What Is Vaginal Thrush?

How is thrush diagnosed?

There are different ways you can do this: You have previously had, or are concerned about, sexually transmitted infections. For some unknown reasons, if the vaginal environment changes, the Candida flourish, proliferate to large numbers, colonise the vagina and become pathogenic causing the signs and symptoms of thrush. Most people carry it on their skin or in their bowel. This organism normally lives, along with other organisms, in the vagina, causing no harm. Vaginal fissuring and/or swelling. UTI Another common infection in women is a urinary tract infection (UTI). See your doctor, who may examine you and may perform some tests.

Anecdotal reports suggest that many women experience relief from such home treatments. It’s a good idea to do a patch test on a small area of skin before applying them to larger areas of the body. If symptoms are reoccurring or if treatment has not previously been successful, it is best to refer to the pharmacist who can in turn refer the customer back to their Doctor to discuss further available options. Levels of beta-carotene (a type of vitamin A) have been found to be low in the vaginal cells of women who have thrush. It may dry on underclothes leaving a faint yellowish mark. You should see your doctor if:

  • Talk to your doctor about keeping your blood sugar levels as well controlled as possible.
  • A prolonged course of a topical antifungal agent is occasionally warranted (but these may themselves cause dermatitis or result in the proliferation of non-albicans candida).
  • However, when conditions are good for Candida spp.
  • Considering a majority of those with chlamydia show no symptoms, asking the doctor to be tested for chlamydia while already at an appointment would be beneficial, especially if the woman feels she may be at risk (29).
  • However, certain factors can make thrush more likely to develop.

Many probiotics also contain FOS. Avoid wearing tights if you are prone to recurrent infections. How do I get thrush? Thrush can develop following changes in lifestyle, health or habit. Recurrent thrush refers to four or more diagnosed episodes of vaginal thrush within 12 months. But, there's an increased risk of vaginal yeast infection at the time of first regular sexual activity.

Intravaginal cream is normally used once. White discharge under the foreskin. Untreated trichomoniasis has been linked with an increased risk of acquiring HIV and of transmitting other STIs. Practices include: Yeast infection in men While vaginal yeast infections are more common, it’s possible for men to get yeast infections, too. The creams are available from pharmacies and can be used to treat an isolated episode of thrush – that's one that occurs more than a year since the previous episode – see below for treatment of recurrent thrush. There are a number of factors which may make a woman more susceptible to developing thrush:

As thrush is contagious is it advisable for your partner to be treated at the same time, in case you are reinfecting each other. Some women may find sexual intercourse extremely painful and others have attributed relationship difficulties or breakdown to the condition. Thrush occurs when there is an overgrowth of Candida albicans (yeast-like fungus) in your vagina. Women who suspect they may have thrush should visit their doctor, who will examine the genital area; a swab of the area can also be taken and tested. That is, sexual activity, particularly with a new partner, multiple partners, or female sexual partners, appears to increase a woman's risk of BV (7,8,9). He is a member of the Irish Medical Homoeopathic Association. Some probiotic supplements may offer a natural solution to yeast infection.

Yeast infection and periods Having both a yeast infection and your period can feel like a double-whammy.

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Garlic is a known antifungal and antibiotic. Certain conditions are known to be associated with recurrent thrush. Although thrush is common, it is not the only thing that can cause itchiness or pain, and accidentally using anti-thrush medication when you have another condition can sometimes make that condition worse. Having small amounts of Candida on the skin and inside the mouth, digestive tract, and vagina is normal. Download the Thrush leaflet here. Vaginal thrush, sometimes called yeast or candida infection, is caused by the over-growth of the organism Candida albicans.

Thrush is caused by a group of yeasts called Candida. Three out of four women are thought to develop thrush at least once and 6% suffer repeatedly, scientists say. About candida auris (c. auris), cleaning the room with different products than usual. However, thrush can develop if the natural balance of micro-organisms in the vagina is disrupted and Candida multiplies. Alternatively, you could try using an ordinary emollient (moisturiser) near your vagina. People should not leave a medicated tampon in for more than 6 hours.

Has had 4 or more yeast infections in a year. What is vaginal thrush? If you get recurrent vaginal thrush and are unsure what is causing it, discuss your symptoms with your doctor.

Your vagina naturally has a certain amount of yeast.

