Thrush

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What is thrush?

Thrush is a common yeast infection that usually found in the genital areas. However thrush can affect other parts of the body, including armpits, between the toes or in the mouth. Thrush thrives in warm and moist environments, so areas that are warmer or sweat more than others are more prone to developing the infection.

In these areas the infection causes a red, painful and itchy rash, which is also covered in white or yellow discharge that can harden to form rough patches. When the infection is found within the vagina it is referred to as candidiasis, and it can cause the skin to become sore or swollen.

What is a yeast infection?

A yeast infection is an infection caused by the organism Candida albicans also known as yeast. These organisms live on the body and are kept in check by your immune system and the good bacteria that are naturally found around your body. However when this harmonious balance is disrupted the candida can grow uncontrollably leading to a yeast infection. This can happen if you are ill or have been taking antibiotics, also those with weaker immune systems are more at risk of developing a candida infection.

Who can get thrush?

Thrush can affect both men and women of any age, although it is more common for women to experience thrush than it is for men. Those most likely to get thrush include people with a weakened immune system such as babies or the elderly. However if you’re ill, stressed or taking antibiotics it is more likely that you will develop the yeast infection.

Is thrush contagious?

Thrush isn’t considered to be contagious, however occasionally it can be passed through sexual intercourse to your partner. If you believe that you have thrush it is best to abstain from any sexual activity until you have had treatment and your symptoms have cleared.

Sources

www.nhs.uk/conditions/thrush-in-men-and-women

www.nhs.uk/chq/Pages/971.aspx

www.nhs.uk/chq/Pages/971.aspx?CategoryID=118&SubCategoryID=122

www.nhsinform.scot/illnesses-and-conditions/infections-and-poisoning/vaginal-thrush

Thrush is not contagious, however very rarely thrush can be spread through sex. If you have symptoms of thrush it’s best to not have sex until the infection has been treated and has gone.

Yes, thrush is an infection that can affect men and women of any age, from babies to the elderly.

Although both infections affect the vagina, they are different and the symptoms caused by each other are not the same. For example vaginal discharge caused by thrush is white and thick, whereas bacterial vaginosis (BV) causes watery and grey discharge.