Thrush is caused by a fungus. This fungus lives on the skin and in the mouth, guts, vagina, cock and arse. It happens independently of sex, but can also be sexually transmitted through unprotected anal and vaginal sex, rimming and sometimes oral sex.
If it is passed on through sex, it will most likely have happened during unprotected vaginal, anal and (sometimes) oral sex.
Often there are no symptoms, but if there are they may include any of the following:
- A rash or inflammation of the affected area
- A thick white discharge from either the penis or vagina
- Pain during sex or when urinating
There are several anti-fungal creams and tablets available which help to clear the infection. Sexual partners should be checked and treated if necessary to help stop re-infection.
How to avoid it
It’s extremely difficult to stop the infection occurring altogether, but using condoms and dental dams for oral sex and rimming, and condoms with loads of water-based lubricant for vaginal and anal sex, can help stop the infection from being passed on during sex.