Candidiasis, often known as thrush, is caused by an overgrowth of, or an allergic reaction to, a yeast called Candida albicans. This yeast is usually found in many areas of the body and is not considered to be a sexually transmissible infection. Candidiasis is very common. A range of factors may possibly trigger an attack of candidiais although often there is no obvious cause.
What are the symptoms of candidiasis?
For women, symptoms of candidiasis may include genital itching, irritation or burning and/or abnormal vaginal discharge.
Men with candidaisis may have itching and redness on the head of the penis (a condition known as balanitis). Some men find symptoms are more noticeable after sex. Sometimes the itching is located in the groin.
How serious is candidiasis or thrush?
Candidiasis is easy to treat and does not lead to any serious health problems.
How do I get tested for candidiasis?
The doctor or nurse will look at the discharge and/or take a swab with small soft cotton bud stick and send it away for testing. Find a local clinic now.
What is the treatment for candidiasis or thrush?
Candidiasis may be treated with antifungal creams or pessaries (tablets that are inserted into the vagina) or oral tablets. People with recurrent or ongoing candidiasis may require longer-term treatment.
Candidiasis is not usually sexually transmitted so partners don’t normally require treatment. However, if a partner has symptoms they should be treated.
JUST THE FACTS is brought to you by the Sexually Transmitted Infections Education Foundation (STIEF) - an initiative funded by the Ministry of Health through collective District Health Boards to educate New Zealanders about STIs.