What Is Thrush?
Thrush is a common yeast infection that affects men and women. It’s usually harmless but it can be uncomfortable and keep returning. It is not categorised as a sexually transmitted infection (STI).
What does thrush look like?
Thrush symptoms in women
· White vaginal discharge (often like cottage cheese), which does not usually smell
· Itching and irritation around the vagina
· Soreness and stinging during sex or when you pee
Thrush symptoms in men
· Irritation, burning and redness around the head of the penis and under the foreskin
· A white discharge (like cottage cheese)
· An unpleasant smell
· Difficulty pulling back the foreskin
Thrush in other areas
Thrush can affect other areas of the skin, such as the armpits, the groin and between the fingers.
This usually causes a red, itchy or painful rash that scales over with white or yellow discharge. The rash may not be so obvious on darker skin.
Sometimes thrush causes no symptoms at all.
See a GP or go to a sexual health clinic if:
· You have the symptoms of thrush for the first time
· You’re under 16 or over 60
· Thrush keeps coming back (more than 4 times in 12 months)
· Treatment has not worked
· You’re pregnant or breastfeeding
· You have thrush and a weakened immune system – for example, because of diabetes, HIV or chemotherapy
MyHealthcare Clinic has private GPs in Fulham, Wandsworth, and Wimpole Street, Central London. Same-day appointments available. Call 0207 099 5555 now to book an appointment.
You’ll usually need antifungal medicine to get rid of thrush. This can be a tablet you take, a tablet you insert into your vagina (pessary) or a cream to relieve the irritation.
How long does thrush last?
Thrush should clear up within 7 to 14 days of starting treatment.
You do not need to treat partners unless they have symptoms.
You might need to take treatment for longer (for up to 6 months) if thrush keeps returning (you get it more than 4 times in 12 months).
A GP or sexual health clinic can help identify if something is causing your thrush, such as your period or sex.
They’ll recommend how often you should use treatment.
A pharmacist can help with thrush
You can buy antifungal medicine from pharmacies if you’ve had thrush diagnosed in the past and you know the symptoms.
A pharmacist can recommend the best treatment for you.
You should not use antifungal medicine more than twice in 6 months without speaking to a pharmacist or doctor first.
Things you can do yourself to ease discomfort and prevent thrush returning
· Use water and emollient (like E45 cream) instead of soap to wash the affected area
· Dry properly after washing
· Wear cotton underwear
· Avoid sex if sex is uncomfortable, until thrush has cleared up
· Do not use soaps or shower gels
· Do not use deodorants on your vagina or penis
· Do not wear tight underwear or tights