- Thrush is quite common among women under the age of 20, particularly around the time of the period and is commonly found in pregnancy too.
- Thrush is caused by a yeast called Candida Albicans and is a normally occurring yeast in the vagina but problems only arise when an overgrowth occurs.
Reasons for this include:
- tight synthetic clothing
- exercise induced sweating
- perfumed toiletries
- sexual activity
- immunity and dietary issues
- medications such as antibiotics
- high dose contraceptive pill
- lengthy tampon or towel usage
- Itching , irritation and a burning sensation of the vagina and genital area
- Pain upon urination and painful sexual intercourse
- A discharge may or may not be present but signs include redness and swelling of the vulva / vagina.
Most treatments are available over the counter from your pharmacist and include:
- pessaries ( tablets inserted into the vagina )
- anti-fungal creams , applied to the outside of the vagina.
- oral tablets – available on prescription and usually consisting of a single dose treatment.
Treatment is usually quite short and in some cases just a single day but can be various lengths of time: 3 days, 6 days or up to 14 days. It is important to complete the course of treatment in full. Treat your partner to prevent re-infection with a thrush cream.
There are a number of ways to prevent thrush
- Reduce the sugar content in your diet and use water rather than sweetened drinks after exercise
- Reduce perfumed toiletries such as perfumed bathing
- Shower rather than bathe
- Wear loose clothing and breathable underwear – which reduce the likelihood of yeast overgrowth
- Change tampons and towels regularly during a period
- Use lubrication during intercourse
- Reduce caffeine and alcohol intake