Yeast infection after a C-section is mainly due to the broad-spectrum antibiotics administered during cesarean delivery. These antibiotics are used to fight off infections, but since they can not distinguish between the good and the harmful bacteria, they kill all bacteria present, including the healthy bacteria that keeps the yeast in check. Folded skin that hangs over your cs incision and tight clothing with moist skin under is also a perfect breeding ground for the growing candida fungus. Taking long-term steroids, infection of the amniotic fluid, obesity, diabetes, and immunosuppressive disorders such as HIV can also cause a serious yeast infection after a c-section.
Healing after a c section can be challenging because some women experience recurrent yeast infections.
No matter if you have a skin or vaginal yeast infection after your c-section, they aren’t fun to have and can be tricky to get rid of.
Why do you get a yeast infection after a c-section?
Yeast infection is caused by a fungus called candida, often found throughout your GI tract.
It thrives in warm moist environments such as diaper regions, vaginas, and surgical sites but it is not just limited to those areas.
After your c-section, you do have some conditions that may increase the risk of developing a yeast infection, such as moist skin under the wound dressing, tight clothing that might create too much humidity around the wound, or a fold of skin that lays over your incision that might cause constant moisture.
Signs of a yeast infection
How do you know if you have a yeast infection after your c-section?
You have to keep watching for signs which are different from vaginal yeast infection and infection on your incision.
Signs of incision yeast infection
The typical signs that you’d be looking out for, such as warmth and redness of the skin, are already present on your scar as part of your healing process.
But here are a few other signs of a yeast infection that you can keep an eye out for:
- Red skin
- Skin lesions
- Scaly or bumpy skin
- Beef like redness
- An odor coming from the swelling
- Any other changes in the skin color
Signs of vaginal yeast infection
The signs of a vaginal yeast infection are slightly different and are easier to spot.
Below are the signs to keep an eye out for:
- Itching and irritation
- A burning feeling
- Pain or soreness
- Thick yellow or white vaginal discharge
How to prevent a yeast infection after a c-section
In most cases, it is easier to prevent a yeast infection from developing rather than try to combat an already active infection.
Here are some tips that might help you stay clear of the infection after your c-section:
1. Use absorptive fabric
Try putting pieces of gauze in between your skin if you have a fold of skin that goes over your incision.
This helps the moisture soak into the bandage, which keeps the region dry.
You need to have plenty of dressing at hand because you’ll have to change it often.
Once it becomes damp, you’ll need to change it for a dry piece.
2. Dry well after a shower
You need to focus on drying your skin well after your showers.
Use a clean towel to dry it, and then allow the area to air dry.
You can also use a hairdryer on the cool setting to make sure the skin around the incision is really dry.
3. Change your underwear often
Any type of moisture is problematic, and dryness is the key to successfully beating a yeast infection.
If the gauze you have becomes damp, consider changing your underwear at the same time if it gets moist too.
4. Reduce friction
Make sure none of your clothes are too tight to decrease any kind of friction.
Avoid elastic that might rub and irritate the skin on the incision region more.
Treating a yeast infection after a c-section
In most cases, your doctor will prescribe an over-the-counter medication and an anti-fungal powder to help get rid of the yeast infection and keep the area dry.
You can also try some natural remedies, but you need to be careful not to irritate your skin further.
Here are some suggestions to get an overgrowth of yeast out of your system:
- Try an OTC spray. You can add Lotrimin antifungal spray over your incision as it will make it not so weepy and let it dry easier. You can apply the spray three times a day.
- Take probiotics. Probiotics will bring back the healthy bacteria into your system which will help combat the overgrowth of candida.
- Eat lots of yogurts. Eating other fermented foods such as kombucha as well as lots of yogurts will introduce good bacteria into your diet. Keep it 3-4 times a week for optimal results.
- Don’t put anything in your vagina. While natural remedies such as boric acid and garlic do work, this increases the risk of a vaginal or uterus infection.
- Take more Vitamin C. Vitamin C is a great way of fighting back yeast overgrowth by boosting your immune system. You can consider adding some foods that are high in Vitamin C such as citrus fruit and broccoli to your diet but you can also take an extra supplement.
- Change your pad often. Even though you had a C-section, you’ll still bleed vaginally. Keeping the same pad on for too long will create too much moisture on and around your vagina. The area needs to be as dry and as clean as possible.
Are infections common after C-section?
Yes. Infections following a cesarean delivery are common in about 2-15% of all C-section surgeries because of the wound coming into contact with bacteria or other harmful microbes.
How do I know my C-section scar is healing?
It can take anywhere from 6 weeks to 3 months before you’re fully healed.
Usually, by 2 weeks, your incision scar should look and feel much better.
Women face a post-c-section yeast infection all the time, and it also happens in all different types of surgeries.
It’s not embarrassing at all, and with the proper treatment and preventive measures, you can stop the infection from returning multiple times.
It is annoying and often frustrating to get rid of entirely; however, it’s not a reason to panic.
Just call your doctor and ask for medicine to take care of it before it gets more annoying.