Thrush is not an STI but a yeast infection. It is caused by excessive growth of a harmless yeast in the vagina. Many women have this yeast in their bodies without noticing it. Treatment is only necessary if you develop symptoms.
How do you get it?
You can get thrush if you use too much soap or Lactacyd (as a vaginal douche) or when you leave your tampon in for too long, for example.
You can pass thrush on to your partner when you’re having sex.
- Lumpy, smelly discharge that may look like cottage cheese
- Swollen labia with a white coating
- Pain when you’re having a pee
Thrush is mostly a vaginal infection. Sometimes the symptoms appear suddenly, for example when your body’s resistance is low because of stress, diabetes or using certain antibiotics or medication. Often the symptoms increase right before your period.
Men may have redness and dry skin at the tip of the penis.
Thrush is easy to treat. You only have to get treatment if you have symptoms. Usually you will be prescribed a cream, which you apply to your vagina or penis. Or you may be given tablets to insert in the vagina. If the infection returns again and again, you’ll be prescribed pills.
Remember this: some vaginal creams and pessaries (tablets) may contain fats or oils. These can damage condoms. So ask the chemist whether your treatment contains any fats or oils.
Thrush and pregnancy
A yeast infection in the vagina doesn’t have a negative effect on a pregnancy. It is likely to occur or return more often, particularly during the last months of the pregnancy.