Thrush can affect other areas of skin, such as the armpits, groin and between the fingers.
This usually causes a red, itchy or painful rash that scales over with white or yellow discharge. The rash may not be so obvious on darker skin.
Sometimes thrush causes no symptoms at all.
Sexual health clinics treat problems with the genitals and urine system.
Many sexual health clinics offer a walk-in service, where you do not need an appointment.
They'll often get test results quicker than GP surgeries.
During coronavirus, call a sexual health clinic if you need help or advice. Only go to a clinic if you've been told to.
The GP or sexual health clinic will want to confirm it's thrush and rule out other infections.
You'll be asked about your symptoms.
If it's not clear it's thrush:
You'll usually need antifungal medicine to get rid of thrush. This can be a tablet you take, a tablet you insert into your vagina (pessary) or a cream to relieve the irritation.
Thrush should clear up within 7 to 14 days of starting treatment.
You do not need to treat partners unless they have symptoms.
You might need to take treatment for longer (for up to 6 months) if you keep getting thrush (you get it more than 4 times in 12 months).
A GP or sexual health clinic can help identify if something is causing your thrush, such as your period or sex.
They'll recommend how often you should use treatment.
You can buy antifungal medicine from pharmacies if you've had thrush diagnosed in the past and you know the symptoms.
A pharmacist can recommend the best treatment for you. Ask if they have a private area to talk if you're embarrassed.
You should not use antifungal medicine more than twice in 6 months without speaking to a pharmacist or doctor.
use water and emollient (like E45 cream) instead of soap to wash the affected area
dry properly after washing
wear cotton underwear
avoid sex until thrush has cleared up if sex is uncomfortable
do not use soaps or shower gels
do not use douches or deodorants on your vagina or penis
do not wear tight underwear or tights
If you have sex during treatment, be aware that antifungal creams can damage condoms and diaphragms. This means your contraception might not work.
Thrush is not classed as a sexually transmitted infection (STI), but it can be triggered by sex.
Thrush is caused by a fungus called candida that is normally harmless.
Thrush tends to grow in warm, moist conditions and develops if the balance of bacteria changes.
This can happen if:
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