Vaginal Thrush (Yeast Infection)

Vaginal thrush is an infection of the vagina and/or vulva with a yeast germ called candida.

What is vaginal thrush?

We are all mostly blissfully unaware of a host of germs which live harmlessly inside us. One of these germs is a type of fungus, a yeast called candida. Fungi like warm, wet places, and a vagina is a perfect home for them. Most of the time, these candida germs reside peaceably within their vaginal abode without causing any problems. In certain conditions, however, the normal happy balance is disturbed and they multiply and then cause symptoms. When there are more of these germs than usual, they cause an inflammation of the vagina or the skin folds outside the vagina (the vulva). You then feel that inflammation as an itch or soreness, and you may notice a discharge.

Vaginal thrush is extremely common. Up to three quarters of women will get it at some point in their lives. It is not considered to be a sexually transmitted infection, although occasionally it is passed on during sex. More often, it is an overgrowth of a germ which is already there but not previously causing a problem.

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Dr Mary Harding
Peer Reviewer:
Dr Hannah Gronow
Document ID:
4350 (v43)
Last Checked:
01 July 2017
Next Review:
30 June 2020

Disclaimer: This article is for information only and should not be used for the diagnosis or treatment of medical conditions. Patient Platform Limited has used all reasonable care in compiling the information but make no warranty as to its accuracy. Consult a doctor or other health care professional for diagnosis and treatment of medical conditions. For details see our conditions.