A yeast known as candida lives normally on skin, in the mouth and gut. It can flare up
from time to time in some individuals causing thrush.
Is it common?
Yes. At least 3 out of 4 women will experience it at some time. A much smaller
proportion will suffer from it on a regular basis. It is much less common in men.
How does it show itself?
The yeast may be present without you knowing it however you may have one or more of the
|itching, soreness and redness around the vagina and its
`lips` (vulva) and `back passage` (anus). Can cause a vulvitis
|thick, white discharge looking like cottage cheese.
|pain during sex
|pain when passing water
|irritation, burning, itching, redness and red patches
under the foreskin or on the top of the penis
|thick, cheesy discharge under the foreskin
|difficulty pulling back the foreskin
|discomfort when passing water
What can cause it?
Thrush is more likely to develop when you,
|wear tight jeans or nylon underwear
|are taking certain antibiotics
|are unwell or ill
|are taking the contraceptive pill
|have unprotected sex with someone who has thrush
Can it be treated?
It is usually quite easy to treat using pessaries (such as canestan) with or without creams. A pessary is an
almond-shaped tablet a women puts high up into her vaginal using a special applicator. On
the other hand a pill may be given if pessaries have failed to work.
Can anything else be done?
The following may help in some cases;
|Avoid washing yourself too frequently or using
disinfectants and bubble bath in the water.
|Stop using soap and clean yourself with just water.
|Some women gain relief by inserting a tampon soaked in
plain, live yoghurt then removing it. There is not much evidence to prove this works.
|Use pads rather than tampons during a period
|Avoid tight fitting clothing and underwear made from
nylon. Stockings are better than tights.
|Women should wash and wipe the genital area from `front
|Inform your doctor if you think you may have developed
thrush after taking antibiotics.
Sometimes thrush can be passed on through sex so if it keeps returning it may be wise
to have any regular partners checked.
Having sex during treatment may delay healing so it would help to avoid this until it
has cleared up.