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What Is Thrush?
Thrush is a very common vaginal infection and most women will suffer at least one attack during their life time. It is caused by a yeast like micro organism ( very small life form) with the impressive name of Candida albicans.
The typical symptoms are a thick white discharge causing vaginal and vulvar itching and burning. The skin around the bladder opening is frequently very sensitive, often causing discomfort when urinating. The discharge is not always present but in all instances of vaginal itching thrush must be excluded.
The diagnosis is confirmed by microscopic examination of the vaginal secretions (swab test).
Thrush is not a sexual transmitted disease (STD). The germ (Candida albicans)is a normal inhabitant of the colon ( large bowel) and is commonly present on the skin around the anus and the skin between the vagina and the anus (perineum). From here it easily spreads into the vagina. Candida albicans is sticky and covered by wax like material. It is well protected against soap and water.
Candida albicans is frequently present in the vagina without causing thrush. It is kept in check by the other germs present in the vagina. See: The vagina 's defense mechanisms
Candida albicans is resistant against ordinary antibiotics. Tablets, capsules and creams containing fungicides are used to treat thrush and are usually very effective.(fungicides are drugs that kills fungi). However a common occurring problem is repeated infections. Thrush responds to treatment, only to reappear after a few weeks. Repeated long term treatment with orally capsules are usually necessary to treat it. A relative new development might help to treat the repeated infections. Vaginal predations containing lactic acid producing bacteria are new available. They are used to restore the natural germs in the vagina and improve resistance against infections.
Antibiotics doesn't discriminate between bacteria and will also kill the good germs ( both in the vagina and in the colon). Always tell your doctor if you are prone to vaginal infections .The necessary precautions to prevent thrush can than be taken when you receive antibiotics.
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