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Thrush or candidiasis

Thrush or candidiasis can occur after sex but can also affect people who are not sexually active.  This page outlines the symptoms and treatment for thrush or candidiasis.

WHAT IS IT?

Thrush or candidiasis is caused by a yeast organism that irritates the mucous membrane of the genitals.

It is called balanitis if it is under the foreskin of the penis of uncircumcised men, and vaginitis or vulvitis if inside or around the vagina or vulva.

Thrush or candidiasis is not an STI. 

HOW DO YOU GET IT?

Thrush or candidiasis can occur after sex but also without sex. Commonly it is an excess of yeast growth when using antibiotics, during pregnancy, when immunity is low or in diabetics.

WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS?

In women:

  • itching around the vagina or vulva
  • whitish thick vaginal discharge.

In men:

  • a rash
  • itching
  • a discharge under the foreskin.

HOW IS IT TREATED?

Thrush or candidiasis is treated with creams or pessaries (tablets inserted into the vagina). Oral anti-fungal tablets may be given if the case is severe or when in the throat. Salt water baths are usually enough for men, and they can also use cream.

WILL IT IMPACT MY PARTNER/S?

Partners only need treatment if showing symptoms.

Family Planning has clinics located throughout New Zealand. Use the clinic finder to find your nearest clinic.

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