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Vaginal Thrush

Thrush is a yeast infection which causes itching and discomfort

The medical name for vaginal thrush is ‘vaginal candidiasis’.2 Vaginal thrush is an infection caused by the yeast Candida.2 Candida yeast is a normal resident of the mouth, digestive tract, and vagina and it usually causes no harm.2 Under certain conditions, however, Candida can overgrow and cause thrush.2

All about Candida

There are more than 200 known species of Candida, a yeast that is part of the normal microbial flora of the skin, gut, and genital tract in healthy people.4 C. albicans is the most common species associated with Candida infections.4 

How does Candida cause thrush?

Sometimes the number of candida increases. This leads to a yeast infection.3

  • Candida and the many other germs that normally live in the vagina keep each other in balance.3
  • When our immunity is weakened, the risk of developing infections increases.4
  • Candida overgrows and the balance of the vaginal environment is disturbed.3

HOW COMMON IS VAGINAL THRUSH?

It is estimated that 75 % of all women experience at least ONE vaginal thrush infection during their childbearing years (this means 3 out 4 women!).4 

WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS?

  • Vaginal itching and burning4
  • Vaginal redness and swelling3
  • White or yellow cheese-like discharge3
  • Vaginal soreness and irritation (including pain during sex or urinating)4

It is important to know that vaginal thrush is not a sexually transmitted disease as it is not typically spread through sexual intercourse. However, some men may develop symptoms after having sexual contact with an infected partner. These symptoms may include itching, rash or irritation of the penis.3

WHO IS AT RISK?

Certain ‘risk factors’ will increase your chances of developing thrush.

Certain medical conditions or medications can weaken the immune system and increase your chances of developing vaginal thrush.2

These are:

  • Diabetes, HIV infection2,4
  • The use of medications such as corticosteroids and antibiotics2,4
  • Pregnancy, obesity2,4

TREATING VAGINAL THRUSH

Most cases (approximately 90 %) of vaginal thrush are uncomplicated.4 Treatment with antifungal agents is recommended and proven effective.4 These can be either topical (applied to or in the vagina) or tablets/capsules that are taken orally.4 Recurrent (If you suffer from 4 or more repeated infections within a 1-year period) or complicated vaginal thrush may need prescribed antifungal treatment for a longer period.4 An antifungal cream called Canex V cream is available over-the-counter for at home treatment of vaginal thrush.1 This cream contains clotrimazole, an antifungal cream1

Canex V is useful for the relief of vaginal itching, burning and discharge due to vaginal yeast (fungal) infections.1

Easy-to-use directions:

  • Insert cream using an applicator into the vagina every night for 7 nights.1
  • Can also be applied thinly to the external genitalia (vulva) if needed 2 – 3 times daily for 1 – 2 weeks1

NOTES: A sexual partner may be treated locally if needed.1 Refer to a doctor if symptoms have not improved after 3 days of treatment or resolved within 7 days. (Not all vaginal infections are caused by thrush!)1

HELPFUL TIPS

TIPS TO PREVENT AND TREAT VAGINAL DISCHARGE:3

  • Keep your genital area clean and dry.
  • Avoid soap and rinse with water only
  • Probiotics may help prevent thrush when you are taking antibiotics
  • Avoid wearing tight-fitting clothing and underwear. Wear 100% cotton underwear
  • Avoid using feminine hygiene sprays, fragrances or powders in the genital area
  • Avoid wearing wet bathing suits or sweaty exercise clothing for long periods of time.
  • Keep your blood sugar level under good control if you have diabetes

This information is intended for women looking to treat or prevent vaginal thrush.

Medical References

1. Canex V cream Approved Package Insert. February 2015. 2. Aaron DM. Candidiasis. Merck Manual Consumer Version. [October 2018] Available from https://www.merckmanuals.com/home/skindisorders/ fungal-skin-infections/candidiasis-yeast-infection Last accessed October 2019. 3. Medline Plus. Vaginal yeast infection. 1 November 2016. Available from https://medlineplus.gov/ency/article/001511. htm Last accessed October 2019. 4. Armstrong AW, Bukhalo M and Blauvelt A. A Clinician’s Guide to the Diagnosis and Treatment of Candidiasis in Patients with Psoriasis. Am J Clin Dermatol 2016;17:329–336. S1 Canex V. Each 1 g of cream contains 10 mg of Clotrimazole. Reg. No. 28/20.2.2/0627. For full prescribing information please refer to the package insert approved by the Medicines Regulatory