Thrush is one of those words that people don’t like to bring up and many of us don’t know what the hell we’re talking about when we do. Most people can remember the first time they have heard it being spoken about in hushed tones around the school yard, whispered in accusation or intended offence, one of those things kids know nothing about but pick it up somewhere and run away with their own meaning in their minds. And of course anything to do with reproductive organs is taboo to children in the school yard, that great source of difference between the boys and girls. But to be honest, most people's understanding of this fairly common affliction is that it happens mainly in women but sometimes men too get this infection.
So it’s time to clear up a few myths and get the facts straight without sneaking in any more puns.
1. First of all, it’s not an STD
First major surprise for most people is the fact that thrush is not considered an STD and is not caused during any acts considered hanky panky. So, how is it actually caused: Well, my friend, vaginal thrush is what happens to a woman when she gets a bit of overgrowth of candida albicans yeast. This is a natural yeast that lives in the bowels and also in small numbers in the vagina. It is usually completely harmless but if its numbers increase for any reason, well, that’s when the problem starts and she gets thrush. This build up of yeast occurs for a variety of reasons. It might be due to the use of some antibiotics, oral contraception, diabetes, pregnancy, any changes in the menstrual cycle, general illnesses like diabetes and associated vulval or skin conditions. So yeah, heaps of ways to get it. But the good news is that you can still have sex if you’ve got the thrush. Only you might experience a bit of burning or pain during and after coitus.
2. It’s pretty common.
Unfortunately for you ladies, it’s a pretty common ailment and the figures indicate that roughly 75% of woman are going to experience some kind of vaginal thrush over their lifetime. This is obviously a bit of a bummer but the good news is that it is totally treatable and only rarely, it becomes a serious risk to your long term health.
Of course, there is a treatment. That’s what modern medical science is so good at – finding a treatment! You’ve basically got two options – you can put something in your mouth or something in your vagina as those are the only two choices you have. The oral treatment is a tablet that you swallow. It’s not recommended as a first-line of treatment or for pregnant women. It is also more expensive, so first you might want to go down the other path. The other option is an antifungal cream or tablet that is applied inside the vagina. It’s possible that symptoms will only last for a week or so, and no further thrush treatment will be necessary.
As with most things, the best treatment for thrush is prevention! Some quick tips to avoid problems include avoiding the use of soap when washing the genital area, avoiding antiseptic and perfumed sprays around the genital area, avoiding perfumed toilet paper and menstrual products, avoiding wearing tight fitting pants and synthetic underwear.
Basically, avoid messing with your downstairs in ways nature didn’t intend.