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What is it? 

Thrush is caused by a harmless type of yeast, which lives on human skin, in the mouth, gut and vagina.

Sometimes this type of yeast gets a little out of hand, and starts growing more than it should.

When this happens it can create discomfort for both men and women in the genital area.

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How is it spread?

Although you can get thrush without having unprotected sex this is one way it can be transmitted.


What are the symptoms?

Some people will not show any signs or symptoms

In women:

· Vaginal discharge which is thick, resembles cottage cheese and smells yeasty

· Itching, soreness and redness around the vagina, vulva or anus

· Swollen vulva

· Pain during sex or passing water

In men:

· Itching, burning and irritation under the foreskin or tip of the penis

· Redness or red patches under the foreskin or tip of the penis

· Problems with pulling back the foreskin

· A thin or thick, cheesy discharge under the foreskin

· Discomfort when passing urine


How can I get rid of it?

Treatment – thankfully - is fairly straightforward.

Men will usually be given cream to rub onto the penis and infected areas. Women are also offered cream and pessaries (an almond shaped tablet which is inserted into the vagina), which is like inserting a tampon.


To help relieve itching and soreness, wash the genital area with water only and avoid using soaps or having bubble baths, as they could irritate the infection. Treating both partners is important to stop re-infection.


Thrush thrives in warm and moist environments. So, if you have had thrush recently, make sure that you:

· Don't wear tights or underwear that are not cotton

· Don't wear tight trousers, lycra leggings or jeans

· Don't use perfumed soaps, genital sprays and deodorants

· Avoid using antibiotics if possible - ask your doctor for advice if offered antibiotics


To reduce the chances of getting it – use a condom!

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