Checking For Changes In The Vulva

If your symptoms get worse or an over-the-counter treatment doesn’t help, contact your GP surgery, or go to your local sexual health clinic. While not scientifically proven, some patients with recurrent thrush appear more likely to have infections and allergies. The treatment of Candida vaginitis and vulvitis. Others are only available on prescription from your GP. The most common part of the body infected by trichomoniasis is the vagina or male urethra; infection in other body parts is very unlikely (32). Thrush is a common infection. Most bouts of thrush are caused by C. PHARMACY ONLY available for sale through pharmacies only.

It is not considered a sexually transmitted infection. Routine blood tests don’t detect thrush. If you think you keep getting thrush, don't just keep treating yourself with over the counter creams, such as Canesten. Among the complications include fertility issues and premature delivery (if you get infected while pregnant), and a higher risk of contracting STIs. Is it a vaginal yeast infection or something else?, you must see a doctor to get antibiotics. Seeing a health professional who understands the complexities of this condition can be helpful, along with setting realistic expectations about management. Talk to your doctor if you have more than four yeast infections per year.

Boric acid (boron) 600 mg as a vaginal suppository at night for two weeks reduces the presence of albicans and non-albicans candida in 70% of treated women. The main types are: They will first collect a sample of vaginal discharge with a cotton swab, which will then be sent off to a lab for study under a microscope. Loose-fitting clothing — avoid occlusive nylon pantyhose. Some vaginal creams can weaken condoms, so apply the treatments after you have had sex if you are using condoms, or use alternative forms of contraception.


A healthy vagina has an efficient self-regulating system that maintains a slightly acidic pH, which effectively prevents the proliferation of troublesome yeast or bacteria. Things you can do to ease discomfort and prevent vaginal thrush returning: Nonalbicans candida species, particularly C. An overgrowth of candida or penetration of the fungus into deeper vaginal cell layers causes the signs and symptoms of a yeast infection. Oral antifungal medicines containing fluconazole or less frequently, itraconazole, may be used if C albicans infection is severe or recurrent. 2 Oral thrush is a fungal infection in the mouth Credit: When there’s an overgrowth of this fungus, it can lead to yeast infection.

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The number of cases of vaginal yeast infection is not entirely clear because it is not a reportable disease and it is commonly diagnosed clinically without laboratory confirmation. You may also see them if you continue to get yeast infections before your period every month. Occasionally however, thrush can occur in post menopausal women if they have uncontrolled diabetes, hormone replacement therapy (HRT), severe chronic disease or if they use antibiotics, immuosuppressive agents or tamoxifen (a breast cancer drug). Men who are infected by a partner with vaginal thrush may show symptoms such as itching or redness in the groin area or on the head of the penis – a condition known as balanitis. Alternative modes of treatment such as oral consumption of lactobacilli in yoghurt, use of tea tree oil, dietary modification (elimination of high sugar foods and foods containing yeast) have not been proven to prevent or treat thrush and should therefore not be self-prescribed without first seeing you doctor. BV is said to have a strong fishy odor too. These are some things to check for: As girls mature and go through puberty, hormonal changes can put them at risk for yeast infections — sometimes, girls get yeast infections right before their menstrual periods.

However, there are many other conditions of the vagina and vulva that have symptoms in common with thrush, so if there is the slightest doubt about the diagnosis, it is essential that your doctor takes a vaginal swab and sends it for analysis before treatment is started. Thrush or vaginal candidiasis are the general and medical terms used to describe a common vaginal yeast infection. There is some relationship between thrush and the female hormone oestrogen.

Normally, the bacteria which cause BV are kept in check by the presence of 'good' bacteria, lactobacilli, which keep the vagina acidic. Vaginitis (vaginal infections): symptoms, types, causes, treatment, what are the symptoms? Try washing in warm, salty water to soothe the area and avoid using soaps, shower gels or bubble baths around the vaginal area. While it’s possible to have one or the other, or even both infections at the same time, UTIs and yeast infections are two different conditions.

This can be a tablet you take, a tablet you insert into your vagina (pessary) or a cream to relieve the irritation.

If needed, your doctor might order a vaginal fluid test.

Related Conditions

They'll recommend how often you should use treatment. But it could have a cooling effect - and is likely to be more beneficial for thrush on the tongue. Candida albicans is a fungus that exists naturally in the vagina, mouth, bowel and elsewhere. In women, symptoms of chlamydia can be similar to those of other conditions (e. )Topical antifungals are safe to use during pregnancy.

