Dear Ask The Doctor: Hi. I think I might have thrush and I am a bit worried that it is something more.... I think I have thrush because o I am quite itchy, erm, down there o There is like a moist, powdery layer over my labia, looks like white loo role filaments or something but it comes off easily with a baby wipe. o because I have been itching a lot, there are small patches on the outer lips that are pinker than the rest and quite itchy and sore o There is no discharge that isn't normal, no odour either... But, I kind of had sex with a guy in November, well it wasn't really sex, because it was my first time, it really hurt so there was only penetration for around 2 minutes in total spread over about 1 and a half hours. We used a condom, but took it off when we thought we'd finished trying but we tried twice more for about 10 seconds each. I'm worried the itching and that may be something more than thrush, though I had been itching before november, quite a lot.... Please help, I would really appreciate it.
Dear India: Vaginal thrush, also called candidiasis or fungal infection, is commonly caused by the infection of candida albicans. These organisms normally live in the vagina but in conditions of lowered immunity, caused by stress, lack of sleep, sickness, poor diet, having your period, taking birth control pills etc., the growth of these organisms increase to cause infection. The discharge appears to be whitish cottage cheese type and causes intense pruritus leading to redness and inflammation in the area. You may need some antibiotic treatment with fluconazole, which is available in form of oral as well as topical ointments and creams to control the infection. Over the counter medications are available for the treatment of thrush, but as you have had the infection for a while now, I suggest that you should visit your doctor for accurate diagnosis and treatment. Swab test may also be done on your visit to identify the infecting organism. Treatment of your partner is not necessary unless he shows symptoms, which is very rare.