Vaginal thrush. The in’s the outs and the things to do in-between

Wearing tight underwear, douches, and the use of perfumed feminine hygiene sprays may increase the chance of developing an infection.

Fungi like warm, moist, airless places, and a vagina is a perfect home for them. Treating thrush In most cases, thrush can be easily treated with either a tablet that you take orally or anti-thrush pessaries, which are inserted into your vagina. Over 90% of cases of thrush are caused by Candida albicans. Adding it to a bath or diluting in water may help with yeast growing on the genitals. Do not wear tight clothes or underwear. 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).

A pessary is a pill that you insert into your vagina using a special applicator. However, the normal conditions of the vagina may be altered by excess washing and rinsing out (douching) of the vagina, bubble baths, scented soaps, spermicides, etc. In the majority of the studies reviewed, tea tree oil was tested on candida albicans, one of the most common yeasts in vaginal infections.

They may have a different condition or a resistant strain of thrush.

It may be associated with the following factors: If you suffer from Thrush regularly we recommend you attend a sexual health clinic to discuss treatment and management options. When experiencing changes in the vaginal balance, hormonal changes or pregnancy, there is less options available on how to deal with the condition. However, as symptoms may not be an accurate guide, an examination and tests are needed to make an accurate diagnosis and exclude other conditions.

To manage more-severe symptoms, you might take two single doses three days apart.


You can purchase these from the chemist without a prescription from your doctor. Treatment may vary and is determined by the severity of your symptoms. However, women who have recurrent thrush infections, women who wish to avoid antifungal creams and those who can’t afford them, might benefit from trialling a yoghurt and honey remedy. Vaginal thrush is treated with anti-fungal medication. If your daughter is not feeling better within a few days of finishing treatment, call the doctor. Look over each area for anything that seems abnormal for you. Avoid fabric softeners.

These products all treat your infection, but different people prefer different treatment options. Balanitis management and treatment, teach boys appropriate hygiene, especially if they are uncircumcised. To reduce the risk of recurrence, women should avoid practices that upset the natural bacterial balance in the vagina. Most can be easily treated with over-the-counter or prescription medications.

For example, if the infection is a different kind, such as bacterial vaginosis (the most common cause of abnormal vaginal discharge), rather than thrush. Information about a therapy, service, product or treatment does not imply endorsement and is not intended to replace advice from your healthcare professional. For example, the level of glucose in your blood may be tested if you’re suspected of having diabetes. This is because if symptoms of thrush persist despite treatment, you may have an entirely different condition that would not be helped by anti-fungal creams or tablets. An overgrowth of yeast causes vaginal thrush, not bacteria.

  • They may alter the balance of good bacteria and yeast in your vagina.
  • However, there's a very small risk of passing the condition on during sex, so you may want to avoid having sex until it's cleared up.
  • Some of these germs are actually helpful to us - for instance, 'friendly' bacteria in the gut help us to digest our food.
  • PCR testing for yeast is not FDA-cleared; culture for yeast remains the gold standard for diagnosis.
  • A smelly or coloured discharge.

Natural Thrush Remedies

Avoid tight clothing. Oral antifungal medicines containing fluconazole or less frequently, itraconazole, may be used if C albicans infection is severe or recurrent. There are other causes of vaginal discharge. Candida normally live on the skin and inside the body (mouth, throat, gut, and vagina) without causing health problems. The editorial team that develop MeReC Publications. This means that 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. However, it can be uncomfortable and you may experience a burning sensation during or after sex.


Fluconazole is also available over the counter from pharmacies as a single-dose tablet for treating thrush, under the brand names Diflucan and Canesten Oral. However, if your thrush doesn’t improve after treatment, or if you have frequent bouts (at least one every few months), you should return to your GP. It causes itching, irritation and swelling of the vagina and surrounding area, sometimes with a creamy white cottage cheese-like discharge. Recurrent vulvovaginal candidiasis.

The recommended management for problematic thrush is long-term treatment with regular (weekly or monthly) oral or topical anti-fungals. Consistency with other providers of clinical knowledge for primary care. The supplements are taken orally or inserted vaginally. Treatment of the sexual partner is not necessary unless they show symptoms of thrush. Are some women more at risk of vaginal thrush?

Thrush is caused by an overgrowth of yeast known as Candida Albicans. There is currently limited evidence to support vinegar, garlic or tea-tree oil in the treatment of thrush. Women are prone to vaginal thrush between puberty and the menopause because, under the influence of the hormone oestrogen, the cells lining the vagina produce a sugar and yeasts (which is what Candida albicans is) are attracted to sugars. They can refer you for tests or see a specialist if needed. If you prefer to use a cream, you can use an emollient moisturiser rather than an antifungal cream. Are you under 18 or over 60 years of age? Consultation with a wide range of stakeholders provides quality assurance of the topic in terms of: Advice if you’re pregnant or breastfeeding If you have thrush and you’re pregnant or breastfeeding, you should always visit your GP rather than buying anti-thrush medication directly from a pharmacy.

