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Meisje ligt op bed

Thrush is a yeast infection. Some yeasts have then grown too much in your body. On your vagina or penis, or perhaps in your mouth or on your skin. It is women and girls who often have symptoms. Thrush is rarely passed on during sex. If it bothers you, you can get treatment.

Signs and symptoms

It is women and girls who mostly have discomfort from thrush. Boys and men don’t usually have any symptoms. But they might.

Symptoms of thrush in your vagina:

  • Itching
  • White discharge that doesn’t smell, perhaps thick like cottage cheese
  • Your vagina is red, swollen and sore
  • Pain or a burning sensation, possibly only when you pee or have sex

Symptoms of thrush on your penis:

  • Redness, itching or irritation
  • Dry, scaly skin
  • Red bumps or marks
  • White coating that you can scrape off
  • Pain when you pee

Symptoms are more likely if your body’s resistance is low. Perhaps because of stress, if you have diabetes or you’re taking medicines. Or just before your period.
Your symptoms might also be caused by something else. Perhaps by an STI. If you’re not sure whether you have an STI, do the STI check


If you have any symptoms, you can get treatment. The doctor will usually give you an antifungal cream to put in your vagina or on your penis. You could also be given antifungal tablets to insert in the vagina. Or you might be given pills to take.

How not to get thrush

Things you can do to help prevent a thrush infection:

  • Only wash your vagina with lukewarm water
  • DON’T use soap, vaginal douches, oils or creams
  • Don’t start having sex until you are fully aroused and your vagina is moist
  • There is then less chance of you developing thrush

Thrush and pregnancy

A yeast infection in the vagina doesn’t have a negative effect on a pregnancy. It is likely to occur or return more often, particularly during the last months of the pregnancy.