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Thrush in men and women

Thrush is a yeast (fungal) infection that can affect the vagina, penis and skin.

Symptoms of thrush depend on where it's on the body. It usually causes itchiness, irritation and a white discharge that looks like cottage cheese.

Thrush can usually be treated with antifungal medicine from a doctor, pharmacist or sexual health clinic. Treatment should work within a week.

You’re more likely to get thrush if your skin is irritated or damaged, you're taking antibiotics or you have poorly controlled diabetes.

Read more on the NHS website.

Symptoms of thrush depend on where it's on the body. It usually causes itchiness, irritation and a white discharge that looks like cottage cheese.

Check if you have thrush

Thrush symptoms in women

Thrush symptoms in men

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.

Read more on the NHS website.

Thrush can usually be treated with antifungal medicine from a doctor, pharmacist or sexual health clinic. Treatment should work within a week.

Medical treatments

You'll often 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 a week, after 1 dose of medicine or using the cream daily.

You do not need to treat partners unless they have symptoms.

Recurring thrush

You might need to take treatment for longer (for up to 6 months) if you keep getting thrush (you get it more than twice in 6 months).

Your 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.

Self-care


Do

  • use water and emollient (instead of soap), like E45 cream, to wash your penis or vagina
  • dry the affected area properly after washing
  • wear cotton underwear
  • avoid sex until thrush has cleared up
  • use a condom to help stop it spreading
  • take showers instead of baths

Don't

  • 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

Read more on the NHS website.

You’re more likely to get thrush if your skin is irritated or damaged, you're taking antibiotics or you have poorly controlled diabetes.

Read more on the NHS website.