Treating Thrush

And, if you have thrush while you are pregnant, it won't harm your unborn baby. Or it could be related to hormone changes, or problems with your immune system. Trichomoniasis is caused by a small parasite, Trichomonas vaginalis, and is almost always sexually transmitted, rarely transferred through non sexual activity, such as wet towels/washcloths or a toilet seat (31). Avoiding wearing tight-fitting clothing, especially clothing made from synthetic materials. Wash and thoroughly dry the genital area at least once a day. Treatment works well for most women, and vaginal Thrush usually clears up within a few days. Share on Pinterest Tea tree oil has antifungal properties that may kill yeasts and fungi. Suppressive maintenance therapies are effective in reducing RVVC.


Follow-up typically is not required. Yes, but it is not recommended, as you may experience a burning sensation during or afterwards. Vaginitis (vaginal infections): symptoms, types, causes, treatment, to find studies that are currently recruiting for yeast infections, go to clinicaltrials. It’s important to note that if you have thrush while pregnant, it won’t harm your unborn baby. This article explores eight home remedies for a yeast infection to help people find what works best for them. Treatment is aimed at alleviating symptoms; asymptomatic women do not require treatment.

In some women, this may be a sign of iron deficiency, diabetes mellitus or an immune problem, and appropriate tests should be done. Find about more about the symptoms of thrush in men. You may also want to rub some anti-yeast cream on to the skin around the vagina for a few days, especially if it is itchy. The doctor might take a urine sample to rule out a urinary tract infection (UTI) and swab some vaginal discharge to examine under a microscope. Professional organizations and societies(for example, Royal Colleges). Pregnant women should only use topical treatments not oral therapies.

Are unwell in yourself in addition to the vaginal and vulval symptoms. However, you should return to your doctor if your thrush doesn't improve after treatment, or if you have frequent bouts (at least one every few months). If you are pregnant, thrush will not harm your baby. The manufacturers recommend that fluconazole is avoided in pregnancy. This is the basis of the over-the-counter test for thrush. A test strip is placed into the vagina and then the colour change indicates if thrush is likely or not.

Over-the-counter Treatments

It is important that current sexual partners are treated at the same time to prevent a woman becoming re-infected. While some studies are examining other ways to use oregano essential oils, at this time it’s recommended that you use it diluted in a carrier oil, such as olive or sweet almond oil. Treatment works well for most women, and vaginal thrush usually clears up within a few days. Treating current or recent sexual partners is also important to avoid re-infection. These aim to restore the balance of bacteria and yeast in the vagina. Thrush is not a sexually transmitted disease.

Although vaginal thrush is not a sexually transmitted disease, it can be triggered by sex.

Yeast infections (also known as candidiasis) are common infections caused by Candida albicans yeast, which is a type of fungus. Oral antifungal medication (usually fluconazole), which is taken regularly and intermittently (eg, 150–200 mg once a week for six months). Uncomplicated VVT responds to many available antifungal drugs such as clotrimazole cream, pessaries or fluconazole oral tablets. Sometimes a thick white lumpy discharge occurs which is described as ‘cottage cheese’. Your doctor might prescribe two or three doses of an antifungal medication to be taken by mouth instead of vaginal therapy.

Having some cream available during a course of antibiotics may be useful. What if I keep getting thrush? Creams containing clotrimazole can be bought over the counter from pharmacies. Thrush is a yeast infection, usually caused by a yeast-like fungus called Candida albicans. Their use is based on common practice rather than research studies: Anti-thrush remedies are available either on prescription from your doctor or over the counter from a pharmacy. In these case, it may be necessary to see a specialist. Yoghurt containing probiotics, either eaten or applied to the vagina, may be helpful; however, there is not yet enough evidence to know if it is proven to be effective.

  • Comments received after the deadline will be considered, but they may not be acted upon before the clinical topic is issued onto the website.
  • You should have swabs taken to rule out other infections or conditions and to decide on the most appropriate method of management.

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Discomfort and/or pain during sexual intercourse. Male yeast infection, what you need to know, in this case, you’ll likely need long-term, prescription treatment for up to six months to get rid of the infection. It may also be transmitted from the genitals to the eye and from mother to baby during birth. Anti-thrush tablets can cause side effects, including: Other infections can cause similar symptoms but require different treatments. More often it is an overgrowth of the Candida yeast which is already there but not previously causing a problem. These recommendations are largely based on what CKS considers to be good clinical practice.

