Date: January 2023, Version 4

Quick read

Clotrimazole can be used in pregnancy and is the first-choice treatment for thrush.

What is it?

Clotrimazole cream and pessaries (Canesten®) are used to treat vaginal thrush. Clotrimazole can be bought over the counter.


What are the benefits of using clotrimazole in pregnancy?

Clotrimazole is an effective treatment for thrush and improves quality of life by relieving symptoms such as itching, burning, and vaginal discharge.


Are there any risks of using clotrimazole during pregnancy?

There are no known risks of using clotrimazole in pregnancy.


Are there any alternatives to using clotrimazole?

Possibly. Other antifungal medicines are available, but clotrimazole is usually the first choice for use in pregnancy as it is considered to be the safest option.

No treatment

What if I prefer not to use clotrimazole during pregnancy?

Untreated thrush can affect quality of life, and in some studies, has been linked to a higher chance of preterm delivery. A doctor or midwife will discuss any concerns you may have about using clotrimazole in pregnancy.

Will my baby need extra monitoring?

You will be offered a very detailed scan at around 20 weeks of pregnancy as part of your routine antenatal care. Using clotrimazole in pregnancy is not expected to cause problems that would require any extra monitoring of your baby prior to birth.

Are there any risks to my baby if the father has used clotrimazole?

We would not expect any increased risk to your baby if the father uses clotrimazole.

Who can I talk to if I have questions?

If you have any questions about the information in this leaflet, please discuss them with your health care provider. They can access more detailed medical and scientific information from

How can I help to improve drug safety information for pregnant women in the future?

Our online reporting system (MyBump Portal) allows women who are currently pregnant to create a secure record of their pregnancy, collected through a series of questionnaires. You will be asked to enter information about your health, whether or not you take any medicines, your pregnancy outcome and your child's development. You can update your details at any time during pregnancy or afterwards. This information will help us better understand how medicines affect the health of pregnant women and their babies. Please visit the MyBump Portal to register.

General information
Sadly, miscarriage and birth defects can occur in any pregnancy.

Miscarriage occurs in about 1 in every 5 pregnancies, and 1 in every 40 babies are born with a birth defect. This is called the ‘background risk’ and happens whether medication is taken or not.

Most medicines cross the placenta and reach the baby. For many medications this is not a problem. However, some medicines can affect a baby’s growth and development.

If you take regular medication and are planning to conceive, you should discuss whether your medicine is safe to continue with your doctor/health care team before becoming pregnant. If you have an unplanned pregnancy while taking a medicine, you should tell your doctor as soon as possible.

If a new medicine is suggested for you during pregnancy, please make sure that the person prescribing it knows that you are pregnant. If you have any concerns about a medicine, you can check with your doctor, midwife or pharmacist.

Our Bumps information leaflets provide information about the effects of medicines in pregnancy so that you can decide, together with your healthcare provider, what is best for you and your baby.