What is thrush?
Thrush is a common yeast infection found in men and women. It is more commonly known as vaginal thrush in women and is not an STI, although it can be transmitted to men during sexual intercourse. It is recommended to avoid sex if you have vaginal thrush until it is treated. Thrush can cause itchy skin and swelling around the vagina and a thick creamy discharge. It causes no serious harm but is really uncomfortable for those who have experienced it.
What causes thrush?
The fungus “candida albicans” causes thrush. These organisms exist in certain areas of our bodies but in warm moist areas (good for growth) they can grow much faster than usual. If your body’s immune system fails to manage it then the overgrowth of yeast is known as Thrush.
Genital thrush is thought to affect 75% of women at some point in their lives. You can get thrush at any age, but it’s most common in women who are in their 30s and 40s. There can be many causes, but it’s largely to do with the chemical and hormonal balance of your body. Antibiotics and contraceptives interrupt this, which is why they are leading causes of thrush. You are also more susceptible if you have a weakened immune system or diabetes, because the infection is to do with your body’s immune system fighting fungus growth.
Thrush can also happen as a result of wearing tight clothing, using heavily perfumed lotions or soaps, or choosing synthetic underwear. It is important to maintain good hygiene. The candida yeast needs sugar to be able to multiply, a diet high in carbs and sugar can also make you more likely to get thrush, as can anything that could mess with the delicate chemical and hormonal balance of your vagina (such as certain lubricants and condoms).
Although the infection can be passed on from partners through sex, having sexual intercourse with someone who has thrush is not guaranteed to pass it on.
How do i treat thrush?
Treatment for this common infection is simple and quick, and there are a couple of different options. The first option is to use a topical antifungal cream; a cream that is applied to the infected area (in this case, the skin around the vagina), usually for one to six days, depending on the instructions. You could also opt for a vaginal pessary, which is inserted into the vagina to target the infection at the source. These methods target the overgrowth of the yeast and help to restore the natural balance of your body, effectively clearing the symptoms of Thrush.
Another option is to use an oral medication, treating the infection with a tablet rather than one of the localised options. This works in the same way (targeting the fungus causing the Thrush) but is often favoured because it’s more practical and usually only requires a single dose. Both of these options are available to purchase on Cloud Pharmacy, with an easy and trustworthy process. If you’ve had sex with a partner while having Thrush, it is not necessary to treat them as well unless they are experiencing symptoms.