It is a good idea to test for allergies to oil of oregano on the forearm before use. Recurrent thrush may be associated with a variety of other symptoms including irritable bowel syndrome, increased premenstrual tension, dry eyes, anal irritation, cystitis, fluid retention and dermatitis. Vaginal thrush may also be treated with anti-thrush tablets that you take by mouth, but these are usually kept for the most difficult cases and used in conjunction with vaginal treatment, under the supervision of your doctor. Incomplete eradication of the yeast will allow it to multiply again when conditions are favourable. It develops when there is an imbalance of micro-organisms in the vagina causing the Candida to multiply. Garlic is well-known for its effect on the immune system and it has both antibacterial and anti-fungal properties.

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Anyone using a vaginal treatment should not have sex until the infection is completely cleared — these medicines can weaken condoms and diaphragms. There are probiotic pessaries that can be inserted into the vagina. Dennerstein G. Conventional remedy: Because the four episodes have to be identified with a swab test, research into this area is difficult and costly. Recurring thrush You might need to take treatment for longer (for up to 6 months) if you keep getting thrush (you get it more than twice in 6 months).

Chlamydia is diagnosed using either a swab or urine test. Using a simple emollient every day as a moisturiser to protect the skin around the vulva. Burning sensation when urinating.

Some women prefer to put pessaries in by hand when pregnant. For best results you should take them over a period of three months, at the end of which you should be reassessed in order to monitor improvements and changes and then adjust the supplement programme according to your new condition. As indicated above, there are many ways a yeast infection can flair up and other common ways that yeast can overgrow include: Many of these treatments are now available over-the-counter (no prescription required).

The pH of the vagina tends to be in the normal range (3.


If you have a tendency to recurrent thrush, it’s worth taking an Omega 3 fish oil supplement every day over a period of six months. It is important to speak to your doctor or pharmacist regarding treatment if you are pregnant and/or breastfeeding. This is not to say that every course of antibiotics will lead to thrush. When you see your doctor, make sure that the diagnosis is confirmed with a swab sent to a pathology lab. If your daughter has diabetes, keeping her blood sugar levels under control will help her avoid getting yeast infections. If you're on a course of antibiotics, you are more at risk of getting thrush. Appropriate treatment for C. A UTI can also cause frequent urination along with pelvic and abdominal pain.

BV is associated with pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), which is linked to fertility difficulties. If there is soreness without itching, this is more likely to have another cause. This can bring relief and treat the infection. However, scientific evidence varies for the effectiveness of these alternative therapies. Furthermore, if you already have a yeast infection, there can be no doubt that levels of beneficial bacteria are not high enough. Recurrence of BV is common; 50% of women treated for BV will develop the condition again in the next 6 to 12 months (9). Over one-half of Australian women will have vaginal thrush at least once in their lifetime. 75%, will develop the infection in their lifetime and half of these will have repeat infections of one or two episodes.


The yeast is mainly present in the bowel, but may also be present in the mouth, on the skin and in the vagina. Vaginitis (Web Page). An oral medication may be needed if your baby has oral thrush (yeast infection of the mouth).

  • It’s also possible to transmit the infection via sex toys and by kissing someone with oral thrush (yeast infection of the mouth).
  • When should you see your doctor quickly?
  • What do you think?
  • Localised thrush responds well to antifungal medication in most cases apart from some 5% of cases which become recurrent and are resistant to common antifungals.
  • If LS is left untreated, this can lead to severe scarring and possible changes to the normal anatomy of the vulva (22).
  • Although most women will have experienced one or more episodes of uncomplicated thrush that results in temporary discomfort, some suffer from recurrent episodes.

What Triggers Thrush?

Share on Pinterest Tea tree oil has antifungal properties that may kill yeasts and fungi. In fact, thrush is simply the result of an overgrowth of Candida. Vulvovaginal candidiasis - known as thrush - is caused by the overgrowth of the fungus candida. It also occurs more frequently in pregnant women. Diagnosis of vaginal thrush involves a doctor taking a medical history and performing a pelvic examination.

Sometimes simple remedies such as ice packs applied to the area for up to ten minutes can bring relief. If you've had thrush before and think you have it again, you can normally treat it with medicines bought from a local pharmacy. Other species of yeast often colonise the vagina but cause no harm. It is a type of fungal infection – a yeast infection – caused most commonly by the fungus Candida albicans (in over 90% of cases). Further swabs may be taken to be sure you do not have other types of vaginal infections.

