Vaginal thrush is inflammation of the vagina due to the presence of a yeast fungus called candida. The condition is also called candidiasis or a monilia. All three terms indicate the same condition.
It is considered that thrush is due to an increased growth in the number of yeast cells which are permanently present in the vagina in small numbers.
Conditions which produce an increased growth in the fungi include pregnancy and diabetes. Women on the pill are more susceptible to thrush. Antibiotics and cortisone or cortico-steroids can also produce vaginal thrush.
Vaginal thrush causes a discharge which varies in consistency from a thin discharge containing white curds to a thickish creamy discharge with an offensive odour. It is associated with an itch both inside the vagina and on the vulval entrance to the vagina.
Pain can occur during intercourse and on passing of urine. Your doctor should be consulted for the treatment of vaginal thrush. The fungus can be identified by the examination of vaginal secretions and it will be necessary for a check for the presence of associated medical conditions.
The fungus also lives in the bowel and can spread from the anus which may necessitate oral medication as well as vaginal creams and suppositories. It may also keep recurring because of a sexual spread from the male.
Your partner may have to be checked for the presence of a monilial infection of the bladder which generally does not produce symptoms, or for the presence of a local monilial inflammation of the penis which will necessitate treatment.
Treatment of the sex partner is not routinely indicated unless there is a need both to relieve him of symptoms and to prevent reinfection of the female.
Treatment brings prompt relief but unless the underlying conditions are changes, recurrences are likely.
Ointments, pessaries and oral medication may be prescribed by your GP, together with advice suggesting cotton underwear, acidophilus yoghurt or powder.
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