Vaginal thrush: over-the-counter management in the pharmacy

  • Haley Van Wyk
Keywords: vaginal thrush, over-the-counter products, management


Vaginal thrush is an infection caused by the local overgrowth of Candida organisms.1-3 These fungi/yeasts live in the gastrointestinal tract and sometimes the vagina. Normally, the presence of Candida causes no symptoms. However, when there are changes in the environment of the gastrointestinal tract and vagina (which may be caused by medicines, injury, or stress to the immune system), Candida may overgrow and cause vaginal thrush.4 Candida albicans is the most common type of fungus to cause thrush. Vaginal thrush caused by other types of Candida species may be more difficult to treat.5 Vaginal thrush is more common in women of reproductive age. The incidence is low before puberty and in postmenopausal women.1,4 Vaginal yeast infections are not sexually transmitted infections. They can occur in women who have never been sexually active, but are more common in women who are sexually active.1,4 However, it is possible for men to develop skin irritation on the penis from a yeast infection after sexual intercourse with an infected partner. Treatment of male sexual partners is not considered necessary unless the man develops symptoms.6

Author Biography

Haley Van Wyk
Women's Health