It would come as a surprise to no one that thrush is not the number one most desirable topic of conversation to have around the dinner table. And yet, we must talk about it (although dinner table centrepiece is not necessary). Think you’re exempt from the conversation, men? You’re not. Thrush is not exclusively a “lady problem”. To date, vaginal thrush affects 3 out of 4 women in Australia. Whilst the statistics of men affected by thrush within Australia is not known, it is sigificantly less than women. Thrush is not just an infection that affects the vagina, but it can develop penily or orally, too.
So should we talk about it? If you’re not yet comfortable participating in conversation on the topic, even with your closest, this may be an ideal way to read up on thrush 101, so that you at least have an understanding for personal intel. Although there is no opportunity for dialogue here, we will do our best to foresee any questions you may have, and answer them for you!
For anyone who has experienced it, you would most likely do anything in your power to not experience it again. Particularly concerning genital thrush, the symptoms that cause the affected area to be itchy (sometimes unbearably so), is not a discreet itch to scratch…literally speaking. But you know what helps? Products out on the market like Canesten Cream. Designed to treat the fungal infection and tackle the root cause, the cream has existed since the 1960s, following Bayer’s development of the ingredient, clotrimazole. The ingredient was registered in Germany a few years later and branded under ‘Canesten’ at the same time. The company has since adapted the breakthrough ingredient to various formats, to be able to accommodate the treatment of a variety of fungal infections.
Thrush happens when the good bacteria within the vagina cannot prevent a fungus from developing, or when the person’s immune system is weakened. In men, thrush can develop because of a few factors:
- A foreskin restriction
- A side effect of taking antibiotics
- Weakened immune system
In women, it can develop for a broader range of reasons. Although some are shared with causes for men (diabetes and weakened immune system among them), there are others pertaining especially to vaginal thrush that obviously differ. These can include:
- During a period
- During pregnancy
- Weakened immune system
Thrush can develop more often for diabetics because of poor control over blood glucose levels. If there is high levels of glucose sitting in the saliva, that can encourage the growth of oral thrush. A lowered resistence to infections can also make diabetics more susceptible to the fungus.
Though most obvious tell tale sign of a yeast infection is the itchy sensation that develops in the affected area. But if you’re still unsure, here is a more comprehensive list of potential symptoms that could be signs of thrush:
- Itchy vagina/vulva
- Soreness, burning and redness around the vulva
- Slight selling of the labia
- Textured white discharge
- Itchy penis head
- Soreness and inflammation of head of penis
- Swelling of foreskin
- Itchy or burning sensation when urinating
- White legions on the tongue or inner cheek
- Bad breath
- Abnormality of taste
- Difficulty swallowing
- Pain or burning sensation in mouth
These days, the range of Canesten products is so broad that it caters to most forms of fungal infections. Whether it be genital thrush, oral thrush, a foot fungus, or even a nail fungus…there’s a Canesten product for that. Here is an overview of the products that the Canesten range includes:
- Canesten Vaginal pH Self test
- Canesten Plus
- Canesten Extra
- Canesten 6 Day Pessary
- Canesten 6 Day Cream
- Canesten Clotrimazole Athlete’s Foot Cream
- Canesten Cool Cream Gel
- CaneOral Oral Capsule
- Canestan 1 Day Pessary* External Cream
- Canesten Clotrimazole Anti-fungal topical Solution
- CanesOral Duo Oral Capsule* External Cream
- Canesten Once Daily Bifonazole Body Cream
- Canesten Once Daily Athlete’s Foot Cream with Canestouch Applicator
- Canesten 1 Day Cream
- Canesten 1 Day Pessary
- Canesten 3 Day Cream
- Canesten Fungal Nail treatment Set
- Tinaderm Powder Spray
- Canesten Clotrimazole Antifungal Cream
- Canesten Feminine Intimate Wash
If you made it to the end of that list, well done! First stop: treatment of fungal infections, next stop: world domination, we reckon!
Although products like Canestan Cream that treat yeast infections are nothing short of a godsend, preventing the infection is, of course, more preferable than treating it. There are plenty of ways to slim down chances of developing thrush. These can include:
- Wearing loose clothing (particularly around the crotch), and breathable underwear
- As a diabetic, maintaining control over blood glucose levels
- Avoid washing with heavily perfumed soaps or shower gels
- Cleaning genitals regularly
- Take showers more than baths
- Wash hands before touching genital region
There is conjecture that thrush can be sexually transmitted. We are very happy to clarify for you that this is not the case. Thrush is not classified as a Sexually Transmitted Infection (STI). Although it cannot be sexually transmitted, men can sometimes develop redness and irritation if their sexual parter has thrush at the time of intercourse. For the person with thrush, sex can intensify their discomfort and worsen the infection. These factors aside, the data actually shows that thrush is more common in people who are not sexually active.
If you do ever feel comfortable enough to bring it up in conversation (particularly with women), you will likely be surprised at the level of engagement that will ensue. With three in four women having experienced thrush at least once in their lifetime, there will be plenty of shared stories, frustrations and anecdotes on the subject. And it is very likely that someone else was waiting for someone brave to bring it up, in efforts to normalise conversations on the topic altogether.
Consider this your vote of confidence to bring it up, knowing if you suffer from it, (as a woman) you are in a vast majority, and as a man, empathy toward the condition or bravery in confessing to the experience can only empower others to do the same!
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Image Author: @freepik