Thrush is caused by an overgrowth of the naturally occurring candida albicans
yeast. This can be in almost any area of your body but, commonly, women have a tendency to experience it in and around the vagina. Thrush is so common, in fact, that three out of four women have had it at some point in their lives.
Although thrush can be passed to a sexual partner through intercourse, it is not in itself a sexually transmitted disease.
Is thrush harmful?
No, thrush is not serious, but it can be extremely annoying, and uncomfortable.
What are the symptoms?
If you've ever had thrush before you'll immediately recognise the signs that you may have it again. These are:
- Vaginal itching
- Discharge that may be thick, white and lumpy a little like cottage cheese
- Vaginal burning, irritation or soreness
- A rash or redness on the skin outside the vagina (the vulva)
- Burning on urination
- Painful vaginal intercourse
If you've never had thrush before and suspect that you have it, make an appointment with your doctor. There’s no need to be embarrassed your doctor will have seen many cases of thrush but it is important to clarify that it is thrush and not another type of vaginal infection.