Thrush: Yeast Overload

Thrush “YAY!” No, not Yay! More like, “ahh this sucks!” Thrush is SUPER common, about 3 in 4 women or 75% of us will have a bout of thrush in our lifetime. But never fear, Thrush is really easy to treat so in no time at all you’ll have your happy vag back!

What Is Thrush Exactly?

Vaginal Thrush, also known as candidiasis or monilla, is a very common infection that arises when there is an overgrowth of Candida albicans yeast. This yeast usually lives happily in small numbers your bowel and vagina, but sometimes the amount of yeast becomes too much – this is called a yeast infection. Thrush is easy to treat and does not cause long-term health issues.

You can view the video transcript here.

Symptoms of a Thrush Infection

If you have thrush you may experience some or all of the following;

  • Vaginal discomfort- itching or burning
  • Thick, white discharge with a ‘cottage-cheese’ appearance and a funny smell
  • Redness or swelling of your vulva or vagina
  • Stinging or burning while peeing or having sex
  • Splits in the skin around your vagina.

To make sure that you have thrush a doctor will usually have a look at your vagina and take a swab with a big cotton bud. However if you are quite certain that you have thrush,  just head to your chemist where you can find treatment readily available. Ask the pharmacist for thrust treatments.

What kind of Thrush Treatments are available?

Treatments of thrush aim to reduce the quantity of yeast and eliminate symptoms. You can get treatments without a script from your chemist. You may have noticed at the end of the clip above that it was made by a brand called canesten – this is one of the many brands that make thrush treatments.

There are two types of treatment available at the chemist:

Antifungal creams or vaginal tablets- These are designed to be put directly into the vagina with a special applicator. Sometimes a second course is required.

Oral Tablets-These are known as fluconazole and are swallowed. This treatment is not recommended for pregnant women and is usually used if the creams have not been effective. If you are pregnant or are taking other medications, have a chat with your doctor before taking fluconazole.

Some women also use natural treatments to treat thrush such as applying plain or natural yoghurt, but there is no clear evidence to support its effectiveness.

Sometimes thrush will only last a few days, in some women it appears just before they get their period, and will go away on its own without any treatment.  However, if you do seem to get thrush repeatedly make sure you visit your doctor to confirm it is thrush and to rule out any other skin conditions or STIs.

It’s also a good idea pay a visit to your doctor if you have symptoms and;

• You are not sure you have thrush
• Have had unprotected sex with a new partner
• Have pain in your pelvic area and abnormal bleeding
• Have treated yourself with thrush treatment and symptoms have not gone away.

How to Prevent Thrush

By taking a few simple measures you can greatly reduce your chances of getting a thrush infection. These include;

  • Wiping your bottom from front to back, to prevent spread of candida albicans from your butt to vagina.
  • Don’t use soap to wash your vagina!! Click here to see how to best take care of down there. If you want to use something, unperfumed Sorbolene is best.
  • Avoid using antiseptics, douches or perfumed sprays in your genital area.
  • Avoid perfumed toilet paper and menstrual products.
  • Avoid wearing tight fitting pants and synthetic undies, natural fabrics are best as they let fresh air in down there!
  • Change the detergent you use to wash your clothes and don’t use fabric softeners.
  • Maintain a healthy immune system by eating a well-balanced diet, getting enough sleep, exercising regularly and keeping stress levels down.
Thrush and Sex

You can have sex when you have thrush BUT it may be pretty uncomfortable. You might feel itchy or burning during or after sex so make sure you use plenty of lubricant to minimize friction.

Remember Thrush is NOT a sexually transmitted infection, but males may get a bit red or itchy after sex.

Thrush treatments can weaken condoms so be sure to apply your treatment after you have sex.