Thrush is caused by a yeast, Candida albicans. Normally, the yeast that causes thrush lives harmlessly inside the vagina but sometimes the amount of yeast increases and this causes thrush. It’s not necessarily transmitted through sexual contact and lots of people get it quite regularly. But it can be passed on through sex, and develop after you've had sex, in both men and women.



  • a thick, white vaginal discharge
  • itching
  • soreness
  • swelling of the vulva
  • pain when weeing.


  • the penis may become sore, itchy and inflamed


Women can treat thrush with creams which can be inserted into the vagina like a tampon (vaginal pessaries), anti-fungal cream or a tablet that you swallow. Some of these can be bought over the counter at chemists. Men can also use anti-fungal cream.