  • Stress may be a precipitating factor.
  • A range of treatments is available for yeast infections, including many self-administered home remedies.
  • What are the treatments for vaginal thrush?
  • Natural, unsweetened, non-flavored yogurt contains beneficial bacteria, called probiotics.
  • Anti-thrush remedies are available either on prescription from your GP or over the counter from a pharmacy.
  • Most women have experienced thrush at some time in their lives, and some women find it difficult to cure the condition.

Can I self-diagnose vaginal thrush?

Treatment for thrush is considered to have failed if the symptoms do not clear within 7–14 days. Vaginal thrush is caused by Candida yeast, which is a common type of fungus. Some probiotic supplements may offer a natural solution to yeast infection. Not all genital complaints are due to candida, so if treatment is unsuccessful, it may because of another reason for the symptoms. These are available from pharmacies without a prescription. If the skin around the entrance to your vagina (vulva) is also sore or itchy, you may find it helpful to use an antifungal skin cream in addition to one of the treatments above. What increases your chances of thrush? Thrush is caused by the growth of too much yeast.

Your doctor may also test for sexually transmissible infections, which can cause similar symptoms. Side-effects are uncommon, but read the information leaflet that comes with the treatment for full information. An estimated 75% of women will have at least one episode of VVC, and 40%–45% will have two or more episodes. Intravaginal creams are applied inside your vagina. However, it does not usually cause problems because it is kept under control by the body’s immune system. Thrush is not a sexually transmitted infection and can occur without sexual contact. What is the cause of vulvovaginal candidiasis? The diagnosis is often based on the typical symptoms and signs.

BV is associated with pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), which is linked to fertility difficulties. As discussed above, oestrogen, a reproductive hormone is thought to play an important role in increasing the risk of having pathogenic fungal colonisation since thrush is more common in women of reproductive age group of between 20–40 years than in prepubertal girls and postmenopausal women who have lower levels of this hormone. Many women know when they have thrush and treat it themselves. Many home remedies are safe for the most people with yeast infections.

Standard Exclusions For Scoping Literature:

Read about how thrush is treated. You may also be more prone to recurring episodes (recurrent thrush) although some women develop repeated episodes of thrush with no obvious triggers. (5, ie, acidic), but candida can occur over a wide range of pH. Efforts to correct modifiable conditions should be made, and more prolonged (i. )A girl has high blood sugar. If a woman uses the anti-fungal treatment and the condition clears up, usually within a few days, it’s likely that Candida albicans were responsible. How can thrush be prevented? In mild cases, or for girls under the age of 16, a cream for the skin may be all that is needed.

The creams and suppositories in this regimen are oil-based and might weaken latex condoms and diaphragms. Thrush can cause significant discomfort and influence a women’s self-esteem and sex life. In the expert opinion of the British Association of Sexual Health and HIV (BASHH) [ BASHH, 2020b ] and the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) [ CDC, 2020 ], follow up and test of cure are unnecessary unless symptoms are persistent or recurrent. In severe cases, the vulva may appear swollen. Many women have Candida in their vagina without it causing any symptoms. The immune system and the harmless germs (bacteria) that also normally live on the skin and in the vagina usually stop Candida spp.

Although VVC is associated with increased HIV seroconversion in HIV-negative women and increased HIV cervicovaginal levels in women with HIV infection, the effect of treatment for VVC on HIV acquisition and transmission remains unknown. Or, drop into one of our CarePlus Pharmacies where our friendly (and discreet!) A minority of male sex partners have balanitis, characterized by erythematous areas on the glans of the penis in conjunction with pruritus or irritation. Candidal vulvovaginitis in pregnancy should be treated with intravaginal clotrimazole or nystatin for at least 7 days. When you are pregnant. Another name for vaginal thrush is candidiasis. But for most women, it’s not clear what causes episodes of thrush. The best protection from chlamydia and other STIs, whatever your sexual preference, is to always practice safe sex.

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People with sensitive skin may experience burning and even skin damage. Soak in a salt bath. Alcohol should also be avoided as it may interfere with the effectiveness of the treatment. Having small amounts of Candida on the skin and inside the mouth, digestive tract, and vagina is normal. An ideal treatment for candida/thrush using homeopathy, an herb that may help is thyme, which is approved in Europe for use in upper respiratory infections and is effective against oral thrush. Signs include vulvar edema, fissures, excoriations, and thick curdy vaginal discharge.

But generally both types of treatments are well tolerated. The treatment of Candida vaginitis and vulvitis. Emollients and antifungal skin cream can weaken latex condoms and diaphragms, so you may want to avoid having sex, or use another form of contraception during treatment and for up to five days afterwards. One place it targets is the genital area, which leads to pain, itching, and discharge.

Please note that swabs may not give any useful results if any treatment has been used in the preceding week or two. What to expect Most home remedies bring relief within a few days. There are several reasons why this happens. The condition may be something else, such as bacterial vaginosis, dermatitis, lichen sclerosis or genital herpes; these conditions are caused by different organisms and require specific treatment (1). Newer formulations include butoconazole and terconazole creams. It was revised by Kirsten Braun and the Editorial Committee in March 2020 and July 2020. Make a list of questions to ask your doctor. These tips may help you to avoid thrush, or avoid it coming back.

