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Vaginal thrush (also called vaginal candidiasis or monilia) is a common infection caused by overgrown yeast. There are many treatments available to relieve thrush symptoms. 

Answer a few questions about your health, and we’ll recommend the right treatments just for you. Order vaginal thrush treatment online and get it delivered from our pharmacy. 

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This page was medically reviewed by Dr Daniel Atkinson, GP Clinical Lead on August 02, 2022. Next review due on August 01, 2024.
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    Vaginal Thrush: Here's what we've got.
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    Fluconazole

    Fluconazole

    Daily capsule treatment that targets fungus. Non-branded version of Diflucan.

    • Starting from £20.00

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    What is vaginal thrush?

    Vaginal thrush is an infection that occurs because of an increase of the yeast fungus known as Candida albicans. Our bodies have friendly bacteria that help us in different ways, for example, to digest food. But if they grow too much they can be harmful. 

    Candida albicans belongs to a fungi family that is normally found on the skin, in the bowel and vaginal area. Fungi normally grow in warm and moist environments like the vagina. Healthy vaginas will contain a mix of bacteria and some yeast cells. However, if quantities of this fungus increase it can lead to an infection and symptoms can become worse.

    The fungal infection can cause symptoms such as irritation, discharge and intense itchiness around the vagina and the vulva. However, vaginal thrush isn’t known to cause any further long-term health issues.

    Vaginal thrush is not a sexually transmitted infection (STI). It can develop after vaginal intercourse, but it’s extremely common for it to be passed on during sex. It’s caused by an overgrowth of the yeast ‘candida albicans’, which is normally found on the genital skin. Typical causes can include taking antibiotics, using certain soaps, and wearing tight-fitting clothing.

    Who gets vaginal thrush?

    Vaginal thrush can affect women at any point in their lives. It’s a common infection, and around 70 to 75% of women of childbearing age will have vaginal thrush at some point.  Although in most cases there’s no definitive reason as to why vaginal thrush occurs, there are certain factors that can lead to symptoms developing. When the natural defences in the vagina are altered, it can result in an infection. This can happen with women who suffer from certain health conditions. 

    Women who are more vulnerable to vaginal thrush, also known as candidiasis or monilia, include pregnant women, people who are taking antibiotic medication, people who suffer from diabetes, and people who have a weaker immune system (for example, if you’re receiving chemotherapy). All women are also prone to recurring episodes of vaginal thrush. In this case, clinicians will offer alternative treatments for recurrent yeast infections.

    How common is vaginal thrush?

    Vaginal thrush is a common health condition that can develop at any time. This type of yeast infection occurs with millions of women globally, and research has shown that it’s expected to continue. It affects 372 million women at some point in their lifetime. Recurrent vaginal thrush affects between 103 million and 172 million women per year across the world. The age group that is most commonly affected is 25 to 34 year olds. 

    It’s believed that there could be a relationship between vaginal thrush and oestrogen, so you can be more vulnerable to thrush during your reproductive years, between starting your period and starting the menopause. Hormone changes are also seen during pregnancy, so you may be susceptible at this time too. There are also suggestions that hormone and contraceptive pills could trigger vaginal thrush, but this hasn’t been confirmed. 

    Medically reviewed by
    Dr Daniel Atkinson
    GP Clinical Lead
    on August 02, 2022.
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    This page was medically reviewed by Dr Daniel Atkinson, GP Clinical Lead on August 02, 2022. Next review due on August 01, 2024.

    How we source info.

    When we present you with stats, data, opinion or a consensus, we’ll tell you where this came from. And we’ll only present data as clinically reliable if it’s come from a reputable source, such as a state or government-funded health body, a peer-reviewed medical journal, or a recognised analytics or data body. Read more in our editorial policy.

    What causes vaginal thrush?

    There’s no known, specific cause for vaginal thrush. It occurs when the number of natural fungi in the body increase. One of these is Candida albicans, which is found in the vagina and is harmless in small quantities. These fungi support the body and help it function properly to keep yeast controlled. But different triggers and health conditions can alter quantities of these natural defences, and go against your body’s necessary balance. This leads to vaginal thrush symptoms arising. 

