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See Also: Female Thrush

Thrush FAQs:

Thrush FAQs: Thrush Treatments:

What is thrush?

The yeast Candida is naturally found in the body along with good and bad bacteria. It is the multiplication of this yeast Candida that will cause an infection known as thrush. Levels of this yeast will easily increase if the pH is disrupted or unbalanced, which can happen for a number of reasons. For example, taking a course of antibiotics, stress, perfumed products such as soaps, washing powders, shower and bath gels and creams and pregnancy. Thrush is common in both males and females, however males tend to be the carrier as opposed to the sufferer. It is particularly common in pregnant women and women under 20.

Where can I get thrush?

The symptoms of thrush are most commonly felt in the vagina and the penis. Thrush can also affect the mouth. This condition is known as oral thrush, though it is important to differentiate between specific treatments for oral thrush (such as Daktarin Oral Gel) and Oral Capsules, which are capsules for all thrush, taken orally, i.e. by mouth. These capsules can treat any thrush, including penile, vaginal, and oral thrush. Thrush can also affect the anus, particularly if sweat collects around the folds of skin.

What Causes Thrush?

Thrush can be triggered by:
  • Diet - Caffeine (tea, coffee, Coke), sugar (including fruit juice), wheat (yeast in bread), dairy and alcohol. These affect the level of micro-organisms in the body which include vaginal pH and bacterial levels. Also, excess sugar can filter through urine which "feeds" the yeast, encouraging thrush.
  • Contraceptive Pill - Sudden changes in hormone levels can alter the vaginal environment. Some women on the pill are more susceptible to recurrent thrush then women who are not on the pill.
  • Tight Clothing - Wearing tight clothing and man made fabrics like nylon and polyester, prevent air from reaching the genitals. Warm, moist areas in-between skin folds, is a perfect place for yeast infection.
  • Sex & Re-infection - The acidity of semen in some men can alter the pH levels in the vagina, causing thrush. Additional aggravation may also occur during sexual intercourse from friction. Vaginal skin is delicate and you may need additional lubrication to prevent inflammation. Re-infection of thrush during sex without a condom is common. Usually someone with thrush passes it to their partner unknowingly. The infected person treats their thrush but not the partner and when they next have sex, becomes re-infected once more. Re-infection can also occur with sex toys. Always clean sex toys correctly after use.
  • Periods - Leaving in tampons or sanitary towels for prolonged periods of time allows micro-organisms to thrive.
  • Pregnancy - The change in hormones within the body alters the vagina's pH. This in tern provides sustenance for the candida to thrive.

  • Allergic Reactions - Many react to latex condoms, some lubricants or sexual stimulants, perfumes, deodorants and harsh soaps. These can aggravate the vagina or penis. Soaps and deodorants in particular often alter the pH balance in the vagina.
  • Antibiotics - These are designed to kill off bacterial infection but in the process will kill all the "good" bacteria living in our body. This leaves just the candida, giving it chance to thrive, increasing the likeliness of thrush.
  • How do I avoid getting thrush?

  • Do not wear tight or synthetic fabric/clothing close to the vagina. Wear cotton briefs, stockings instead of tights and loose-fitting clothes. This allows air to the vagina.
  • Wash regularly with specificity formulated washes such as Replens, Lactacyd or Canesten. In addition, bathing the outer vagina with warm water and a few drops of tea tree oil should keep thrush at bay. Tea tree has natural anti-fungal & anti-bacterial properties. Avoid using perfumed soaps, bath additives and deodorants around the genitals. Do not wash and dry yourself too harshly.
  • Maintain internal vaginal pH. Some ladies who's vaginal pH levels often alter, benefit from internal gels that help prevent thrush and vaginitis from coming back. Balance Activ, Bio-Fem and Rephresh all maintain pH and bacterial balance. Femigel may also benefit as this contains Tea tree and restores moisture.
  • If you are allergic to latex condoms, give Durex Avanti Ultima a try. These are latex free.
  • Change your tampon or towel frequently.
  • Adjust or supplement your diet. Cut out caffeine, sugar and alcohol. Fruit contains acids and sugars which may alter the pH of the vagina. Steer towards vegetables and pulses instead. Drink plenty of water and give herbal tea a try if you want a hot beverage.
  • Take a Prebiotic and then a Probiotic ("Good bacteria" formulas). These help keep candida levels down. Probiotic formulas assist good gut health, increasing your immunity to infection and maintaining a natural and correct balance of bacteria vs candida albicans. For Oral Thrush there is a pro-biotic mint called PreioBalance which works orally in the same way.
    To view our friendly bacteria formulas...
  • How do I know if I have thrush?

