Genital thrush is not an appealing condition. It’s uncomfortable, potentially recurring and often embarrassing. That being said, it’s also quite common in both men and women, and the symptoms aren’t always as clear as you’d think. Though thrush is usually harmless, it’s not something you want hanging around, so quickly identifying it and seeking the right treatment is always the best course of action. So let’s find out about the condition, how it can be spotted and how it can be cured.
Thrush is a yeast infection that typically affects the genitals of both men and women, though a different form of thrush can also present in the mouth . The actual name of the fungus that causes thrush is Candida, which is typically harmless but can develop into an infection if the balance of bacteria in your body changes, and is encouraged to grow in a warm, moist environment. Though it is transmissible from sexual contact, it’s not classified as an STI.
There are a few reasons a thrush infection could develop. Anything that causes significant changes to your bacteria or affects your immune system, such as taking antibiotics or having a weakened immune system from chemotherapy, can potentially trigger thrush. It can also be triggered by skin conditions or by simply having damaged or irritated skin, by going through the menopause or pregnancy. Thrush can also be a result of poorly controlled diabetes. Wearing tight-fitting and damp clothing can also provide the perfect environment for thrush to grow.
Part of the reason thrush is so common is because it can arise from quite common health conditions or habits, which you may not consider as causes of infection until you’re informed.
Genital thrush can transmit via skin-to-skin contact, which is why it can often be triggered or passed on through sex even though it isn’t formally classfied as an STI.
Thrush can present differently between men and women. Some people don’t experience any symptoms at all, similar to STIs like chlamydia. In general though, you should definitely suspect thrush if you experience any of the following symptoms: 
• white, odourless vaginal discharge that has a thick cottage cheese consistency
• General irritation and itchy sensations around the vagina
• Soreness during sex
• Soreness when passing urine
• A white discharge with a thick consistency
• Irritation, redness and a burning sensation on the head of the penis or under the foreskin
• Unpleasant genital odours
• Difficulty pulling back the foreskin
Sometimes thrush isn’t just restricted to the skin on and around the genitals, either. Thrush can spread to affect areas of the body such as the armpits or between the fingers. When it spreads to other areas of skin, thrush can often leave red rashes that scale over with white or yellow discharge. Thrush rashes can be harder to spot on darker skin, but do tend to cause painful itchy sensations that you may notice even if you can’t see the rash clearly.
If you are experiencing any symptoms of thrush, it’s important to seek treatment promptly. Thrush is an easily treated condition, and once you’ve taken preventative measures it has a lower likelihood of returning.
Most people will go to their GPs to get tested for thrush, or straight to a pharmacy if they have experienced thrush before. Another option is to visit a walk-in sexual health clinic, with no appointment needed. This can often be a quicker option for people experiencing thrush symptoms for the first time.
Fluconazole For Thrush is an antifungal medication that kills off the Candida infection. Prescribed as a single 150mg capsule, the Fluconazole dose is simply taken with water and then gets to work within your body to fight the infection. Just one capsule is needed – however, if on the rare occasion it doesn’t fully remove the infection, or if the reinfection occurs, you may need to be prescribed another Fluconazole 150mg capsule.
Other treatments for thrush can include a pessary tablet (a tablet that is inserted into the vagina), or a cream that can soothe irritation.
Fluconazole is absolutely safe for the vast majority of people. However, you may need to avoid Fluconazole if you take any of the following medications:
• An Antihistamine such as Astemizole
Likewise, if you’ve ever suffered from kidney problems, heart disease, or have abnormally high levels of potassium, magnesium or calcium in your blood, talk to a doctor or pharmacist before taking Fluconazole.
Thrush is treated very effectively by a variety of methods. That being said, although treatments like Fluconazole can quickly remove the infection, they can’t guarantee that you won’t get thrush again. Unfortunately, it can be a recurring health condition if you don’t take steps to prevent it.
Thankfully, there are some simple things you can be doing which drastically lower the chances of thrush coming back. These include:
•Avoiding tight-fitting, synthetic clothing
• Use PH balanced soaps (for women)
• Avoid staying in wet or damp clothes such as swimming costumes
• Don’t take antibiotics unless you need them (as this can disrupt the natural bacteria in your body)
• If you have diabetes, keep your blood sugar levels under control.
1. Oral Thrush (Mouth Thrush) | NHS
2. Thrush In Men And Women | NHS
1. Fluconazole For Fungal Infections | PatientInfo
2. Everything You Need To Know About Oral Thrush | healthline