An uncomfortable condition which is particularly prevalent amongst women, vaginal thrush is something many women are familiar with.
However, there are many myths which are often repeated, and it can be difficult to tell fact from fiction.
Here’s a brief look at some of the most common ‘facts’ about vaginal thrush to see if they hold any truth.
Bubble bath and soap causes vaginal thrush: FICTION
A frequently repeated myth, bubble baths and scented soap do not actually cause thrush. However, if you already have the condition, harsh chemicals, fragrances or colorants can irritate the area further, particularly as they have a drying effect, thus increasing the itching. Stick to natural products and simple, un-fragranced soap; also think about the washing powders and softeners you use in your washing machine too.
You’re safe with your bubbles they don’t cause vaginal thrush
Image Source: https://farm1.staticflickr.com/110/363115671_a7bff784a0.jpg
Vaginal thrush is an STD: FICTION
Although not technically a sexually transmitted disease, thrush can be transmitted via sexual intercourse so it’s advisable to avoid intimate contact until the episode has cleared. An episode can be sometimes triggered by friction which occurs during sex so it’s important to ensure you are well-lubricated.
Thrush is caused by poor feminine hygiene: FICTION
Contrary to popular belief, thrush is not caused by poor feminine hygiene, and in many ways the reverse is actually true. Too vigorous washing, such as excessive cleansing and douching, can actually help to trigger an attack by altering the sensitive pH level in the vagina.
Recurrent thrush is a normal occurrence: FICTION
Although it’s fairly common to suffer from an attack of vaginal thrush occasionally, it’s not normal to have repeated or recurrent episodes. Although thrush is a benign condition, it can be an indicator that there’s something else going on, such as undiagnosed diabetes, so it’s always worth going to the doctor if you are suffering repeatedly.
Thrush only affects women: FICTION
It’s certainly true that the vast majority of thrush sufferers are women, but not exclusively so. Thrush can be transmitted to men during sexual intercourse. If affected, men may complain of itching, redness and soreness of both the foreskin and the head of the penis.
Prescription medication can cause thrush: FACT
If you are prescribed antibiotics by your GP, there’s a reasonable chance that you may go on to suffer from an episode of vaginal thrush. In fact, this happens so reliably with some women that their doctor prescribes them treatment for thrush at the same time as issuing antibiotics. The reason for the connection is that antibiotics eliminate all the friendly bacteria in the vagina, disrupting the balance. However, the yeast fungus which causes thrush must already be present in your vagina for the condition to develop as a result of taking medication.
Vaginal thrush under the microscope
Image Source: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/3/38/Vaginal_wet_mount_of_candidal_vulvovaginitis.jpg
You don’t need to go to your doctor to get treatment for thrush: FACT
If this is your first bout of thrush, or you are suffering from repeated episodes it’s a good idea to get an appointment with your GP before commencing treatment. Anyone who is either pregnant or who has a compromised immune system should also see their GP if they suffer from thrush. However, for everyone else there’s generally no need to see a doctor to be treated effectively for thrush. There are some excellent over the counter treatments that can be purchased which are very successful in banishing the uncomfortable yeast infection. Treatments for thrush can also easily be found online too.
Thrush is a very common condition which affects primarily women, and can cause symptoms which are distressing and uncomfortable. Unfortunately there are lots of myths which persist about thrush, and its causes. The above should help to explain the truth about the condition, and how to get effective treatment too.
Image Credits: Peter Dutton and Wikipedia