Can I use Monistat while pregnant?
Medically reviewed by Sally Chao, MD. Last updated on April 16, 2021.
Yes, you can use Monistat during pregnancy. Monistat is the brand name of the antifungal drug miconazole, which is commonly used to treat vaginal yeast infections.
Miconazole is in a class of medicines known as "azoles." Miconazole is one of several azoles used to treat vaginal yeast infections. Some azoles are taken by mouth in pill form, while others are applied directly to the vaginal area.
It's recommended that pregnant women with a vaginal yeast infection use only topical miconazole for 7 days. Topical miconazole is preferred for pregnant women because the developing baby is exposed to less medication with this type.
Monistat is available as a cream or vaginal suppository, and both forms come with an applicator to insert the medicine into your vagina. You can also apply the cream with your fingers.
Vaginal yeast infections are common in women of reproductive age: Up to 75% of women will have at least one vaginal yeast infection during their lifetime. Vaginal yeast infections are most frequently caused by a yeast called Candida albicans. About 1 in 5 women have this yeast living in their vaginal area normally without any symptoms of infection. Exactly why vaginal yeast infections develop is unclear.
Vaginal yeast infections occur more often during pregnancy, especially during the second and third trimesters. This increased frequency is thought to be at least partially related to changes in your hormone levels and immune system during pregnancy.
Symptoms of a vaginal yeast infection include:
- Vaginal itching, soreness or burning
- Redness or irritation
- Pain during sex
- Vaginal discharge that looks like cottage cheese
- Pain while urinating
Monistat is available over the counter (OTC), which means you do not need a prescription for it. However, tell your doctor if you develop a vaginal yeast infection during pregnancy.
- Insight Pharmaceuticals. Monistat (miconazole). 2015. https://hcp.monistat.com/sites/monistat_hcp/files/2020-07/MN042601_M7_Cure_Itch_Complete.pdf. [Accessed March 4, 2021].
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Vaginal candidiasis. November 10, 2020. Available at: https://www.cdc.gov/fungal/diseases/candidiasis/genital/index.html. [Accessed March 4, 2020].
- Workowski KA, Bolan GA. 2015 sexually transmitted diseases treatment guidelines. MMWR Recomm Rep, 64(RR3):75-78, June 5, 2015. Available at: https://www.cdc.gov/std/tg2015/candidiasis.htm. [Accessed March 4, 2021].
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