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    Thrush is a yeast infection (organism called candida albicans). It naturally occurs on our skin, the vagina and anywhere moist, groins, mouth and in nappy areas. It lives in balance with the surrounding bacteria but if the balance is upset, thrush overgrows and causes symptoms.

    Causes

    • Antibiotics – normal protective bacteria are killed, allowing overgrowth of thrush.
    • Pregnancy.
    • Tight clothing and local irritants such as soaps, bubble baths and other scented products.
    • Diabetes.

    Symptoms

    • Creamy white, curd-like discharge
    • Local itch and irritation
    • Occasional discomfort or burning passing urine

    What To Do

    Natural Remedies

    • Natural yoghurt – which can be inserted into the vagina directly on a tampon. It has a soothing effect but the yoghurt contains bacteria to control the thrush infection.
    • Compounds to alter the acidity of the vagina eg. Vinegar or bicarbonate of soda added to the bath.

    Medical Treatments

    • Anti-fungal creams, pessaries and tablets – all available from the pharmacist. Most infections take 4-5 days to clear.

    If thrush is recurrent it may be worthwhile treating your partner as well. If symptoms do not seem to be clearing up with treatment, it is worth considering sources of irritation – sanitary towels, panty liners, condoms, spermicides or chlorine from swimming pools.

    If thrush occurs cyclically with the menstrual period, sometimes it is worth using regular preventative treatment in the middle of the cycle and may be worth discussing this with your GP.