Thrush or vaginal candidiasis are the general and medical terms used to describe a common vaginal yeast infection. Thrush occurs when there is an overgrowth of Candida albicans (yeast-like fungus) in your vagina. This occurs when the good bacteria in your vagina can’t keep the fungus (Candida albicans) under control, creating a suitable environment for Candida albicans to increase.
Just so you know, thrush is not a sexually transmitted infection. It can be really uncomfortable, but in the majority of cases it’s simple to treat.
Everyone is different, so your symptoms may differ from a friend’s. They may also change each time you get thrush, so watch out for these common symptoms and whether your symptoms are mild, moderate or more complicated.
Most people experience symptoms such as:
- An itchy vagina / vulva
- Soreness around the entrance to your vagina (vulva)
- Slight swelling of your vaginal lips (labia)
- Cottage cheese-like white discharge
These symptoms aren’t uncommon:
- Pain during sex
- Thick discharge
- Red and swollen labia
- Burning around your vulva
- Pain when you urinate
- Sores in your vaginal area
- Cracked skin around your vulva
You should see your doctor if:
- You are experiencing thrush for the first time
- You get thrush frequently, or if it returns in less than 2 months
- There is no improvement in your symptoms within three days, or if they’ve not disappeared within seven days
- You are pregnant or breastfeeding
- You have multiple sexual partners
- You are under 12 years old
- You have fever, chills, nausea, or vomiting
- You have a smelly or unusual discharge
- You feel abdominal pain
- You have previously had an allergic reaction to other thrush medications
Thrush or Bacterial Vaginosis (BV)?
Bacterial vaginosis (BV) is another type of vaginal infection that is often mistaken for thrush. The two are different kinds of infections with different symptoms. Because thrush treatment is different to BV treatment, it’s important to know which infection you have.
If you’re unsure if you have thrush or BV, we’ll help you to diagnose it yourself in 10 seconds so you can get the right treatment. We’ve developed a ground-breaking new self-test so you can quickly and reliably find out if you have thrush or BV from the comfort of your own home.
You might also want to take our online test here.
Thrush is also referred to as a vaginal yeast infection or sometimes just a yeast infection. Medically, it’s known as vaginal candidiasis.