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NHS Choices Condition

Content supplied by NHS Choices

You should visit your GP if you have any symptoms of vaginal thrush. Your GP will ask you about:

  • your symptoms, 
  • whether you have had thrush before,
  • whether you have already used any over-the-counter (OTC) medications to treat thrush, and
  • whether you have any risk factors for developing thrush - for example, if you are taking antibiotics for another condition.

A diagnosis of thrush is usually based on the presence of the symptoms of the condition, such as vulval itching and a thick, creamy, odourless discharge. In some cases, tests may be necessary to confirm the diagnosis.

Tests

Your GP may decide to perform some tests in order to confirm a diagnosis of thrush if:

  • the recommended treatment fails to relieve your symptoms,
  • the thrush keeps returning,
  • your symptoms are particularly severe, or
  • you may have a sexually transmitted infection (STI).

The test will usually involve taking a sample of your vaginal secretion using a swab. A swab looks a bit like a cotton bud but it is smaller, soft, and rounded. The swab will be used to collect discharge and cells from the inside of your vagina. These will then be analysed in a laboratory.

The sample can help confirm the type of fungus that is causing your thrush, as well as determining whether your symptoms are being caused by other common conditions, such as trichomoniasis, which is an infection by bacteria called Trichomonas vaginalis (TV).

Testing the pH level

The pH (alkaline/acid balance) of your vagina may be also tested if the treatment for your thrush has not worked, and your thrush keeps returning. To do this, a swab will be taken from inside your vagina and wiped over a piece of specially treated paper. The paper will change colour depending on the pH level.

A pH level of between 4-4.5 is considered to be normal, whereas a pH of over 4.5 may be an indication of bacterial vaginosis, which is another common infection.

Blood test

Your GP may test the glucose level of your blood if they suspect that you could have undiagnosed diabetes. This is a condition that is caused by too much glucose in the blood, and it is likely to also cause other symptoms, such as increased thirst and urinating more frequently.

view information about Thrush on www.nhs.co.uk »

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