no studies done on acidophilus because there haven't been.

Now, having said that, it's also probably true that there have not been any studies done on cheese or yogurt, either, but they are considered safe foods even though they are processed with a similar kind of friendly bacteria.

Here's what I would suggest: eat yogurt if you are worried about the fact that no studies have been done on straight acidophilus. Yogurt is made with acidophilus -- in fact, before they had the acidophilus supplements, they were telling us in the 1970s to eat yogurt in order to keep yeast infections away. It's not as strong or concentrated as the supplements, but it's a safe food product. Make sure you eat live cultures. You can also try kefir, and you can also try acidophilus milk. It's different eating acidophilus in normal concentrations in food products than it is in a massive dose in a capsule.

I hope this is helpful and eases your mind. I'm not a doctor, but I can't think of a single reason why acidophilus would be a problem in pregnancy. Yeast infections, now THEY're a problem!

You might also try a little cranberry juice to make sure that your urine is acidic enough to keep away bladder infections. This might help your yeast problem, too. I remember that I had to treat myself for both at the same time frequently as a younger woman.

Take care, and have a wonderful rest of your pregnancy!

Peace,
Syl

Eat plain yogurt. That has the "good" bacteria and will help with the yeast infections and is also healthy for baby and you

Check your diet. I battled yeast infections constantly. After viewing a tv show about the many symptoms that are caused by sugar comsumptions, I quit using sugar, immediately. The yeast infections have been gone for years.
After my first yeast-free exam, I explained my sugar free dietary changes to my doctor. His response":"Yeah, right." as he rolled his eyes. Nutrition is not part of his training or belief system.
I also had several other health improvements when I eliminited sugar and other refined carbs.
I hope you are soon, yeast free.

Acidophilus is safe anytime! If you don't have acidophilus you will eventually die. Doctors don't learn nutrition and they do not get the kick back for natural substances that is paid by pharmaceutical companies for drugs. That is why they will discourage herbs and naturals. Without prebiotics your baby will be born with thrush and other fungal problems. I know from experience. If I had only known then what I know now!
A good educational site: knowthecause.com

Good luck and love,
M.

try web md that is the one that moffitt cancer center where i go uses, i have found i prefer it to others, good luck J.

Acidophilus is perfectly safe and fine! It's a natural part of our bodies and immune system. The medical profession will always say it hasn't been proven but I would be much more concerned of the chemicals in the creams they recommend harming the baby. I am pregnant as well and had an infection coming on and my midwife said to up the acidophilus.

I would do some good diet searching online specifically for diets/foods to avoid that create a more suitable environment for yeast to thrive. Sugar is a HUGE no-no, yeast LOVES sugar. Anything with yeast in it doesn't help either. I would think (but I am NOT a Dr) that taking a good probiotic would be fine (in fact I think my prenatal vits from the health food store has them in there). Actually, the 3 day injection creams have warnings on them about pregnancy....you should check into yours. When I needed one the OB also said that the 7 day is more recommended for pregnant women due to the immune system,etc and the need for 7 day treatment... again,still carries risk during pregnancy. There are natural remedies online and with diet change it should clear up. Diet is a huge factor, as well as wearing cotton and keeping dry. Blow drying after showers can help too....Best wishes!

I would persue taking probiotics during your pregnancy and breastfeeding. Go to a nutritionist at your local health food store and check it out. Also Vitamin C is great for clearing toxins out of you and your baby. Never too young to be thinking about prevention.

I don't know much about acidophilus and pregnancy, but my rule of thumb is when in doubt - don't! Always err on the side of safety, especially since it is your baby we are talking about and the Mayo Clinic feels the same! Taking it in pill form is a higher concentration than taking it in yogurt or other dairy products. Because your system is so used to the elevated dose you've been taking, it would only make sense that your symptoms would reoccur when you stop. Let your body adjust its natural levels of yeast while you are pregnant and keep it to a minimum by just taking acidophilus as it is in food (not sold by itself) so that your body gets to decide how much to absorb. Remember also that whatever you take, your body feeds the baby first and you get the leftovers. That also means that the tiny baby gets the same amount of acidophilus that your large body would have gotten. That's a disproportionate percentage and much higher concentration going into your baby.
It may mean you deal with an elevated level of yeast and discomfort at first, but I trust your body will regulate itsef with the hormone changes going on as your pregnancy progresses. Your complexion, hair, nails, and that pregnancy "glow" are all due to prenatal vitamins and your body's production of hormones during the pregnancy, making sure that you are a good home for that growing baby!
I trust that the yeast problem won't be nearly as bad as when you aren't pregnant. Give your body a chance and find out how pregnancy will affect it and just eat your acidophilus in yogurt and milk! A mild irritation to you or an unknown risk to your baby. In my opinion, an easy choice.

