Fungal Infections


Thrush – What is it?

Thrush is a common yeast infection that many women (and some men) are susceptible to. This yeast (called candida) lives in all our bodies but is usually kept in check by naturally occurring bacteria.

Symptoms and causes

Symptoms for women can include irritation, swelling and soreness around the vagina and vulva, a thick, white, cheesy discharge and pain when urinating or having penetrative sex.

Symptoms for men can include irritation, itching or redness under the foreskin, a thick cheesy discharge from under the foreskin and pain when urinating or ejaculating.

Possible causes are:

  • a reaction to antibiotics
  • having sex with someone who has thrush
  • a reaction to some perfumed soaps, vaginal cleansing products
  • wearing tight nylon or lycra underwear


Treatments for Thrush infection may include:

  • an anti-fungal cream or vaginal pessaries (e.g. canesten)
  • anti-fungal tablets taken by mouth
  • advising people to avoid overusing deodorants, perfumed soaps and toiletries in the genital area and avoid synthetic or tight underwear
  • for some women, using sanitary pads instead of tampons during menstruation (periods)