    Candida albicans is a common fungus that leads to yeast infections. It belongs to the candida fungus family. Other types of fungus within this family can lead to more complicated infections which require more aggressive treatment. 

    What are the symptoms of vaginal thrush?

    The different symptoms you can experience if you have vaginal thrush include: 

    • Vaginal discomfort such as itching or a burning sensation
    • Vaginal discharge (thick and white discharge)
    • Itching around the vagina
    • Soreness of the vulva
    • Pain while urinating and/or during sex, including stinging or burning

    Symptoms of vaginal thrush are usually minor and will heal by themselves. However, you may find that symptoms are uncomfortable, annoying and don’t let you carry out your usual daily activities. In this case, you should log in to your account and send our clinician a message. They may advise you to try an alternative treatment. 

    If the vaginal thrush you’re experiencing is severe you’ll have symptoms that include:

    • redness around the vagina and vulva, which extends to the labia majora and perineum
    • swelling around the vagina
    • scratch marks on the vulva

    If you have any of the following symptoms then it might be that you don’t have vaginal thrush:

    • discharge that smells or is coloured
    • bleeding after sex or between your periods
    • the need to urinate much more frequently
    • a rash around the vulva

    Can vaginal thrush lead to other problems?

    Vaginal thrush symptoms can be uncomfortable and stressful, particularly if you have recurring thrush. If vaginal thrush isn’t treated for a long time, this could lead to risks with other parts of the body. Some symptoms that are similar to vaginal thrush could indicate other issues. For example, skin rashes near the vagina might be due to other infections. 

    There can also be an increased risk of you getting an STD when you have a yeast infection. Yeast infections aren’t directly associated with the development of STDs, but the lesions (small cuts) made by scratching, and the microscopic tears in the affected skin, could allow some bacteria or viruses that cause STDs to enter the body more easily.

    But it’s unlikely that vaginal thrush will lead to any serious health problems. Vaginal thrush won’t damage your vagina or your uterus, and it won’t hurt your baby if you’re pregnant. 

    If you have recurring vaginal thrush that is making you upset, depressed, or anxious, or if it’s affecting normal activities such as your sex life, then it’s important to talk to our clinician They can advise you on how to deal with your situation and what treatments are available.

    What medications are there for vaginal thrush?

    Most vaginal thrush medications contain the ingredients fluconazole, clotrimazole or miconazole nitrate. Medication works to reduce the number of yeasts and so control symptoms. There are several options for treatment including topical medications, antifungal creams and tablets that are inserted into your vagina, or oral tablets. 

    These options can be purchased without a prescription in pharmacies, but you’ll still need to speak to a pharmacist prescriber so that they can make sure these medications are safe for you to use. 

    Is there a ‘best’ treatment for vaginal thrush?

    The vaginal thrush treatment that best suits you will depend on your condition, symptoms and health needs. Certain treatments may be better or worse depending on your circumstances. For example, oral tablets aren’t recommended for pregnant women and they tend to be more expensive. It may be that your vaginal thrush only lasts for a few days, and so you only need to take a mild treatment. Our clinical team can help you to decide which medications will suit you best.

    Does vaginal thrush always need treatment?

    Vaginal thrush usually requires some form of treatment, depending on your symptoms. So it’s best to speak to a clinician in the first instance, so they can decide on the most appropriate treatment for you. 

    FAQ: Vaginal thrush

    Have something specific you want to know? Search our info below, or ask our experts a question if you can’t find what you’re looking for.

    Is Clotrimazole similar to any other treatments?

    Answer:
    There is also a branded vaginal tablet containing Clotrimazole, called the Canesten Pessary. This contains the same active ingredient as Clotrimazole vaginal tablets in the same dosage, it’s just not a generic treatment. They should work in very similar ways, but they may look different. Generic treatments like Clotrimazole vaginal tablets are also often cheaper than the brand names. There are creams too containing clotrimazole which treat vaginal thrush. These might be a good option for you if you aren’t comfortable inserting a tablet.

    Why should I buy Clotrimazole vaginal tablets online with Treated?

