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Thrush signs and symptoms

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What are the signs of a yeast infection?

Thrush is an infection caused by the yeast, Candida albicans, that affects both women and men, most commonly the infection affects the genitals, however signs of thrush can be found in areas of the body that are both warm and moist, such as armpits or between the fingers.

If you have a yeast infection the affected areas of skin will look red, itchy and sometimes they can be painful. Another sign of thrush is a rash that will appear on your skin and it is often covered in scaly white or yellow discharge. This discharge can crack and become very sore. Sometimes thrush will cause no symptoms, and the symptoms can also be harder to see on darker skin.

What are the symptoms of thrush in women?

Women who have thrush will usually experience the following symptoms:

  • White vaginal discharge – this tends to be thick like cottage cheese but it doesn’t smell
  • Irritation and itching round the vagina
  • Soreness during sex or when you urinate
  • Swollen and red vaginal lips (labia)
  • Cracks in the skin around your genitals

During pregnancy it is common for women to develop thrush, it presents the same symptoms, however treatment may be different, so always speak to your doctor if you think that you have thrush during your pregnancy. Also you baby can develop oral thrush, which can then pass to you through breastfeeding, find out more about thrush in babies here.

What are the symptoms of thrush in men?

Men who have thrush will experience all or some of the following symptoms:

  • Thick white discharge from the penis
  • An unpleasant smell from the penis
  • Pulling back the foreskin may be difficult and painful
  • Irritation, redness and a burning sensation around the head of the penis as well as under the foreskin
  • Pain when urinating and during sex

How long does thrush last?

Often mild yeast infections and their symptoms will go away on their own without treatment, although this could take 3-7 days. If you have been experiencing thrush symptoms for 7-14 days then you should seek medical treatment. Your GP, pharmacist or a nurse at your local sexual health clinic will be able to recommend the best treatment for you.

Can I have sex if I have thrush?

If you or your partner have any thrush symptoms including soreness and pain, it is best that you abstain from sex until any signs of infection have cleared and you have finished any course of treatment. Some thrush treatments can weaken condoms, making them less effective. Although thrush is not a sexually transmitted infection, you can pass on Candida symptoms to your partner during sexual intercourse, as well as exacerbating any symptoms that you may have.

What causes thrush in adults?

Thrush is caused by the organism Candida albicans, this type of yeast usually lives on the body causing no harm to you. Under certain circumstances, however the yeast can multiply and cause an infection to occur.

Can thrush be a sign of stress?

When the body is put out of balance by illness, a hormonal imbalance or stress your immune system can become run down making you more likely to develop an infection, such as thrush.

Is thrush sexually transmitted?

Vaginal thrush is not a sexually transmitted infection (STI) and it isn’t contagious, however in rare cases it can be passed on during sex. This all depends on whether your partner has a weakened immune system, or is prone to developing thrush.