What is Thrush?

 Thrush is an infection caused by yeast called Candida.  This yeast normally lives in your body quite happily without doing any harm.  However, when the natural pH balance of your vagina is upset – which can easily happen – these fungal cells can multiply and lead to thrush.

 Thrush is not a sexually transmitted infection.


Sometimes there are no symptoms present, but normally, an infection will produce some or all of the following symptoms: 

  • Itching of the vulva
  • Irritation, redness, discomfort, or pain around the vulva/vagina
  • Burning on passing urine.
  • Pain during sexual intercourse (dyspareunia).
  • Thick creamy - white discharge from the vagina.

  Understanding Thrush?

  • Thrush is a very common problem with 3 out of 4 women suffering at least once in their lives.
  • It effects women of all ages but is most common in women aged between 25-35, pregnant women and menopausal women.
  • Thrush isn’t serious, it is important to be able to recognise the symptoms so you can treat it quickly and get back to normal as soon as possible.

 Male partners may also suffer from thrush. Males should only be treated if they show any symptoms of thrush.

 What causes it?

 Thrush may be caused by any of the following factors:

  • Pregnancy
  •  Antibiotics
  •  Periods
  •  Diabetes
  •  Suppressed Immune System
  •  Sexual Intercourse
  •  The Contraceptive Pill
  •  Perfumed soaps and bubble baths
  •  Wearing tight synthetic clothing
  •  Emotional or physical stress

 Diagnosing Thrush

 Treatments for thrush are available over the counter, so it may seem easier to self-diagnose than visit your GP/Health Centre particularly if you’ve had thrush before.   Please speak to your pharmacist who will advise you on the best course of treatment. If you are no better after 10 days please speak to the nurse in the Student health centre.    

 We are concerned that some women may be misdiagnosing themselves.  Some symptoms of thrush are common to other vaginal infections so it is important to be sure that you are definitely suffering from thrush and not something else before you start treatment.

 Preventing thrush!! 

  • Wear cotton underpants and clothes that aren’t too tight.  
  • Eat yoghurt with lactobacillus acidophilus. 
  • Avoid using perfumed soaps, bubble baths or vaginal deodorants
  • Ensure to change tampons regularly during your period. 
  • Ensure to wash and dry the genital area regularly, especially after exercise. 
  • Be careful of toilet hygiene: always wipe from front to back.

 For further Information: Thrush

If you have any questions or need more advice on Thrush please contact the Student Health Centre