    Women: The most common symptoms are itching in and around the vagina, and soreness and irritation made worse when rubbed or during intercourse. In addition, there may be a thick, white odourless discharge and there may be pain during urination (not to be confused with Cystitis). There may also be inflammation in and around the surrounding area.
    Men: The head of the penis is sometimes itchy and sore, and there may be red spots on the head. There can be a white discharge from the penis and pain when urinating. However, it is important to understand that some men show little or no signs of thrush but will still need treating if they are passing it on to others. If you are experiencing only pain whilst urinating, visit your doctor.

    Is thrush infectious or serious?

    Thrush is not classed as a VD or STD but may be passed on to your partner through intercourse and will become very uncomfortable if left untreated. If your attack of thrush was successfully treated, but keeps coming back, your partner may need to treat his own thrush. Some men with thrush don't always show any symptoms, instead they act as a carrier and will pass thrush back. If you are both unsure you should see a doctor. Remember: thrush can be passed from partner to partner and back again. If you are treating yourself for thrush, it is advisable to treat your partner at the same time to avoid re-infection.

    I have discharge that smells strong and unpleasant, is it thrush?

    If your vaginal discharge is strong in smell and of an unusual consistency, you could have a different type of infection and should therefore visit your doctor or sexual health clinic. However, the majority of women secrete some discharge that is perfectly natural. This natural discharge can be caused from dehydration, diet and hormonal changes, such as ovulation. It is typically light and sometimes has a subtle smell but should be of no concern. If you are worried about discharge, try Vianalyse, a test that monitors bacterial changes in the vagina.

    Will yogurt help me get rid of thrush?

    It is widely believed that probiotic food, such as live yogurt or friendly bacteria formulas, will restore good bacteria to the body and therefore keep thrush at bay. However, little medical research has been carried out in this field and it is advisable to use a licensed medical treatment if you have thrush. However, probiotics will do no harm and can be of course taken whether or not you have thrush.

    Will tea tree oil help me get rid of thrush?

    Tea tree oil is an natural, antimicrobial agent and will be effective in killing the fungi that cause thrush. Tea tree oil can also have a soothing and numbing effect to combat irritation. Express Chemist sell two vaginal products containing tea tree: Salcura Topida spray and Femigel both are anti-bacterial, anti-fungal and soothing - excellent accompaniments to medicinal treatment. Another common methods are putting tea tree oil on a tampon and inserting it into the vagina for a couple of hours, or washing the affected areas with dilute tea tree oil and warm water. You can buy tea tree oil here.
    Content written and researched by Beccy. For any questions left unanswered, please do not hesitate to call on 0800 5421203.

    Thrush Treatments:

    Thrush Treatment Thrush Treatment: A popular treatment for thrush is Canesten Duo which contains a cooling cream and oral capsule to treat thrush both inside and out. It is suitable for women and men. Express Chemist also sells Fluconazole Tablets separately. If you would like an internal treatment that is not administered orally, a vaginal pessary and internal cream is also available.

    This category lists all our antifungal products to fight off thrush!   More >>>
     
    Thrush Prevention Thrush Prevention: When an outbreak of thrush occurs, the symptoms can be treated using familiar brands such as Canesten Duo. However, measures can be taken to prevent thrush from re-occurring. Express Chemist have selected a range of products that our customers have found effective in preventing thrush.   More >>>
     
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