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Candidiasis (thrush) - Symptoms of vaginal thrush

NHS Choices Medical Reference

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The symptoms of vaginal thrush are usually obvious.

Typical symptoms include:

  • itching and soreness around the entrance of the vagina
  • pain during sex 
  • a stinging sensation when you urinate
  • vaginal discharge, although this isn't always present; the discharge is usually odourless and it can be thin and watery or thick and white like cottage cheese

Severe symptoms

In addition to the above symptoms, you may also have:

  • a red and swollen vagina and vulva
  • cracked skin around the entrance of your vagina 
  • sores in the surrounding area - this is rare, but it may indicate the presence of another fungal condition or the herpes simplex virus (the virus that causes genital herpes)

Doctors sometimes refer to 'uncomplicated' or 'complicated' thrush depending on your symptoms and how often you get the yeast infection.

Uncomplicated thrush is mild thrush that you've had for the first time, or where you haven't had it very often. Complicated thrush refers to severe thrush that keeps coming back (where you've had four or more episodes in a year).

When to visit your GP

Always visit your GP if:

  • this is the first time that you've had thrush
  • you're under 16 years of age or over 60
  • you're pregnant or may be pregnant 
  • you're breastfeeding
  • you have abnormal menstrual bleeding or a blood-stained discharge
  • you have lower abdominal pain
  • your symptoms are different from previous bouts of thrush - for example, if the discharge is a different colour or has a bad smell
  • you have vulval or vaginal sores
  • you've had two cases of thrush within the last six months
  • you or your partner have previously had a sexually transmitted infection (STI)
  • you've reacted badly to an antifungal treatment in the past, or it didn't work
  • your symptoms don't improve after 7-14 days

Read about how thrush is diagnosed.

Medical Review: February 17, 2012
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