During summer months try to avoid sitting around for long periods of time in wet or damp swimming costume.


Anti-thrush tablets The two main types of anti-thrush tablets that are prescribed by doctors to treat vaginal thrush contain the antifungal medicines fluconazole or itraconazole. Antibiotics promote the growth of yeasts, so are best avoided unless really necessary. Thrush is caused when there is an overgrowth of Candida. Loose-fitting, natural-fibre underwear may be better. What are the symptoms of vaginal thrush? You are more likely to get thrush if you are in your 20s and 30s as it is less common in girls who haven't started their period and women who had gone through the menopause. 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.

If this is your first time experiencing the symptoms of a yeast infection, you should visit a gynecologist to verify that you actually have a yeast infection and not something else.

Doing so leaves you more prone to a reoccurrence of the yeast infection. To reduce the risk, insert the pessaries using your finger instead of using the applicator. The most typical symptom of a vaginal infection is an abnormal vaginal discharge. Around 1 in 100 women may have thrush almost constantly. During your appointment, don't hesitate to ask other questions as they occur to you. There are a number of reasons for treatment failure. You should see your GP if you have thrush symptoms:

There may also be a discharge from the vagina.


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. Girls whose diabetes isn't well-controlled are more likely to get yeast infections. CKS found no evidence or national guidelines specifically on treatment failure of vulvovaginal candidiasis in pregnancy. It is quite uncommon in prepubertal and postmenopausal females. What causes thrush? For those perpetual sufferers it can be very difficult and uncomfortable. The condition can also be caused by having sex when you are not fully aroused which leads to vaginal dryness.

Candidiasis (vulvovaginal). If recommending probiotics in the pharmacy, whilst it is correct to say that a probiotic may reduce the common effects of antibiotics on the intestine, such as diarrhoea and help to recolonise the good bacteria or flora of the gut, the research into the use of probiotics for vaginal thrush remains inconclusive and it is therefore not possible to recommended them as a first line treatment or preventative option. These are the symptoms associated with vaginal thrush: For others, it seems to occur after sexual intercourse. Although long-term prophylactic therapy with fluconazole at a dose of 200 mg weekly has been effective in reducing C. Taking antibiotics: 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.

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This can help relieve your symptoms and causes fewer side effects than antifungal cream. Yeast infections—vaginal, can these treatments make yeast infections worse? Some treatments are available from a pharmacy without a prescription. Some of these medications are available over-the-counter and others by prescription only. It is reasonable to assume it is thrush if: When the infection progresses to these areas it is referred to as PID. Other factors linked to the infection include pregnancy, uncontrolled diabetes, the use of oral contraceptives or antibiotics.

Read more about the causes of vaginal thrush and how thrush can be passed on through sex.


This regimen has clinical and mycologic eradication rates of approximately 70% (726). Also, thrush can occur at the same time as another infection. It’s usually kept under control by having regular insulin injections and maintaining a healthy, balanced diet. Some women however struggle with thrush systematically and find it difficult to get ride of. Antibiotic medicines.

What Is a Yeast Infection?

A pH level of 4-4. Avoid irritants such as deodorants, talcum powder, bubble bath solutions, deodorised panty shields or vaginal douches. Vaginal thrush is a common condition caused by an overgrowth of a yeast, called candida albicans, which normally inhabits the gastrointestinal tract, skin and vagina. Don’t use douches unless advised by your doctor, and avoid vaginal deodorant sprays and scented vaginal lotions. In most cases it develops for no apparent reason.

Read about how thrush is diagnosed. Thrush treatments, symptoms, causes & home remedies, in RD Feigin et al. Tight or synthetic clothes stop air movement and create moist conditions, which are ideal for bacteria. Apply hydrocortisone cream intermittently, to reduce itching and to treat secondary dermatitis of the vulva. This is not as common as regular thrush and requires a different treatment. When should you seek medical advice? For some women, vaginal thrush is more difficult to treat and tends to occur quite frequently, despite treatment. Boric acid should not be used during pregnancy.

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. 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. Thrush in men symptoms & treatments, yeast is a type of single-cell fungus, which means that it consists of one oval cell. The following treatments are typically recommended: VVC can occur concomitantly with STDs. Some research reports that topically applied boric acid, along with the antifungal flucytosine, successfully treats approximately 70 percent of women. Some women may also be experiencing a vulval dermatitis, or even a more serious but rare condition called lichen sclerosus, which can cause itching and require completely different treatment. There’s no strong research to support the use of hydrogen peroxide to treat vaginal infections. You will be asked some questions about: