What is Thrush ?
Thrush, also called candida albicans, it is a yeast that lives harmlessly on the skin and in the mouth, gut and vagina. Thrush is very common cause of unusual vaginal discharge: Three out of four women will have thrush at some point in their lives. Normally it is kept under control by harmless bacteria. Occasionally conditions change and the yeast increases rapidly causing symptoms. This is commonly known as thrush, or thrush infection.
Symptoms of Thrush
Some people will have no symptoms and not aware they have a thrush infection.
If symptoms develop in women you might notice itching, soreness and redness around the vagina, vulva or anus. A thick white discharge that looks like cottage cheese and smells yeasty, but not unpleasant. There may be pain when passing urine, and pain when having sex.
In men there is usually irritation, burning or itching under the foreskin or on the tip of the penis. Also redness, or red patches, under the foreskin. A thick discharge, like cottage cheese, under the foreskin, also difficulty in pulling back the foreskin.
Testing for Thrush
The Doctor will use a swab to collect a sample of cells. The swab is wiped over the parts of the body that may be affected and easily picks up samples of discharge. It takes a few seconds and is not painful. Swabs may be taken from the vagina during internal examination in women, the genital area, and the foreskin. Samples taken during the examination are looked at under a microscope to check for thrush infection and the results are usually available immediately.
Treatment for Thrush
Treatment is simple for both men and women. You may be given some anti-fungal cream, pessaries, pills or a combination. Advice will be given on how to use the treatment. The cream is applied externally to the genital area. A pessary is usually an almond-shaped tablet which a woman puts into the vagina.
Prevention of Thrush
Different people find different triggers cause vaginal thrush infection. For example:
Avoid wearing tight, restrictive or synthetic clothing, such as tights and nylon underwear
Use pads rather than tampons during a period
Avoid perfumed soaps, bubble bath, genital sprays
If prescribed an antibiotic for another condition, remind your doctor you tend to get thrush.
Complications from Thrush
Some anti-fungal products can weaken latex condoms, diaphragms and caps, which should not be used during treatment.