Sometimes your vagina might be sending you messages that there’s something wrong, but if you’ve not experienced symptoms before (and don’t want to ask your mates about discharge…) it can be hard to understand what’s happening so you can treat it. Although it might feel like there’s something wrong, there’s nothing to panic or feel embarrassed about – but you shouldn’t ignore it either!
You might have heard of thrush or bacterial vaginosis (BV), but may not be sure which is which. They’re both vaginal infections but are caused by different things and have different symptoms.
What Are The Main Differences Between Thrush & BV?
The main differences between thrush and BV symptoms are the type of odour and discharge. If you have thrush, you may have thicker, white-coloured ‘cottage cheese-like’ discharge. If you have BV it’s more likely to be thin, greyish-white and watery.
If you have BV, you may be experiencing an unusual intimate “fishy” smelling odour, while thrush is often odourless.
Typically, BV should not make you feel sore or itchy.
What Causes Thrush?
Thrush is a vaginal yeast infection caused by an overgrowth of the fungus candida albicans. Candida albicans levels are kept in check by good bacteria which assist with and maintain a normal and healthy vaginal pH. Your vaginal pH means how acidic or alkaline the vaginal environment is. Typically, your vagina is moderately acidic (pH 4.5 pH on the scale).
If your vaginal environment changes, fungus can start to overgrow which can lead to thrush.
What Causes BV?
BV is a bacterial infection that occurs when there’s an imbalance of the natural microflora in your vagina. This can happen when your vagina becomes less acidic (higher pH), leading to the overgrowth of bad bacteria which may cause BV.
What Causes My Vaginal pH To Change?
Your vaginal pH can be affected by several factors, including:
- Your period starting
- Taking antibiotics
- Semen (if you have sex without a condom)
How Common Are Thrush & BV?
Both infections are common. BV affects up to 1 in 3 women of childbearing age, and 3 out of 4 women may get thrush at least once in their lifetime. You probably know someone who has also suffered from thrush or BV, so remember: if you are suffering from a vaginal infection, you’re not alone!
Self-Test for Vaginal Infections
Still not sure if you’ve got thrush or BV? Canestest allows you to test yourself from the comfort of your own home to help diagnose common vaginal infections, with results that are over 90% accurate and can help you choose the treatment that’s best for you.
If this is your first time with symptoms of thrush or BV, you should talk to your doctor or pharmacist.
If you think you’ve got a vaginal infection, you don’t need to worry. Both thrush and BV symptoms can be treated easily using over the counter products that you can buy in-store or online. If you are in any doubt or you are suffering from Thrush or BV for the first time, please speak to your doctor or pharmacist.
If you have been diagnosed with thrush by your doctor, your doctor will recommend the right treatment for you. If you have already suffered from thrush and know that you are suffering from thrush again, there are over the counter treatment options available for you. One possible treatment option could be Canesten® Thrush Combi Pessary & External Cream.
Canesten Thrush Combi Pessary & External Cream is designed to treat both the internal infection and the external symptoms, for complete relief from thrush and its six main symptoms of itching, burning, discharge, redness, swelling and soreness. There is a wide range of thrush treatment products on the market, so you can find the one that’s best for you.
If you are pregnant or breastfeeding or trying for a baby speak to your doctor or midwife before using Canesten Thrush products. Medicines can affect the unborn baby.
Canesten Thrush Combi Pessary & External Cream contains clotrimazole. Always read the label.
Treating Symptoms of Bacterial Vaginosis
If you’ve got BV, you could try Canesbalance® Bacterial Vaginosis Vaginal Pessaries to treat the symptoms. This seven-day treatment is easy to use with comfort-shaped pessaries and starts to work immediately to relieve unpleasant intimate odour associated with BV. There are many BV products available so you can find one that suits your needs.
If you are suffering from BV for the first time, or you are pregnant, please speak to your doctor.
If you think you might have thrush or BV, you don’t need to panic – we’re here to help. Want to know more about vaginal infections and the common symptoms associated with thrush and BV? Learn more with Canesten.