I SUFFER from recurring thrush infections. What is causing this and what can I do about it?
Recurrent thrush infection, defined as four or more episodes in a year, is quite common and affects one in every 20 Australian women.
Causes include frequent antibiotic use, contraceptive use, a compromised immune system, sexual activity and high blood sugar levels such as those seen in diabetics.
It can also be caused by stopping thrush treatment too soon before an infection is cleared.
It is important not to self-diagnose as you may miss other possible infections. The current best treatment option available involves the use of antifungal therapies (oral treatment or topical) to treat and or effectively suppress the infection to relieve the usual symptoms of itchiness, redness and discharge.
The most effective treatment usually involves inserting vaginal pessaries containing an antifungal agent (available from chemists) every night for at least one week, but often two weeks, until symptoms are completely gone.
If infection recurs you may need to go on a course of suppressive therapy.
The use of probiotics, boric acid pessaries or dietary changes have not shown to be as effective in treating recurrent thrush.