Common Thrush Symptoms

Treatment may vary and is determined by the severity of your symptoms. However, other types of yeasts can also be responsible. If you have recurrent vaginal thrush you should never self-treat. Thrush symptoms, after washing, pat the area dry. If the burning sensation worsens, people should discontinue use.

Refer to the ‘Vulval Conditions’ fact sheet for more information on these conditions. Thrush is the second most common cause of a vaginal discharge. Vaginal yeast infections (for teens), if you suspect that you’re struggling with a vaginal yeast infection, you can use over-the-counter antifungal medication to try to clear it up, Dr. After this, they used the treatment just once a week on an ongoing basis as a preventative measure. If you take antibiotic medication. Vaginal thrush is a common infection caused by a yeast called Candida albicans. Many women know when they have thrush and treat it themselves. Candida yeast also causes infections in other moist areas of the body, including the mouth (oral thrush) and skin folds. This could be due to changes in the bacteria in the vagina when you have taken antibiotics.

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In fact, it’s estimated that 3 out of 4 women will get more than two vaginal yeast infections in their lifetime. This is done with either over-the-counter products or alternative therapies. Even if you choose one of these external methods, it’s a good idea to take a good oral probiotic alongside. Many of these treatments are now available over the counter (no prescription required). Although vaginal thrush is not a sexually transmitted disease, it can be triggered by sex. These cells go to a lab for examination. Tight clothing can also make symptoms worse as they trap moisture, creating the perfect environment for the infection.

You may need a longer course of treatment if your vaginal thrush is difficult to treat or keeps coming back. Thrush is a very common cause of itch and discomfort in the genital area. There is no evidence to support the use of special cleansing diets and colonic hydrotherapy for prevention. Less common Candida species include Candida krusei and Candida tropicalis. Soak in a salt bath. A probiotic is the opposite of an antibiotic, which means that it encourages rather than destroys bacteria in the body. When symptoms do occur, they include itching, burning and a “cottage cheese-like” discharge.

Avoid bad hygiene habits when going to the toilet. Women who suspect they may have chlamydia or a vaginal infection should visit their doctor. Vaginal thrush is a common yeast infection that affects most women at some point. Remember to use barrier methods, such as condoms, when having sex if you suspect either of you has a yeast infection. Some women suffer from recurrent episodes. Avoid using perfumed soaps and cleaning products on the vagina. This can make distinguishing between the two infections difficult.

However, sometimes we can also be driven to the point of insanity by a common little fungal yeast infection called Candida Albiacans.

Treatment Tips

If you think your daughter has an infection, call your doctor for advice. Be aware that thrush is more likely if you take antibiotics for other conditions. It is not contagious and can usually be easily treated with anti-fungal medication from your GP. If left untreated however, these infections can persist for years. Depending on the treatment of chosen creams and pessaries, they may be used from anywhere between 1-6 days and the whole course should be used for optimal results.

Antifungal medication can usually treat thrush in a week or so with brands like Canesten and Canesflor. Many people have a small amount of the Candida Albicans fungus in their bodies. A UTI is a bacterial infection that affects the urinary system. Treatment for babies and children may be as simple as a probiotic powder, or for older children the addition of natural acidophilus yoghurt to the diet.

You do not need to treat partners unless they have symptoms. Some products may be specifically suited for cooking, rather than for use on skin, so compare products and brands to choose an appropriate product. Don’t have vaginal sex straight after anal sex. The level of acidity gives an indication of whether a discharge is due to thrush or to bacterial vaginosis. As an alternative to eating garlic, some women have tried using garlic internally.

Tests for other infections.

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There is some support for the theory that RVVC results from an especially intense inflammatory reaction to colonization. What is the best natural cure for a yeast infection? What are the symptoms? The treatment also had a long-term effect on the yeast responsible for the infection. Change tampons and sanitary towels frequently. The supplements are taken orally or inserted vaginally. Vaginal yeast infections are typically caused by the yeast species Candida albicans. There are a variety of effective treatments for candidiasis. Vaginal yeast infections are common among growing girls, and about 75% of all females will have one at some point.

This is NOT the case. The purpose of the Southern Cross Medical Library is to provide information of a general nature to help you better understand certain medical conditions. Vaginal boric acid capsules can work for women with a yeast infection.

Thrush Treatment

Treatment for thrush involves the use of anti-fungal creams inserted in the vagina with an applicator, vaginal pessaries and/or oral medication. Because vaginal discharge is something we need to talk about. Once the friendly bacteria have been killed in sufficient numbers, the candida yeast gets a chance to grow unchecked. A test strip is placed into the vagina and then the colour change indicates if thrush is likely or not. Redness (erythema) - usually around the vagina and vulva, but may extend to the labia majora and perineum.

