Guides and Steps to avoid vagina thrush

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It is not unexpected that after receiving treatment for vagina thrust, the symptom persist, this may be due to the fact that a vaginal discharge or vulval itch can be due to a number of causes. So, it is unsafe to conclude that all discharges or itch are thrush.

The following gives a guide as to when it may be best to see a doctor or nurse if you think that you might have thrush. If you:
• Are under 16 or over 60 years of age. • Are pregnant.
• Have abnormal vaginal bleeding.
• Have lower tummy (abdominal) pain.
•Are unwell in yourself in addition to the vaginal and vulval symptoms.
• Have symptoms that are not entirely the same as a previous bout of thrush. For example, if the discharge has a bad smell, or it you develop ulcers or blisters next to your vagina.
• Have had two episodes of thrush in six months, and have not consulted a doctor or nurse about this for more than a year.
• Have had a previous sexually transmitted infection (or your partner has).
• Have had a previous bad reaction to anti-thrush medication or treatments.
•Have a weakened immune system – for example, if you are on chemotherapy treatment for cancer or are taking long-term steroid medication for whatever reason.

Prevention mechanism

The following tips may help. However, they have not been proven to work by research. Their use is based on common practice rather than research studies:

• Hygiene. Thrush is not due to poor hygiene. However, the normal conditions of the vagina may be altered by excess washing and rinsing out (douching) of the vagina, bubble baths, scented soaps, spermicides, etc. The normal mucus and germs (bacteria) in the vagina may be upset by these things and allow Candida spp. to infect. Therefore, it may be best to wash just with water and unscented soap, and not to douche the vagina.

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• Clothes. Do not wear nylon underwear or tight-fitting jeans too often. Loose cotton pants are best. Stockings rather than tights are preferable. The aim is to prevent the vaginal area from being constantly warm, moist, and airless.

• Antibiotic medicines. Be aware that thrush is more likely if you take antibiotics for other conditions. Antibiotics may kill the normal harmless bacteria in the vagina which help to defend against Candida spp. As Candida spp. are yeasts and not bacteria, they will not be killed by antibiotics. This is not to say that every course of antibiotics will lead to thrush. But, if you are prone to this problem and you are prescribed antibiotics then have some anti-thrush treatment ready to use at the first sign of thrush.

• Sex. Thrush is not a sexually transmitted disease. However, friction when you have sex may cause minor damage to the vagina which may make Candida spp. more likely to thrive. So, make sure your vagina is well lubricated when having sex. If natural secretions are not sufficient then use a lubricant when you have sex.

Factsheet about Vagina

Thrush Natural remedies for thrush include: live yoghurt inserted into the vagina or adding vinegar or bicarbonate of soda to a bath to alter the acidity of the vagina. At present there is little scientific evidence to show that these remedies work but some women may find that they help soothe their symptoms. Thrush is not a sexually transmitted infection. Candida spp. are yeast germs (bacteria) which commonly occur on the skin and vagina. For reasons not quite clear, they sometimes multiply to cause symptoms. Male sexual partners do not need treatment unless they have symptoms of thrush on their penis. Symptoms in men include redness, itch, and soreness of the foreskin and the head (glans) of the penis. Women do not catch thrush from men who have no symptoms. Thrush occurs more commonly in pregnant women, and can be more difficult to clear. If you are pregnant, a course of seven days of topical treatment is usually advised to clear thrush.

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