What is thrush? (click to close)

Thrush is a common and inconvenient problem affecting some women at various stages of their lives. The general complaint is of irritation, itching and tenderness in the vaginal area and it can be associated with redness and a white discharge.

  • 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
  • pregnancy
  • diabetes
  • high dose contraceptive pill
  • stress
  • lengthy tampon or towel usage

What are the symptoms of thrush? (click to close)

  • 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.

What is the treatment for thrush? (click to close)

It is vital to treat the infection thoroughly to avoid re-occurrence. This means treating the infection both on the inside and outside at the same time.

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.

How do you prevent thrush? (click to close)

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

Haven Health Tip! (click to close)

Daily probiotic intake may help to reduce the re-occurrence of thrush and is a healthy lifestyle option to maintain a healthy internal bacterial flora environment. e.g. Symprove Probiotic.
Find out more about thrush from your local Haven Pharmacist.