Vaginal thrush is one of the most common yeast infections that can affect women. In fact, as many as 75% of women will experience thrush at least once in their lifetime.
Thrush is very common and developing this infection can occur for a number of reasons. It is caused by a fungus called Candida albicans, which triggers a thrush infection if the natural balance of bacteria in your vagina is disturbed. A disturbance can be brought about by using certain cleansing products, wearing particularly tight clothing or taking some antibiotics.
Some women who have thrush will not even be aware of it because this infection can often present no symptoms at all. In these cases, a cervical smear would be necessary for a diagnosis. If symptoms do occur, they usually take the form of some kind of soreness or irritation, either in or around the vagina, which may be noticeably red. Changes to the normal vaginal discharge consistency are also possible. Some women notice some pain during sex and during urination.
It is very rare to pass on thrush to your partner, but it can happen. It is recommended that you abstain from sex if you have thrush until the infection has cleared. Sexual intercourse can hinder the recovery process and lead you to be infected for longer than necessary.
No, thrush is not considered to be a dangerous infection. However, it can be uncomfortable and it is best for you to seek treatment as there are several available to ease the symptoms and quicken recovery.
It is not vital for you to take medication if you have thrush, but doing so can lessen the duration of the infection and relieve the uncomfortable symptoms it can cause.
Treatments and medications for thrush come in the form of tablets, pessaries and creams. You will be able to buy some treatments over the counter in a pharmacy, but for others it will be necessary for you to have a prescription. Diflucan and Gyno-Daktarin are both prescription medications which can be taken to treat thrush.
Men can get different types of thrush. These are candida balanitis (occurring at the head of the penis), a candidal skin infection and oral thrush (occurring inside the mouth).
There are some things you can do to reduce your likelihood of developing thrush. For example, wearing cotton underwear and avoiding perfumed cleansing products can help. After using the toilet, remember to wipe from front to back instead of back to front.
Thrush is not thought to be harmful to an unborn baby during pregnancy, and can actually be caused by pregnancy. If you are pregnant and seeking treatment for thrush, you will likely be advised to use a cream treatment or a pessary rather than tablets.