You shouldn't use antifungal medicine more than twice in 6 months without speaking to a pharmacist or doctor. Any discharge you have does not smell and is white or creamy. It can also be brought on by using vaginal deodorants, bath salts and some soaps. Symptoms include itching, irritation or a burning sensation in your genital area, and pain may be present during sexual intercourse. People can use 3-5 drops of tea tree oil in 1 ounce of warmed coconut oil to soak a tampon. Not all genital complaints are due to candida, so if treatment is unsuccessful, it may because of another reason for the symptoms. If you have Thrush, it's best to avoid having sex until you've completed a course of treatment and the infection has cleared up.

Pregnant women should only use topical treatments not oral therapies.


To reduce the risk of recurrence, women should avoid practices that upset the natural bacterial balance in the vagina. Try not to spend prolonged periods of time in a wet bathing suit. For example, if you are on chemotherapy for certain cancers, if you are taking high-dose steroids, etc. This is called recurrent candidiasis and is best managed by a doctor with a special interest in the area. The patient's symptoms may be due to an underlying skin condition such as lichen sclerosus. Barrier protection (condoms) should always be used when having sex with a partner whose previous sexual habits or partners are unknown. Treatments that are applied internally have been shown to cure more than 80 percent of vaginal yeast infections. If you don't get treatment, the problem can continue for years.

Chlamydia predominantly affects those aged 25 years old and under (28).

It is impossible to predict how long persistent thrush may last for individual women, but the good thing is most will respond to long-term therapy, and it will eventually ease. Test the diluted oil on an area the size of a dime on the forearm, and if there is no reaction in 12 to 24 hours, it may be safe to use on the more sensitive genital area. Vaginal thrush (Web Page). Avoid fabric softeners. In clinical studies, garlic extracts have been to found to prevent the growth of candida. Less than 5% of women will experience recurrent thrush (20,23). This also means we don’t know exactly how long women may go on having experiences of recurrent thrush. Your GP can examine you.

Change tampons and sanitary pads regularly.

What about my partner? Keeping your blood sugar (glucose) level under control if you have diabetes. Does yoghurt really work? Oral sex may also disrupt bacteria in the mouth, vagina, and penile areas. Antibiotics may kill the normal harmless bacteria in the vagina which help to defend against Candida spp.

Have had two episodes of thrush in six months and have not consulted a doctor or nurse about this for more than a year.

Treatment And Prevention For Thrush

The immune system and the harmless germs (bacteria) that also normally live on the skin and in the vagina usually stop Candida spp. They contain anti-yeast medicines such as clotrimazole, econazole, miconazole or fenticonazole. Thrush, 1999 Nov;135(5):. Douching (rinsing the vagina out with water or a solution) also increases the risk of BV (7). The dose and frequency depend on the severity of symptoms. A review of research on this essential oil confirmed its ability to kill a range of yeasts and fungi. According to University of Manchester research, recurrent thrush is a growing problem which can feel "like torture" if it isn't treated. What causes thrush?

Yeast Infection (vaginal)

If you have a partner, they should be treated for thrush at the same time. If you are pregnant, thrush will not harm your baby. So, make sure your vagina is well lubricated when having sex. What if I keep getting thrush? He should see a doctor if he gets an itchy red rash on his penis.

Another name for vaginal thrush is candidiasis. Vulvovaginal candidiasis is due to an overgrowth of yeasts within the vagina, most often C. If you suffer from Thrush regularly we recommend you attend a sexual health clinic to discuss treatment and management options. Another possibility is having vaginal intercourse with a man who has a penile yeast infection. Gray-cheeked thrush, aside from open country species like the American Robin and bluebirds, thrushes tend to be shy, inconspicuous birds that quietly forage for invertebrates on the forest floor. Their doctor may do the following investigations to ascertain the diagnosis of thrush: Have had a previous bad reaction to anti-thrush medication or treatments. Some women require long-term therapy. Chlamydia is usually treated with a single dose of antibiotics.

Some of the common symptoms of thrush include: If you are in a sexual relationship, there is no need to treat your partner too unless they also have symptoms. Vaginal thrush is caused by an overgrowth of, or an allergic reaction to, a yeast called Candida albicans. At busy times we may need to signpost non-urgent cases to other clinics or recommend patients make an appointment for an alternative day or suggest a return visit.