There are two types of Thrush, or to be more accurate, it’s the same infection, but can affect different parts of the body. You can contract a Thrush infection in the throat (Oral Thrush), or you can contract an infection in the genital area. Here at Broadgate Clinic London Wall, women often use our walk in sexual health screening services for cases of Vaginal Thrush. Genital Thrush can be contracted by both men and women, but when women are infected, it is often referred to as Vaginal Thrush, or Bacterial Thrush. The base cause of Thrush (whether oral or genital) is a yeast known as Candida Albicans; in fact the medical name for Thrush is Candidiasis.
Factors associated with Oral Thrush
The people most at risk of developing oral thrush include:
- Small infants and elderly people
- Anyone with a weakened immune system
- Anyone who wears dentures
- People with other health conditions, for example diabetes
- Anyone on the course of medications including things like antibiotics and oral or inhaled corticosteroids
- Anyone having to undergo chemotherapy or radiation treatment
- People suffering from conditions that cause a dry mouth
Typical symptoms of Oral Thrush
Oral thrush can develop slowly over time, or may develop quite rapidly. Once symptoms appear, they can last anywhere from a period of a few days, to a few months. Typical symptoms can include:
- White lesions inside the mouth that can extend to the tongue, the inner cheeks, the roof of the mouth, the gums, and the tonsils.
- Lesions inside the mouth that resemble cottage cheese
- Inflammation that could create difficulty with swallowing
- A slight bleeding if any of the lesions are chaffed in any way
- Cracking and inflammation presenting at the corners of the mouth. This is especially common with those who wear dentures.
- A “woolly” feeling inside your mouth
- Loss of taste
Most cases of Thrush that we see here at Broadgate Clinic London Wall are Genital in nature, with many people attending our walk in sexual health clinic London Wall
As mentioned earlier, Genital Thrush is caused by Candida yeast – a naturally-occurring yeast found in the human gut, and inside the vagina. In 90% of cases of Genital Thrush it is the Candida Albicans yeast that is to blame; in the remaining 10% of cases, it is down to other strains of Candida yeast.
Even though Candida Albicans is naturally found inside the vagina, it is normally kept in balance by the immune system and good bacteria, and causes no harm. Vaginal Thrush usually occurs when the immune system is compromised and/or the number of bad bacteria outweighs the number of good.
Other factors contributing to the appearance of a Vaginal Thrush infection can include:
- If you are taking antibiotics – they kill good bacteria as well as bad
- If you are pregnant – due to a change in hormone levels
- If you have poorly controlled diabetes – due to fluctuating blood glucose levels
Why many people call in at Broadgate Clinic London Wall for sexual health advice
Vaginal or Genital Thrush is not actually an STI. Some people may assume that it is because it can be spread through sexual intercourse with someone who carries the infection. This is why many of the patients who avail themselves of our health screening services here at Broadgate GP, actually call in for sexual health advice with a male or female doctor in our walk in STD clinic London. It’s an understandable reaction.
Treatment for Vaginal Thrush available from women health services at Broadgate Clinic London Wall
If you have a mild case of vaginal thrush, an anti-Thrush medication can be bought here over the counter at the women health services at Broadgate Clinic London Wall. The course of treatment normally lasts no more than three days.
If you have a more severe case of Thrush, you may be given an anti-Thrush pessary (to be inserted into your vagina), an anti-Thrush cream, to be spread on the skin surrounding the entrance to the vagina; or anti-Thrush tablets. All of these medications can be bought over the counter at the Broadgate Clinic London Wall pharmacy.