What is thrush?

Thrush is a fungal infection that is caused by the Candida species of fungus. This is normally Candida albicans. The fungus can grow in your throat, mouth, and other parts of your body.

Thrush can affect different areas of the body. Although it is not normally anything to worry about in most cases, it may be uncomfortable and unpleasant. Occasionally, if you keep getting thrush infections, it may also indicate that you have another medical issue. 


Vaginal thrush 

Vaginal thrush is a common yeast infection that most women will get at some point.

Common symptoms of vaginal thrush include:

  • vaginal discharge (usually odourless and may be thin and watery, or thick and white)
  • soreness and itching around the entrance of the vagina
  • pain during sex
  • burning sensation when peeing
  • cracked, swollen, or red skin around the vagina

Oral thrush

Oral thrush is more common in babies and older people with dentures. 


Typical symptoms of oral thrush include:

  • white patches inside in the mouth
  • not tasting things properly
  • cracks at the corners of the mouth
  • pain inside the mouth (like sore gums or a sore tongue)
  • trouble drinking and eating

Thrush in men

In men, thrush usually affects the head of the penis. This can cause discharge, redness, and irritation. 


Other symptoms of thrush in men include:

  • a white discharge (like cottage cheese)
  • difficulty pulling back the foreskin
  • an unpleasant smell

If you are a man and believe you may have thrush, you can visit our male thrush treatment service for more information and treatment options. 


How long does thrush last?

If you have thrush, symptoms should go away within 7 to 14 days of beginning treatment. You may need to continue taking treatment (up to 6 months) if you keep getting thrush, in which case you must speak to a doctor about the best treatment. Mild cases of thrush may go away on their own, but if left untreated, the infection can worsen. It is best to speak to your doctor or pharmacist for advice.


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