What is it?

Thrush is also called candidiasis. It isn’t a sexually transmitted infection (STI). It is caused by male or female genitals making too much natural yeast. It can also develop in the mouth and throat. It is not always caused by sexual activity. 

How do I know I have it?

  • There may be discharge from your vagina that is thick and white. Your vagina might also be red, swollen and itchy.
  • Thrush under the foreskin and on top of the penis. It can be an itchy rash or swollen or red.

How do I get rid of it?

If you have symptoms you can use different creams or tablets to help. Speak with a nurse at your local Health Centre if you have symptoms.

In the community, you can buy these over the counter at the chemist without seeing a doctor. If you have tried these treatments for thrush and it won’t go away, you should go and see a doctor.

How did I get it?

Thrush is not a sexually transmitted infection (STI) but sex can change the amount of yeast under your foreskin or in the vagina. When there is too much yeast, you can get thrush. Some people get thrush when they take antibiotics because of a change in the natural balance of yeast.

How can I make sure I don't get it?

  • You can stop thrush developing or coming back if you rinse and dry under the foreskin daily and after sex.
  • Avoid perfumed cleansing products. For example soaps, gels, sanitary perfumes, bubble baths and bath salts when washing.
  • Wear looser fitting, cooler clothing and choose clothes made of cotton or natural fibres.
  • Use condoms.
  • If you have got thrush after taking antibiotics you could consider taking thrush treatment any time you get an antibiotic prescription.

How can the nurse or doctor tell me if I have it?

Most thrush can be diagnosed by taking a swab from the affected area.


Who do I need to tell?

You do not need to tell your partners that you have thrush. You may want to abstain from sex until you have finished the course of treatment or your symptoms have gone.

More information

Before release

Talk to a nurse at your local Health Centre.

After you are released

Sexual Health Info Link is a service that you can call up for information on STIs and sexual health. It’s anonymous and non-judgemental. Free call: 1800 451 624 or visit their website www.shil.nsw.gov.au

For more information on STIs and safe sex visit the Play Safe website: www.playsafe.health.nsw.gov.au “Let them know” allows you to send an anonymous messages to tell someone you’ve had sex with that they have come into contact with the infection: http://www.letthemknow.org.au/