Can persistent yeast infection harm my chances of conceiving?Pregnancy Gynaecology Sexual Health
I am 28 years old and trying to conceive. I have previously had a few yeast Candida infections, and I am afraid that it will affect my chances of getting pregnant.
Hi, you must be worried that the yeast might go into the uterus and cause an infection or even go into the Fallopian tubes. However, do not worry!
Yeast infection, even recurrent, has not been known or been associated with infertility. Yeast or candida is a fungal organism that resides in the vagina and thrive in a glucose rich environment. The lining cells of the vagina usually store glycogen in response to the female hormones (estrogen). The higher the glucose content, the better the yeast will thrive, relative to lactobacillus which is the "good" bacteria that is present in the vagina.
Hence yeast infection is an overgrowth of the fungal organism which may lead to itching, irritation, soreness and redness around the genital area. Conditions which may tilt the balance of yeast/ lactobacillus include high glucose levels (pre-diabetes or diabetes), douching (which changes the pH/ lactobacillus content), antibiotic usage (which also lowers the "good" bacteria count), lowered immunity, high stress levels etc.
So, while you do not have to worry that much about fertility, you probably need to look into factors that result in recurrent yeast infections.
Dr Yoke-Fai Fong
Thank you for your question. Candidal yeast infections are extremely common in women, and are easily treated with antifungal medications. However they can reoccur, as in your case.
The good news is that this infection is superficial and does not cause any long term damage to your reproductive tract.
There has been new data from lab tests showing that there can be some interaction with Candida and your partner's sperm, which can result in a reduction in sperm quality. However more conclusive data is needed to show whether this affects your chance of conceiving.
Furthermore, most infections are short lived and easily treatable by either your GP/Gynecologist/Sexual health Dr so if you are concerned, just get it treated as soon as possible.
All the best!
Dermatologist/Sexual Health Specialist