What symptoms might I have with thrush?
Itch of the skin folds outside the vagina (the vulva) is the most common symptom of thrush. It may be itchy inside the vagina also.
There may also be soreness of the vulva. Sometimes it may be painful to pass urine and/or painful to have sex. If there is soreness without itching, this is more likely to have another cause.
There may also be a discharge from the vagina. Thrush is the second most common cause of a vaginal discharge. (The most common cause of vaginal discharge is bacterial vaginosis. See separate leaflet called Bacterial Vaginosis for more details.)
The discharge from thrush is usually creamy white and quite thick, but is sometimes watery. It can add to the itch, redness, discomfort, or pain around the vulva. The discharge from thrush does not usually smell.
Sometimes symptoms are minor and clear up on their own. Often symptoms can be quite irritating and will not go without treatment.
Symptoms that suggest thrush is severe include:
- Redness (erythema) - usually around the vagina and vulva, but may extend to the labia majora and perineum.
- Vaginal fissuring and/or swelling.
- Scratch marks (excoriation) on the vulva.
- Other skin rashes near to the vagina (called satellite lesions) - this is rare and may indicate other fungal conditions or herpes simplex virus.
Thrush does not damage the vagina and it does not spread to damage the womb (uterus). If you are pregnant, thrush will not harm your baby.
Symptoms which suggest your symptoms are NOT due to thrush include:
- A smelly or coloured discharge.
- Bleeding between periods or after having sex.
- Needing to pass urine more often.
- A rash or blisters on the skin of the vulva.
Further reading and references
Sexually Transmitted Infections in Primary Care; Royal College of General Practitioners and British Association for Sexual Health and HIV (Apr 2013)
Candida - female genital; NICE CKS, November 2016 (UK access only)
Martin Lopez JE; Candidiasis (vulvovaginal). BMJ Clin Evid. 2015 Mar 162015. pii: 0815.
British National Formulary; NICE Evidence Services (UK access only)
Abad CL, Safdar N; The role of lactobacillus probiotics in the treatment or prevention of urogenital infections - a systematic review. J Chemother. 2009 Jun21(3):243-52.
Fischer G, Bradford J; Vulvovaginal candidiasis in postmenopausal women: the role of hormone replacement therapy. J Low Genit Tract Dis. 2011 Oct15(4):263-7. doi: 10.1097/LGT.0b013e3182241f1a.
First it appeared a few weeks back and was like a dandruff and the skin was peeling. I had fungal infection 3 years back and had some medicine that weren't expired so started using it. But then it...max56669
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