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Thrush Treatment - What Works and What Doesn't?
If your symptoms of vaginal thrush are mild, your doctor may recommend a short course of antifungal medicine, which will usually need to be taken for between 1-3 days. If your symptoms are more severe, you may need to take the treatment for longer.
What are the remedies and treatment for thrush?
Treatment is simple for both men and women and is only necessary if you have symptoms.
You may be given antifungal cream, pessaries, pills or a combination. The doctor or nurse will advise you on how to use the treatment. The cream is applied to the genital area. A pessary is usually an almond shaped tablet which a woman puts high up in her vagina.
You can also buy some antifungal treatments from a pharmacy. These are useful if you are sure you have thrush and want to treat it yourself. The pharmacist will also be able to advise you if you have any questions, or are unsure how to use the treatment.
It is very important to use the treatments as directed and to finish the course of treatment, even if the symptoms go away earlier.
Some antifungal treatments can weaken latex condoms, diaphragms and caps. Polyurethane types can be safely used. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for advice.
Do tell the doctor , nurse or pharmacist if you are pregnant, or think you may be, or are breast feeding. This will affect the type of treatment you are given.
How effective are thrush remedies and treatment?
Antifungal cream, pessaries and pills are usually very effective if you use them according to instructions.
Symptoms should disappear within a few days. You may be advised to refrain from sex during treatment. This may help the thrush clear up more quickly.
If the first treatment doesn't work the doctor or nurse may suggest another test or a combination of treatments.
Do I need to have a test to ensure that the thrush has gone?
No this is not usually necessary. However you may wish to go back to your doctor or nurse if:
You did not use the treatment as directed
The signs and symptoms did not go away
You think you may have thrush again
Home Remedies and Treatment for Thrush
There are a number of other remedies and treatments for thrush. Not all of these treatments are supported by research but many women find they do help.
Next: Self Help Measures
Calendula: Calendula is an antifungal and is also very soothing.
Garlic: Garlic has strong antibacterial and anti-fungal properties, and may help stop thrush in some women
Tea Tree Oil: Some women find tea tree oil helpful in stopping thrush. Its effectiveness in fighting candida albicans is also supported by scientific studies.
Yoghurt: Natural live yoghurt can be used in two ways to deal with thrush: eating it and/or inserting it into your vagina.
Dr Pixie answers some frequently asked questions about thrush and vaginal discharge.