What to do with vaginal thrush according to your doctor

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This is such a common problem; most women will have at least one episode at some time in their lives. For others, it is, unfortunately, a recurring menace. We all have harmless bacteria and yeasts living on our skin but certain things can upset their balance and cause the yeasts, usually Candida albicans, to overgrow. Here some tips that might help prevent that:

What You'll Need

  • Talk to your pharmacist: antifungal creams, pessaries or a one-off tablet
  • Lubricating jelly

What You'll Do

  • It's safe to self medicate: If you have the typical symptoms of a thick white discharge and or vaginal itching and soreness, particularly if you have had thrush before, this is one thing that it is fine for you to initially treat yourself. There are lots of treatments you can try over the counter: antifungal creams, pessaries or a one-off tablet. If they don't work though, do get seen so that the doctor can do a swab to work out exactly what is going on.
  • Invest in some lubricating jelly: If you find that you tend to get the symptoms after intercourse, it may be that the friction during sex, may be causing microabrasions within the vagina which yeasts can grow in. By ensuring you are well lubricated during sex, you may stop this happening. Thrush isn't an STI like Chlamydia or gonorrhoea, but men can also get it and there is the possibility of you and your partner passing it back and forth to one another. So, if you are getting recurrent infections, looking out for symptoms in your partner (a thick white discharge under the foreskin, redness at the end of the penis and an itch) is something to consider.
  • Keep some treatment to hand if you are given a course of antibiotics: Not everyone will get a bout of thrush after antibiotics, but in some women, antibiotics can also kill off some of the harmless bacteria living in the vagina, meaning the growth of Candida isn't kept in check. If this is something that frequently happens to you, then you might want to consider actually starting thrush treatment at the same time as the course of antibiotics.

Tips & Warnings

  • The jury's out on the "kitchen pharmacy": Lots of people swear by natural yoghurt placed into the vagina to help with thrush because of the probiotics it contains. It must also very soothing from the constant itch and burning sensation you may get. Some women will also take a probiotic to try maintain the balance of bacteria living in the vagina, which prevent the overgrowth of yeasts. Another ingredient some women will get relief from is apple cider vinegar or bicarbonate of soda in the bath. This is thought to work by maintaining an acid pH within the vagina, which may control the growth of yeasts. Doing these things may give you some relief so by all means try them but there isn't actually any evidence that they actually provide any significant benefit.
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