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Thrush

Thrush is a common yeast infection that affects men and women. It's usually harmless but it can be uncomfortable and keep coming back. It is not classed as a sexually transmitted infection (STI).

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Common Symptoms

Thrush symptoms in women

  • white vaginal discharge (often like cottage cheese), which does not usually smell
  • itching and irritation around the vagina
  • soreness and stinging during sex or when you pee

 

Thrush symptoms in men

  • irritation, burning and redness around the head of the penis and under the foreskin
  • a white discharge (like cottage cheese)
  • an unpleasant smell
  • difficulty pulling back the foreskin

 

Thrush in other areas

Thrush can affect other areas of skin, such as the armpits, groin and between the fingers.
This usually causes a red, itchy or painful rash that scales over with white or yellow discharge. The rash may not be so obvious on darker skin.
Sometimes thrush causes no symptoms at all.

Treatment at home

  • You’ll usually need antifungal medicine to get rid of thrush. This can be a tablet you take, a tablet you insert into your vagina (pessary) or a cream to relieve the irritation.
  • Thrush should clear up within 7 to 14 days of starting treatment.
  • You do not need to treat partners unless they have symptoms.

When should I book a GP?

  • you have the symptoms of thrush for the first time
  • you’re under 16 or over 60
  • thrush keeps coming back (more than 4 times in 12 months)
  • treatment has not worked
  • you’re pregnant or breastfeeding
  • you have thrush and a weakened immune system – for example, because of diabetes, HIV or chemotherapy
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