Symptoms and Causes of Thrush

Vaginal thrush occurs when a yeast called candida, which lives naturally in the vagina, grows too much. This common candida infection (also known as candidiasis) is rarely serious but does present some unpleasant and uncomfortable symptoms. Here we’ll explore these symptoms of thrush as well as explaining what causes thrush.

Signs and Symptoms of Thrush

The most common vaginal thrush symptoms include:

Oral thrush, on the other hand, is more likely to present itself in the form of white lesions. These signs of thrush will typically appear on the tongue and/or inner cheeks, though they can also spread to other parts of the mouth.

Note: Your suspected thrush symptoms could actually be a sign of something else. If there is no smell or the discharge is discoloured rather than white, consider booking a doctor consultation. You may also want to check if your symptoms look more like herpes.

What causes thrush?

Vaginal thrush is caused by a candida infection. While this yeast lives naturally in the vagina (as well as other areas including the mouth and bowel) and is typically harmless, an overgrowth of candida is what leads to the symptoms of thrush.

This typically occurs when the microbiome in your body changes, leading to the yeast multiplying more than usual. This might happen due to:

Sometimes there may not be an apparent trigger for an outbreak of vaginal thrush.

If there is no obvious cause and/or your symptoms don’t entirely align with those listed above, it’s a good idea to see your doctor. What seems like thrush could be something else (e.g. an STI).

Note: If this is your first time asking “how do you get thrush?”, you might be tempted to assume it’s an STI. However, this isn’t the case. Thrush is rarely spread by sexual contact, though it can sometimes happen – and having sex can aggravate your symptoms if you’re already suffering from an outbreak.

So, what should you do?

The typical way to treat vaginal thrush is by killing the candida fungus, which is done by damaging the permeability of the cell membrane through the inhibition of ergosterol biosynthesis (think of it as stopping the brickmaker from building the wall). This can be achieved with a cream, dissolving tablets, or oral tablets, all of which can be bought over the counter at pharmacies or right here at YOULY. If your symptoms don’t improve with treatment after a few days, or if your thrush recurs frequently, make an appointment with a doctor.

Thrush is rarely serious, but we know it’s not much fun either. Luckily, now that you know all the symptoms to look out for, you can catch it quickly and treat it before it becomes too much of a problem.

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