Most women will experience this vaginal infection at least once in their lives. It is caused by an overgrowth of the yeast candida albicans. This yeast is present on and in our bodies normally but can increase in numbers at certain times which leads to the symptoms we know as thrush. Thrush can also occur elsewhere such as in the mouth.
Why do we get thrush?
- Disrupted hormone levels in pregnancy
- Side effects of antibiotics and corticosteroids
- Other medical conditions where our immune system is suppressed
Symptoms of thrush
- Vaginal burning/itching/stinging/discomfort
- Thick white vaginal discharge
Treatment of thrush
- Antifungal cream with applicators or antifungal pessaries (tablets to insert) can be obtained from a Pharmacist and are the first line treatment and the Pharmacist will work out which length treatment is best for you
- Fluconazole in a one off capsule is appropriate for some people. Usually those who have used the cream or pessary and it hasn’t worked. Pregnant women can not use the capsule and neither can some other people
- Male partners rarely need to be treated unless there is recurrent infection
Prevention of thrush
- Always wipe from front to back when using the toilet
- Wear cotton underwear and avoid tight synthetic fabrics
- Use a soap free wash or sorbolene
If you get thrush often it is a good idea to see your Doctor so they can make sure that it really is thrush that you are suffering with. Thrush is a fungal infection and it is possible to get bacterial vaginal infections that are treated differently. Symptoms could also be due to an STI. If you suffer from diabetes thrush can be a sign that your blood sugar levels are too high and so your diabetes treatment needs to be investigated.