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Thrush/Cystitis

Candida/Thrush is a fungal infection that develops in certain conditions in the vagina. It is sometimes linked to taking the Pill, and if it recurs frequently, a different method of contraception may be advisable.

Symptoms:

A man may carry thrush, though he usually manifests no symptoms.

In women Thrush causes:

  • vaginal soreness and itching
  • a thick white discharge

Treatment

  • anti-fungal cream to be used by both partners
  • vaginal peccaries
  • natural yogurt in the vagina can be effective

Avoid:

  • hot baths
  • nylon underwear
  • tight jeans
  • wearing tights

Any genital discomfort is worrying and it can be very easy to confuse burning or itching sensations. Yet Thrush and Cystitis have quite different causes and require different treatments. The good news is that with once they¹re properly identified, both can be treated effectively.

Identifying Thrush

Thrush is a yeast infection which occurs when a change in the vagina's acid balance leads to an increase in the growth of a common fungus, candida. It is commonly caused by taking antibiotics that destroy the protective bacteria that normally suppress the candida population. Pregnancy, diabetes, the Pill and tight, synthetic clothing are also thought to encourage the fungus. It can also occur because of a poorly functioning immune system.

Identifying Cystitis

Cystitis is an inflammation of the membrane lining of the bladder, usually the result of bacteria from the anus passing through the urinary passage. The bladder can become infected during sex, while inserting tampons, wiping the bottom from back to front after going to the toilet and even wearing tight trousers. Once inside the bladder, these bacteria find an ideal environment to multiply.

Methods of diagnosis

Both vaginal thrush and cystitis cause red soreness in the vagina, as well as pelvic and back pain. However, the classic symptoms of thrush are a severe vaginal itching and a cheesy discharge - neither of which occur with cystitis. The first sign of cystitis is a stinging, burning sensation during urination, and sufferers frequently feel a need to go to the loo when there's no urine to pass. Painful burning can occur with thrush but this happens only after the inside of the genitals have been red and swollen for so long that tiny cracks appear in the vulva. If in doubt, ask your doctor to carry out a pelvic examination and, if necessary, an inspection of the vaginal discharge under a microscope.