Thrush is a painful and irritating yeast infection. It happens due to an imbalance of a fungus found in your body known as Candida Albicans. Therefore it's also known as candida infection (candidiasis). Some people suffer from recurring thrush.
Recurring genital thrush or general recurring yeast infection can affect both male and female gender as the areas where thrush grows are the groin, vagina, armpit, and mouth. Although thrush can be transmitted through sexual intercourse, it's not a sexually transmitted infection (STI).
Let's look into recurring thrush causes, its symptoms, prevention, and how to get rid of recurring thrush.
What is Recurring Thrush?
Four or more episodes of diagnosed vaginal thrush within a year can be called recurring thrush. But the episodes of recurrent thrush infections can't be controlled or monitored beyond a certain extent as they are random. Unfortunately, not much research material is available in this area.
So there's no universal method to stop recurring thrush and no way to predict its occurrences. But recurring yeast infections negatively affect women's confidence, day-to-day work, and sex life.
What Causes Recurring Thrush?
There are not many studies available on recurrent thrush. So it's difficult to predict and diagnose the exact cause of thrush recurring in a person. The immune system of the body is mainly responsible for yeast infection. Mostly when the body's immune system gets disrupted, the infections resurface.
What are the Symptoms of Recurring Vaginal Thrush?
You may not be able to differentiate between your usual routine and infection due to ongoing yeast infections in your life. So keep an eye on these signs of candidiasis.
- Cracks, redness, or blisters in the skin around the vulva. In severe cases, the redness can be significant and extended to the perineum and labia majora
- Smelly or coloured vaginal discharge
- A feeling of being unwell or fever in addition to the irritating symptoms around vulva
- Pain during sexual intercourse
- Itching in the skin along with other symptoms like redness and blisters outside or inside the vagina
- Pain while urinating
- Bleeding without periods or after having sex
- Pain in the abdomen
- Swelling in labia majora or/and around the vulva
- Irritation and soreness along with redness of the vulva
- Passing urine more often than usual
- Thick and creamy white vaginal discharge like cottage cheese, usually non-smelling
Who is More Likely to Suffer From Recurring Thrush?
Recurring thrush in females is more common than in males due to the volatile nature of their vaginal bacteria and yeast. And females mostly get recurring thrush when pregnant, after periods, during the menstrual cycle, or after specific treatment. Various factors which work as a catalyst for recurrent thrush are:-
- Hormonal changes
- Unfinished treatment of thrush in past
- In-between periods
- History of infection which didn't get entirely cured through treatment
- Wearing skinny jeans or other tight clothes
- Thrush from a male sex partner. In that case, you must not indulge in sexual intercourse till the time your partner doesn't complete the male thrush treatment
- Immune system disorders such as HIV
- Being Stressed
- Wearing synthetic undergarments
- High levels of diabetes. Action needs to be taken to get the blood sugar under control.
- Change in pH level of the vagina
- Being pregnant
- Excessive use of scented soaps or washes
- Treatments that involve anti-biotic, corticosteroids, and chemotherapy
- Dry mouth
How to Stop Recurring Thrush?
You can get rid of recurring thrush through the following treatment methods:-
- Antifungal treatments of thrush in 10-14 days:
- Self-care treatments or Preventive Methods for Recurring Thrush in Adults:
- Keeping the intimate area dry and clean
- Wearing cotton underwear or clothing
- Avoiding sexual activity while having a yeast infection yourself or with someone having the infection
- Wearing loose clothes
- Checking the pH level of the vagina using a test strip. A level below 4.5 indicates yeast infection. And the pH level above 4.5 indicates a bacterial infection. Most probably, it's bacterial vaginosis (BV)
- Self-care Remedies for Recurrent Oral Thrush:
- Replacing toothbrush frequently
- Practising good oral hygiene
- Keeping dentures disinfected
- Rinsing with saltwater
Can You Prevent Recurring Yeast Infection?
You can prevent recurring yeast infections up to some extent by controlling the risk factors mentioned above in this post. Especially the underlying issues such as high blood sugar must be managed to prevent other health disorders as well.
The self-care treatments or preventive methods mentioned above, such as keeping your intimate area clean and dry, also help. This is because the candida yeast responsible for recurring genital thrush thrives in moisture.
Your contraceptive method may also affect the pH balance of your vagina. Doctor asks you to change your contraceptive pills and notice the effects if they suspect the pills are somewhere responsible for your disturbed pH levels.
Recurrent vaginal thrush is not dangerous for women, and it's a common health problem. Also, you can quickly get rid of recurring thrush after treatment. But if the episodes keep repeating, it affects your day-to-day life, mood, confidence, and sexual relationship.
Maintaining intimate hygiene and following the preventive tips given in this article must help you break the cycle of yeast infections. If nothing works, you can meet your trusted doctor to identify the reason for your recurring yeast infection. They can prescribe you a suitable treatment.
However, if you want to stop recurring thrush permanently, you need to complete the course of your treatment and follow all your doctor's instructions to the T.