Thrush is a common yeast infection, that can affect men or women. Luckily, it’s usually harmless, but it can be uncomfortable.
What are the symptoms of Thrush?
In women, Thrush may cause soreness and stinging during sex or when you pee, itching around the vagina, and a white, cottage-cheese like discharge, which doesn’t smell. For men, Thrush can cause white discharge like cottage-cheese, but with an unpleasant smell. It can also cause irritation or burning around the head of the penis, and difficulty pulling back the foreskin.
What causes Thrush?
Although Thrush isn’t technically an STI, it can be caused by and passed on during sex. Thrush tends to grow in warm moist conditions, and can develop if the balance of bacteria changes. All sorts of things can cause your bacterial balance to change, including pregnancy, antibiotics, irritated skin or poorly controlled Diabetes.
How can I treat it?
There are lots of things you can try to ease the discomfort of Thrush. Avoid tight clothing on your bottom half, and try to wear breathable cotton underwear. Don’t use soaps or shower gels on the affected area, and instead use water and an emollient, like E45. After washing, dry properly, and try to avoid sex until your Thrush has cleared up.
To treat Thrush, there are lots of over-the-counter products available that will help. Gels and creams like Balance Activ Vaginal Gel or Vagisil Medicated Crème soothe any itching or burning, immediately making you more comfortable, while also working to restore your natural pH balance, fighting the cause of Thrush.
You could also try a two-pronged attack on Thrush with product sets, like Canesten Oral and Cream Duo. The Oral capsule contains Fluconazole, which treats internal causes and symptoms, while the Cream contains Clotrimazole to fight external symptoms.
There are also lots of other options, including creams, gels, tablets to take and pessaries to treat the cause, while feminine wipes, washes and moisturisers can calm symptoms and help prevent Thrush recurring.
Whichever method you choose, Thrush usually clears up within a week, and you’ll be back to feeling your best in no time.
If Thrush lasts longer than 7 days, or reoccurs twice within six months, or if you are under 16, over 60, pregnant, breastfeeding or have a weakened immune system, you should see your GP or a sexual health clinic before self-treating Thrush.