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Thrush is a yeast infection caused by the usually harmless fungi, candida albicans. It’s an incredibly common condition, with genital thrush mostly affecting women. However, men can also experience it.

An overgrowth of candida albicans can also affect the mouth as well as the vagina or penis, and is known as oral thrush, which is usually treated with flavoured gel or an oral suspension.

Genital and oral thrush is also common in babies and children, but rather than buying treatment online, you should always take a child displaying symptoms of a yeast infection to see a doctor for a face to face consultation.

Thrush is easily treated in a vast majority of cases, and usually clears up within a week or two with medication. You can buy thrush treatment from iMeds UK following an online consultation. Subject to doctor approval.

D4U Doctor

Dr. Diana Gall

GMC No. 7685129

Our Health Care Team

“Thrush is an incredibly common yeast infection caused by the overproduction of the candida albicans fungi. Whilst it isn’t serious, thrush can be irritating and uncomfortable for anyone that suffers from it. Thrush affects people of all ages, but is much more common in women, though men can also experience the condition.”

What is thrush

Thrush is a common infection caused by the overgrowth of the candida albicans fungi. Thrush can affect various parts of the body, but most commonly the genitals and mouth. It can affect anybody of any age, though it’s much more common in women between the ages of 16-60.

Thrush is very rarely serious, and is an easily treatable condition, usually only requiring one dose of antifungal medication, sometimes with external creams to soothe irritation.

Candida albicans, the yeast that causes thrush infections, usually lives harmlessly within the body. However, it thrives in warm and moist environments, so if an overgrowth occurs, it can often result in thrush.

What causes thrush?

Thrush is essentially an excess of the candida yeast, but there are several things that may trigger an infection. For example, you may be more prone to developing a thrush infection if you:

  • Are pregnant
  • Are taking antibiotics
  • Undergoing chemotherapy
  • Have diabetes
  • Have HIV
  • Have any other condition that compromises the immune system

It’s also common to develop thrush after using scented hygiene products around the genitals such as bath bombs, deodorants, perfumes, and even fragranced soaps and shower gels – especially in women. Scented products such as these can interfere with the natural pH of your vagina and create an environment that encourages the growth of yeast.

It’s also a good idea to wear cotton underwear due to the breathable fabric. Synthetic materials such as nylon can also create the perfect environment for fungi to thrive.

Thrush symptoms

The symptoms of thrush can vary for men and women, as well as oral thrush having different symptoms to genital thrush. Whilst it isn’t a life threatening or serious condition, any type of thrush can be irritating and uncomfortable.

Thrush symptoms can differ from person to person, and can even vary each time you experience an infection, so it’s important to take note of how you’re feeling, and familiarise yourself with all of the possible symptoms so you know when to take action and seek treatment.

Thrush in men

Although thrush in men isn’t as common as it is in women, it can still develop on the head of the penis, causing irritation and discomfort.

If you experience any of the following symptoms, it’s possible that you’re suffering with thrush:

  • Irritation, redness and burning around the head of the penis (glans)
  • Irritation under the foreskin
  • Thick white discharge
  • Unpleasant odour
  • Pain, discomfort or difficulty when pulling back the foreskin

You may also notice that your penis (especially the glans) may seem swollen. If you do notice any of the above symptoms, you should ask your pharmacist or doctor for advice before buying thrush treatment.

Thrush in men can also share symptoms with some STIs, so it’s always a good idea to get regularly checked to rule out any infections you may have picked up during sex.

Thrush symptoms women

If you have a vagina, the chances are that you’ll experience thrush at some point in your life. It’s an extremely common condition for women to suffer with, and can cause the following symptoms:

  • Itching and soreness around the vagina and labia
  • Vaginal discharge which may either be thick and white, resembling cottage cheese, or thin and watery
  • Pain during sex
  • Stinging sensation during urination

If it’s your first time experiencing these symptoms, you should visit your GP for an examination and diagnosis.

Oral thrush symptoms

Although oral thrush is caused by the same fungi as genital thrush, the symptoms aren’t the same. Oral thrush can be equally as uncomfortable as other varieties of thrush, but the good news is that it’s still easily treated in a vast majority of patients.

Some of the symptoms of oral thrush to look out for include:

  • White patches in the mouth that can bleed if disturbed or wiped away
  • Loss of taste
  • Unpleasant taste in mouth
  • Redness inside the mouth
  • Redness around the throat and tonsils
  • Cracking at the corners of the mouth that can be sore
  • Pain or a burning sensation inside the mouth

Oral thrush isn’t as common as genital thrush, but still needs treatment to clear the infection. Oral thrush treatment usually comes in the form of a flavoured gel or an oral suspension to target the yeast locally. A doctor may also recommend an antifungal capsule to swallow depending on the severity of the condition.

Thrush treatment

Thrush is treated with antifungal medicines in various forms. One of the most common treatments for thrush is the drug, fluconazole. It usually comes in the form of a capsule in a single dose, and is often enough to treat the infection on its own. However, some GPs recommend a dual-therapy of fluconazole and a topical antifungal cream, usually containing miconazole.

For women, vaginal thrush can be treated with a pessary – a pill that’s inserted into the vagina with an applicator and left to dissolve overnight. This is usually in place of an oral route fluconazole capsule.

Thrush treatment is available from iMeds UK after you’ve completed a consultation form. With a variety of options to choose from, you can decide which thrush treatment is best for you.

Thrush treatment for men

Men are able to take the fluconazole capsule just as women would, and there is also a variety of antifungal creams that you can use externally on the head of your penis to relieve itching and fight the infection locally.

The only treatments that men can’t use for thrush are those that are specifically for women only, such as Gyno-Daktarin and any vaginal pessaries.

Is thrush an STI?

Although thrush can sometimes be spread via sexual intercourse, it isn’t an STI. You don’t need to have had sex to develop thrush, and it isn’t transmitted via semen or vaginal fluid. Thrush can happen to anybody of any age regardless of whether they’re sexually active or not. However, symptoms of thrush can sometimes be similar to some STIs, so if it’s your first time experiencing it, or your genitals feel irritated and uncomfortable, it’s always a good idea to visit your GP for an STI test.

BV or thrush?

Bacterial vaginosis is another condition that affects women, and the symptoms are easily mistaken for thrush. BV and thrush require different treatments, so if you aren’t sure which one you have, you should have a diagnosis confirmed by a doctor or nurse before you buy treatment online.

Discharge that comes with BV often has a fairly unpleasant, fishy odour, whilst thrush discharge doesn’t always smell. BV discharge may also be grey, yellow, or even green in colour.

Always ask the advice of a pharmacist or doctor if you aren’t sure which treatment you need for your symptoms

Buy thrush treatment

You can now buy thrush treatment from iMeds UK following an online consultation. A variety of treatments are available, including fluconazole capsules and thrush creams, along with oral suspensions and gels for oral thrush.

Please complete the consultation form for thrush thoroughly, and in as much detail as you can. This is so that our doctors have as much information as possible before making a decision on your chosen treatment.