Smiling young woman with curly hair, wearing a blue shirt, happy after Canesten thrush treatment

What is thrush?

Learn what thrush is and the yeast infection symptoms to help identify it. Discover what thrush treatments there are, and what you can do to prevent recurring thrush.


It’s very common, but you rarely hear it in conversations between women. So, let’s talk about thrush. Thrush is a common yeast infection caused by a simple imbalance of natural vaginal fungus, predominantly Candida Albicans. 

Normally, the things that keep candida in check are: good immune system, good bacteria (called lactobacilli) and healthy pH level. However, when the conditions in your vagina change to less acidic, bacteria start to overgrow. This in turn could lead to a yeast infection.

It’s common that every 3 out of 4 women get thrush at least once in their lifetime. Many women also suffer from recurring thrush. However, there are some circumstances that can make you more prone to getting this yeast infection. There are multiple causes and triggers for thrush, however, you are more at risk of getting thrush if: 

  • You are pregnant

  • You have recently finished a course of antibiotics

  • You have diabetes

  • Having sex, whilst you are on your period

  • You have HIV

Don’t worry! Thrush is not a sexually transmitted infection.

Thrush symptoms

There are some common symptoms of thrush that are easy to spot and recognise. You should remember that everyone is different, so yeast infection symptoms can vary and can be mild, moderate or more complicated.  

You should watch out for these common thrush symptoms:   

  • Feeling of itchiness, burning, soreness of your vagina and redness and swelling of vaginal lips. 
  • Cottage cheese-like discharge – whitish and thick appearing and odorless discharge, 
  • Uncomfortable feeling when having sex.

Did you know? Men can also suffer from thrush. Find out more about thrush in men.

If you are experiencing thrush for the first time, you should see a doctor. Once you are diagnosed with thrush, you can start treatment at home. Fortunately, thrush doesn’t usually take long to clear up, but you should also consider seeing a doctor if:

  • You are under 16, 

  • You experience thrush, more than twice in 6 months, 

  • Treatment has not worked, 

  • You are pregnant or breastfeeding, 

  • Your immune system is weakened, for example you have diabetes, HIV infection or are undergoing chemotherapy.

Thrush treatment

In most cases, it is easy to treat and soothe vaginal thrush. For complete relief, you should use both internal products which will treat the infection and external cream which can help relieve your symptoms. Canesten offers a range of products like oral capsules, soft gel pessary, vaginal pessary and internal vaginal and external creams, so you can decide which treatment option is more comfortable for you to use. Thrush should clear up within a week after one dose of medicine and/ or using the cream daily. Do not be tempted to use external cream only. It will help soothe symptoms of vaginal yeast infection, but it won’t get rid of the cause of thrush.

You don’t need a prescription to buy Canesten thrush treatments and you can use Combi products to treat both the internal infection and calm the external symptoms.

Thrush prevention

Some people suffer from recurring thrush which may be caused by their lifestyle choices. If thrush symptoms are a problem, you can change some habits to help stop yeast infection from coming back. First of all, you should remember that your intimate area has different pH than the rest of the body so using regular, perfumed soaps and shower gels can disturb the pH balance in your vagina.

Wearing very tight and synthetic underwear and clothes such as tight leggings can encourage the growth of candida because of the trapped moisture. It is also recommended to change wet clothes like swimming costume or workout outfit straight away. Other tips for avoiding thrush include:

  • Avoid using deodorants and douches in and around your vaginal area

  • Avoid stress and maintain a healthy lifestyle to keep your immune system strong

  • Avoid high sugar foods

  • Change your tampons and pads frequently

  • Ensure you wipe from front to back when in toilet to avoid spreading the bacteria from your anus to your vagina

  • Avoid very long, hot baths

Thrush, also known as a yeast infection can happen to anyone. It is easy to spot the symptoms such as thrush discharge and treatment can be very straightforward. However, if you suffer from recurring thrush, taking probiotics can help you maintain the natural levels of good bacteria in your vagina.