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Candida (Thrush)

Candida (Thrush)

What is it?

Thrush is a fungal infection most often caused by candida albicans. Candida is normally found in the vagina and is not harmful so it only needs to be treated if it is causing symptoms.

How do you get it?

Although thrush is not usually acquired from sexual intercourse male partners are sometimes treated if the candida keeps recurring.

Signs and symptoms

The usual symptoms are:

  • itchiness of the genital area
  • soreness of the vagina
  • a cheesy white discharge from the vagina
  • discomfort during intercourse and/or pain when urinating.

Treatment

Vaginal or oral medications are very effective and can be prescribed or bought over the counter at pharmacies.

Prevention

The following points may help to avoid or manage candida:

  • Wear loose clothing, as heat, friction and moisture help candida grow. Wear cotton underwear.
  • Avoid excess use of soap, vaginal deodorants, deodorised panty shields, shampoos and bubble bath solutions.
  • It is not advisable to have sex during a severe attack. Thrush causes inflammation of  the genitals and sex will usually increase the discomfort due to friction and heat.