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It causes itching, irritation and swelling of the vagina and surrounding area, sometimes with a creamy white cottage cheese-like discharge.
Vaginal thrush is fairly harmless, but it can be uncomfortable. It can also keep returning – this is known as recurrent (or complicated) thrush.

If you display the symptoms of vaginal thrush for the very first time, it is recommended that you visit a GP, especially if you experience pain. This is because the symptoms of vaginal thrush are sometimes similar to those of a number of skin conditions and, occasionally, a sexually transmitted infection (STI). However, your GP will be able to diagnose you correctly.

Your GP can take a swab to confirm whether or not you have vaginal thrush and prescribe the most suitable medication.

If you've had vaginal thrush diagnosed before and you recognise the symptoms, you can go directly to a pharmacy to buy anti-thrush medication over the counter.

However, if your thrush doesn't improve after treatment, or if you have frequent bouts (at least one every few months), you should return to your GP.

Need medical help fast?

Call 111 when you need medical help fast but it's not a 999 emergency. NHS 111 is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Calls are free from landlines and mobile phones.

Life-threatening emergency?

If the illness or injury is life-threatening, don't hesitate. Call 999 straight away.