What is it?
Thrush is caused by yeast. This is often present normally in the vagina but can multiply and cause symptoms.
What are the symptoms?
There may be one or more symptoms including:
- Itching soreness and redness around the vagina, vulva or anus
- A thick, white discharge from the vagina that looks like cottage cheese and smells yeasty
- Pain when you have sex
- Pain when you pass urine (peeing)
- Irritation, burning or itching under the foreskin or on the tip of the penis
- A redness, or red patches, under the foreskin or on the tip of the penis
- A thick, cheesy discharge under the foreskin
- Difficulty in pulling back the foreskin
- Men who have these symptoms should always be checked for diabetes
What is it caused by?
It is caused by yeast that normally lives harmlessly on the skin, or in the mouth, gut and vagina, without causing any problems. Evidence says it’s not usually transmitted sexually.
How is it diagnosed?
By taking a swab from the affected area.
How is it treated?
Treatment for thrush is easy. A cream is applied to the external genital area and women usually get pessaries to insert into the vagina using a special applicator. Oral anti-thrush tablets are now available. These can all be bought over the counter at the chemist.
How can I best prevent infection recurring?
Avoiding the following can reduce the chances of thrush recurring:
- wearing tights, nylon underwear or tight trousers or jeans
- using perfumed bubble bath, soap or vaginal deodorants
- using alcohol / baby wipes on your genital skin
- using strong detergents or fabric softeners when washing your underwear or towels
Consider washing with a non perfumed soap free body wash and preferably one described as 'hypo- allergenic'.
Free condoms are available throughout Dumfries & Galloway by joining the C4U scheme.