HI-

I too suffered from yeast infections that kept coming back on their own for no apparent reason even with vaginal yeast treatments, etc. I would take probiotics and everything. It turns out I had an intestinal yeast infection. My sister and I have both had this problem with yeast. Once it is in your system, probiotics don't do a whole lot.

Probiotics REPLACE the yeast once the yeast is removed either through a strict no sugar diet (this includes fruit!) or by meds like oral nystatin, depending on how severe your infection is, but cannot remove the yeast itself. Once you are infected, the probiotics do not have the ability to latch on in your intestines as the yeast is there instead. This is probably why you keep getting reccurances of the yeast, as it really has never gone away.

The infection will flair up if you go on a sugar binge, go on antibiotics, or if your body chem changes, such as when you are pregnant or under a lot of stress. I had gone on a VERY strict no sugar diet for over six months (boy am I glad that is over!) well before I was pregnant with my first and have been on probiotics since. My sister's infection was so bad she had to take meds. She is also on probiotics now. You need to find a GI doctor that can work with your OB on this, but BEWARE, many GI's do not believe yeast is a problem (they are a little behind on this), so you need to do some interviews before picking someone.

During my pregnancies, I took Jarrow Formulas' Jarro-Dophilus + Eps with my OB's consent, BUT THIS WAS FOR PREVENTION. You can find it for much less than the brick and mortar health food stores at http://www.luckyvitamin.com.

Hope this helps.

K.

For the past 2 yrs. I have taken probiotics for GI health per the suggestion of my integrative medicine doc.When I got pregnant I had the same concern. She told me that it would b beneficial for the baby to have healthy bacteria as well. An overgrowth of yeast is not healthy anywhere in the body. A great alternative resource I use is Nutritional Healing. There is some good info.about yeast in this book. Congratulations on your pregnancy. I hope it is a healthy one.

Listen to your OB/GYN. He wouldn't tell you "don't eat yogurt" (my prefered way to get acidophilus). I ate it all the way through my last pregnancy for just that reason, and all was well.

I have never heard it was bad for anyone to take acidophilus. I have always understood it to be good for you. Organic stores sell Acidophilus for infants. It is in yogurt and some acidophilus milk. Can't be worse than OTC creams. Just a thought.

You may find this hard to believe.. BUT...Most MDs backed by the AMA (which is controlled by the pharmaceutical companies)will downplay safe alternative treatments in favor or chemical/drug/surgical treatments - notice how they recommended the DRUG they said was safe(and would put money in the pocket of the phamaceutical co.) but cast doubt over taking something that is found in the gut normally(and does not profit the pharmaceutical co.) that has no side effects and actually fixes the problem of imbalance instead of just masking the symptoms. You may have 2 causes of repeated infection: you have taken antibiotics which also accidentally kills off the good bacteria needed to stave off a "takeover" of the bad microbes (the yeast); or you are eating sugar which is what yeast thrive on (read food labels carefully to find sugar in unlikely places- like mayo, lunchmeat etc). Read the Book The Yeast Connection. You can also see a naturopathic doctor. If you want more info from an enlightened MD you can go to www.mercola.com. Your family's long term health will thank you!

I'm sorry, I don't know about taking it while you are pregnant, but I have a problem with yeast infections (or used to) and my chiropractor put me on a natural food supplement called Total Yeast Redux made by Nutri-West which contains Acidophilus along with a few other things. He told me that I have too much yeast in my digestive track and along with taking this I am to stop eating any kind of yeast. The other hard part is sugar makes yeast, so the more sugar you eat the more yeast is in your digestive track. My point is to look into this for yourself, but in the mean time, I would stop eating anything with yeast, or at least bread. One last thought, in order to stop myself from getting yeast infections before I found this out was to only use Dove soap in washing my body, and not the ones with extra stuff in it, just the white bar. For whatever reason, this helped a great deal. Also, no baths with buble baths, all these perfumy and things like that will make it come on as well (oatmeal ok). Just a few thoughts I hope they help. Good Luck

hi J.
congrats on the baby, i had a thought. my mom-in-law has had this problem for yrs & when she reached menopause it got really bad. her ob told her to cut out all flower...wheat & white..all of it. and she did, w/no more problems now. it's been 3 weeks & she seems to be doing great! good luck...J. j

Hi J.,

Three day injection creams just cure yeast at the site and they are dangerous for the baby. If you have a vaginal yeast infection then your entire body is eaten up with it. The vaginal canal is the last place for it to show.

The Mayo Clinic is going to say that about everything natural. Acidophilus is naturally occurring in foods and if you take a recommended dosage you should be fine. I recommend a vegetarian capsule for purity and effectiveness. It's actually probably better than fine because you don't want to pass the yeast to the baby. Studies show that acidophilis is good to prevent eczema in newborns in utero.

Congratulations on our little one!

M.

PS Yeast is one of the most common causes for breaking down the immune system. Your little one doesn't need yeast at this stage....

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