WHAT IS THRUSH?
Thrush is an infection caused by the yeast-like fungus Candida albicans , or sometimes by other types of Candida.
Although not considered a sexually transmitted disease,
many women suggest sex may irritate the vagina and allow Thrush to grow more than usual. If an overgrowth of this fungus occurs, it may produce an itchy vaginal discharge which requires anti-fungal treatment.
HOW IS THRUSH TRANSMITTED?
Chlamydia can be transmitted during vaginal, anal, or oral sex.
WHAT ARE THE SIGNS & SYMPTOMS OF THRUSH?
- Thrush usually presents itself as a creamy white, sometimes watery discharge in women.
- Thrush is the second most common cause of a vaginal discharge. (The most common cause of vaginal discharge is bacterial vaginosis.) The discharge is usually creamy white, but is sometimes watery. It can cause itch, redness, discomfort, or pain around the outside of the vagina. Sometimes symptoms are minor and clear up on their own. Often symptoms can be quite irritating and will not go without treatment.
WHAT ARE THE LONG TERM COMPLICATIONS OF THRUSH?
- Thrush is normally found in the body, so you can't get rid of it completely. The aim is to keep it under control so that it does not multiply too much.
HOW IS THRUSH DIAGNOSED?
For women a complete analysis of the condition requires a pelvic exam so the discharge can be examined under a microscope. In some cases, a culture may be taken and sent to the laboratory for diagnosis.
Some home tests can be used to check if the discharge is bacterial.
HOW IS THRUSH TREATED?
Treatment of vaginal or oral Thrush is with the use of antifungal drugs and creams. Many of these can be purchased over the counter from your pharmacist.
CAN THE INFECTION RECUR?
- Keeping the skin dry and well ventilated should lessen the chances of thrush overgrowing.
- Eating live yoghurt containing acidophilus cultures or taking acidophilus supplements is said to encourage the growth of healthy organisms in the gut and prevent thrush from taking over. A diet high in sugar or alcohol should be avoided. Excess coffee has also been suggested as being a contributing factor in allowing Thrush to increase.
WHAT SHOULD I DO?
- Discuss the condition of Thrush with your doctor. Sometimes thrush can be associated with other sexually transmitted diseases.