What is thrush?
Thrush is a yeast infection and is the second most common cause of a vaginal discharge (the most common being Bacterial Vaginosis). It is caused by yeast called candida, small amounts of which commonly live on the skin and around the vaginal area.
This candida may invade the vagina and, under suitable conditions, can multiply, causing the unpleasant symptoms of thrush.
If you think you may have thrush, please use our guide to symptoms to find out.
What are the Symptoms of Thrush?
Thrush symptoms include thick, curd-like discharge with no odour, itchy vagina, redness, vaginal irritation, and even burning.
Sometimes symptoms are minor and clear up on their own, but in most cases they are very irritating and will not resolve without treatment.
To check whether you think you might have thrush, please check our guide to symptoms.
What can cause Thrush?
The most common causes of thrush are:
Treatment and Prevention
There are many effective types of thrush treatment. If you think you have thrush, it is advisable to see your doctor immediately. If they diagnose the condition, you will probably be prescribed an anti-fungal cream and/or a vaginal pessary (a tablet you insert into your vagina); there is also an oral tablet, which some women prefer.
These methods of thrush prevention are also available from your pharmacist without a prescription.
There are some simple measures you can take, which could help prevent thrush:
- Avoid excessive washing (or douching) of the vagina: this may alter the normal balance of bacteria, making symptoms more likely to develop
- Avoid using perfumed intimate products as these can disrupt the natural vaginal balance
- Avoid tight-fitting underwear or tights and wear cotton underwear and loose-fitting trousers and skirts