Vaginal thrush (normally known as thrush) is a very common yeast infection that will affect most women in their lifetime. It is more common amongst women in their twenties and thirties. It is less common in women who have gone through the menopause or for girls who have yet to start having periods.
Thrush is caused by the yeast-like fungus called Candida Albicans. Normally, vaginal secretions and ‘friendly’ vaginal bacteria keep this fungus at bay. However, if the natural balance within the vagina is upset then the Candida can multiply and cause vaginal thrush. The resulting infection is usually quite harmless, though it can prove to be irritating and uncomfortable.
Normal symptoms of vaginal thrush include swelling and itching of the vagina and the surrounding area. They may also include with a white, cottage cheese-like discharge. Thrush is easy to treat with a wide array of prescription and non-prescription medicines.
Penile thrush (normally known as male thrush) is caused by the same fungus, Candida Albicans, as vaginal thrush. Thrush is less common in men than women, however it can still be easily treated. Similarly to vaginal thrush, the Candida yeast lives normally on the genitals and only causes penile thrush when the normal balance of microbes is upset. This can be due to taking antibiotics, not drying your penis properly, using perfumed soaps or shower gels, or having a weakened immune system.