Ask Kate - Thrush

Thrush is something that as women we generally don't like to talk about it. However it is a common condition for women, so for Women's Health month we have our Clinical Pharmacist Kate shedding a little light on thrush.

Vaginal Thrush

Often referred to as “thrush”, vulvovaginal candidiasis, is a common condition for women. It is the second most common cause of vaginal inflammation (behind Bacterial Vaginitis). 90% of vaginal thrush is caused by Candida albicans which causes symptoms by overgrowth in the vaginal area.

Signs you may have vaginal thrush include:

  • Itching or soreness around the vaginal area
  • A “cottage cheese” like discharge
  • Pain or discomfort when you have sex.

A number of factors can cause vaginal thrush:

  • Antibiotic use
  • Diabetes mellitus (particularly if your blood glucose levels are not well controlled)
  • Irritation during sex
  • Body wash, deodorants or soap
  • Lowered immune system
  • Tight fitting underwear or clothing (e.g. exercise tights)
  • During pregnancy

Not all vaginal infections are thrush, so it is important to speak with one of our Hillcrest Pharmacist’s to determine if you have thrush.


Vaginal thrush is easily treated, and if you have had it before you can get treatment from your Hillcrest Pharmacist. It is a fungal infection, so we use anti-fungal medications to treat it. These can include taking a capsule by mouth or by inserting a cream or pessary (vaginal tablet) into the vagina using an applicator. Cream can also be used on the outside of the vagina to relieve itching. Treatment usually works within a couple of days.

It is important that these medications are right for you, and in some cases you may have to alter how you take them (for example in pregnancy) so talk to one of our Hillcrest Pharmacist’s about your treatment options.


  • Wear cotton underwear
  • Avoid strong soap and bodywash in the vaginal area
  • Salt water baths may help to soothe the inflammation
  • Avoid tight fitting underwear and clothes whilst you have thrush as they restrict air flow
  • Avoid using tampons whilst you have thrush – use sanitary pads

If you think you may have thrush, approach one of our staff in store and a pharmacist will have a private conversation with you to discuss treatment options.

The information contained on this site is not intended to be a replacement for medical advice or advice in relation to the health or care of any person. The information is generalised and should not be relied upon as a substitute for professional clinical advice. If you have any questions relating to the information you should seek the advice of a qualified medical practitioner. The information is derived from a number of sources. Remadee has endeavoured to ensure that all information is from reliable and reputable sources.

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