    Answer:
    Treating your vaginal thrush can be complicated, but it shouldn’t have to be. If you need help with your symptoms, just talk to one of our clinicians. We’ll let you know your treatment options, and you can order online with us. We’ll then deliver to your doorstep in discreet packaging.

    We’ll also check in with you regularly to see how you’re feeling, and how you’re finding your treatment. And if you have questions about your medication or condition, our team of experts are here to help. You just need to log into your account and message us.

    Do I need a prescription for Clotrimazole vaginal tablets?

    Answer:
    Clotrimazole vaginal tablets are a pharmacy medicine. This means you don’t need a prescription to buy them, but you also can’t get them over the counter. Clotrimazole vaginal tablets can only be sold to you by a licensed clinician in a registered pharmacy. So you can buy pharmacy medicines like Clotrimazole vaginal tablets online with Treated, as we’re a registered pharmacy with an expert clinical team.

    How effective are Clotrimazole vaginal tablets?

    Answer:
    Clotrimazole vaginal tablets work well against thrush. One study found that after 7-14 days of treatment with Clotrimazole vaginal tablets, 88.7% of people were clinically cured, meaning they had no symptoms of infection. 78.3% of people were also cured in a mycological sense, meaning there were no unusual levels of yeast cells in the vagina or vulva indicating an imbalance. The researchers concluded that Clotrimazole vaginal tablets were as effective as oral fluconazole tablets for treating thrush, with a lower risk of side effects.

    Can I have sex while using Clotrimazole vaginal tablets?

    Answer:
    It’s best to avoid having sex while using Clotrimazole vaginal tablets. Sex can change the chemical environment of your vagina, so it might make treatment less effective. You should avoid oral sex as Clotrimazole is not safe to be swallowed.

    If you do have sex while using Clotrimazole vaginal tablets or within seven days of finishing treatment, it will reduce the effectiveness of latex based contraceptives. This includes most condoms and diaphragms. So use an alternative form of contraception during this time to avoid pregnancy.

    Which dose of Clotrimazole pessary should I use?

    Answer:
    There is only one dose of Clotrimazole vaginal tablets that tends to be used: a single 500mg tablet. It’s important to leave this tablet in your vagina until it dissolves. This should be enough to get rid of your vaginal thrush. If your infection comes back, you should return to your clinician. They may prescribe you another 500mg tablet.

    How are Clotrimazole vaginal tablets different from other treatments for thrush?

    Answer:
    Treatment for vaginal thrush usually comes in three forms: oral tablets, creams and vaginal tablets. You might prefer Clotrimazole vaginal tablets over other kinds of thrush treatment if you don’t want to keep reapplying the cream or taking multiple tablets. You just have to insert one tablet and wait for its effects to show.

    You also might prefer Clotrimazole vaginal tablets over oral tablet treatments for thrush because they tend to have milder effects. Not much of the clotrimazole is absorbed into the bloodstream, so its effects on your whole system tend to be limited.

    How is vaginal thrush diagnosed?

    Answer:
    If you’ve never had vaginal thrush before, it’s important to speak to a clinician so they can evaluate your symptoms. This is especially important if you aren’t sure whether you have thrush or not, in which case they may have to test for other types of infection.

    To make a diagnosis, a clinician will usually take notes about any health conditions you may have and a history of your symptoms, examine your vagina and take a swab. If you’ve had vaginal thrush previously and you know what to look for, you can talk to us about treatment options. We can help you find the medication that you require.

    Are there different types of thrush?

    Answer:
    Men can also get thrush around the penis, which causes symptoms including discharge, an unpleasant smell and irritation under the foreskin and around the head of the penis. But thrush in men is less common than vaginal thrush.

    There are also other types of thrush that affect the mouth (oral thrush) and other areas of skin, including the armpits, fingers and groin. Symptoms will include irritation, rash, and white or yellow discharge. In some cases, thrush doesn’t show any symptoms.

    Are there tests for vaginal thrush?

    Answer:
    When you visit a clinician they will usually take a swab of your vaginal discharge to be able to diagnose your symptoms and to diagnose if it’s thrush or another infection. Or you can take a swab sample yourself with instructions from a clinician.

