- What is sexual health?
- What is safe sex?
- Sexual health checks
- Sexually transmissible infections (STI's)
Thrush affects both girls and guys.
- Thrush is a very common form of fungus (Candida) that causes itchy and sore genitals.
- Girls with thrush may notice itching and soreness of the vagina and external genital area, a thick white or creamy vaginal discharge and discomfort/pain around the vaginal area during sex.
- Guys with thrush may notice a rash or a dry scaly appearance on the shaft of the penis and/or a redness and swelling of the head of the penis.
How do you get it?
Thrush isn’t generally considered a sexually transmissible infection. Using condoms won’t prevent you getting it.
Factors which increase the chance of getting thrush are:
- diabetes (an illness which affects the amount of sugar in the blood)
- infection with HIV
- use of antibiotics or steroids.
What's the treatment?
Thrush can be treated with creams, tablets or pessaries (which are inserted high into the vagina). You can buy these across the counter from the chemist without a prescription.
If you have thrush, avoid irritating the area with perfumed soaps, bubble baths and bath salts. Wear loose fitting, cotton underwear because tight fitting underwear (particularly if made from synthetic fabric) doesn’t let the skin breathe.
If you have an unusual discharge and you are concerned that you have put yourself at risk of an STI, go to your doctor, family planning clinic or sexual health clinic.