Thrush is a common yeast infection caused by an overgrowth of Candida albicans yeast and will affect 75 per cent of women during their life time.
Candida albicans occurs naturally in the vagina and thrush is not a sexually transmitted disease.
According to the experts at House Call Doctor, hormonal changes including pregnancy, medication, diabetes, HIV, immune suppression and some cancer treatments can encourage overgrowth of Candida albicans.
Symptoms of thrush can include vaginal itching or burning, vaginal discharge, redness of the vulva, swelling of the labia, stinging sensation while urinating, and discomfort or pain during sex.
Thrush can be treated with over-the-counter medications available at pharmacies.
Antifungal creams and vaginal pessaries (tablets) can be put inside the vagina with a special applicator. Oral tablets can be used and are typically more expensive. Oral tablets are not recommended if you are pregnant. If symptoms persist, women should consult their doctor to check they aren’t suffering another condition.
Symptoms can sometimes only last a short period of time and in these cases, treatment is not necessary.
- Don’t wear tight fitting pants or synthetic underwear
- Women should wipe from front to back after using the bathroom to prevent spreading yeast from the anus to vagina
- Avoid using soaps to wash the vaginal area.
- Avoid baths with soaps, bubble bath and bath salts, as these can disturb the natural balance in the vagina
- Change the washing detergent you use for cleaning clothes and don’t use fabric softeners
- Don’t use scented toilet paper and menstrual products
- Avoid antiseptics, douches and perfumed sprays near the genital area
- Reduce stress levels
- Maintain a strong immune system through a balanced diet, quality sleep, not smoking and drinking in moderation.
Sex while infected can be more uncomfortable and it’s recommended that you use a condom.