    If you are suffering from repeated episodes of vaginal thrush, our clinician may want to carry out a urine test to check if you have diabetes, as people with diabetes are more vulnerable to vaginal thrush. You may also have a urine test to check to see whether you have a urine infection.

    There’s a pH test to examine how acidic your vagina is too. This will indicate whether your vaginal discharge is caused by vaginal thrush or another type of bacterial vaginosis. For this, a test strip is placed into the vagina, and the colour that appears will indicate to a clinician if your symptoms are likely to be triggered by vaginal thrush. If it’s a pH level of 4.5 or less this usually indicates thrush. There are also further tests that can be carried out to detect other types of infections.

    Can you get side effects from vaginal thrush treatment?

    Answer:
    Not all vaginal thrush treatments will be exactly the same, so side effects will differ, depending on the type of treatment you purchase. Oral medications can have side effects including nausea, diarrhoea and headaches. Whereas the side effects of creams can involve irritation and skin reactions.

    It’s important to make sure that you finish your treatment, and follow instructions given by healthcare professionals. You can consult specific vaginal thrush product pages on our site to find out more about the specific side effects of each.

    Does vaginal thrush treatment always work?

    Answer:
    Most vaginal thrush medication will improve your symptoms within one to two weeks. Sometimes vaginal thrush can reappear, and it can take longer in this instance to control symptoms. If you’re getting vaginal thrush repeatedly, you should send our clinician a message using your account.

    Treatment will usually work in four of every five cases. But once you start vaginal thrush treatment, if you continue to have symptoms for a week, it’s important to get in touch with our clinician. Medication may not work for a variety of reasons. It may be that there are other causes of discharge, or other types of infections that are confused with vaginal thrush. It could also be that your thrush is caused by other types of candida strains that require stronger treatment.

    Why should I buy vaginal thrush treatment online with Treated?

    Answer:
    You can order vaginal thrush medication as a “one-off” treatment safely on Treated. Tell us about your health, and we’ll advise you on safe and suitable treatment options for you. Choose your medication from there, and how often you’d like to receive it from us too.

    We’ll stay in touch with you to see how you’re finding your treatment. And if you’ve got any questions about it, our clinical team is on hand to help. Just sign in to your account and send them a message.

    How is Fluconazole different to other treatments for thrush?

    Answer:
    There are many kinds of fungal infection, so it follows that there are different medicines to treat those various infections.

    Many fungal infections are caused by the candida fungus; candida is responsible for athlete’s foot, vaginal yeast infections, nail fungus, jock itch, nappy (diaper) rash, and oral thrush. Fluconazole is the active ingredient in many antifungal medications, which come as tablets or topical treatments such as sprays and creams. Fluconazole, though, comes in a capsule which you should swallow with water.

    If you’re unsure about the best choice of treatment for you, our clinicians can help you find the right medication.

    Is Fluconazole similar to any other treatments?

    Answer:
    Diflucan is the branded version of Fluconazole; this treatment is basically the same as Fluconazole, with the same active ingredient. The main differences are the price, and the appearance of the capsules and the packaging, which may differ between the branded and the generic versions. Fluconazole, as the generic treatment, is a bit cheaper.

    Which dose of Fluconazole should I use?

    Answer:
    It depends on the nature of the fungal infection you’ve got. Prescriptions of 50mg will typically be given to you if you’re suffering from oral thrush. For vaginal thrush, prescriptions will usually be given for 150mg. Other, more severe infections will be dealt with using varying lengths of treatment but you’ll usually be prescribed with 200mg of Fluconazole.

    Do I need a prescription for Fluconazole?

    Answer:
    Fluconazole is a bit stronger than other fungal treatments you can get over the counter, so the capsules should be prescribed to you by a clinician or medical professional. This protects you and ensures you’re using the right treatment.

    Why should I buy Fluconazole online with Treated?

    Answer:
    Your health, wellbeing, and happiness is at the forefront of everything we do here at Treated. That means empowering you to take control of your own healthcare and make the right choice for you. Once you start using your chosen treatment, a member of our clinical team will get in touch to check in with you and make sure your treatment is working well.
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