Causes of Thrush

So what exactly is thrush?

Thrush is an infection usually caused by a yeast-like fungus that lives on the skin and occurs naturally in the vagina. Thrush can affect anyone: men can get thrush too though and it can be passed on during sexual intercourse. Oral thrush is an infection of the mouth also caused by the yeast fungus.

There are two types of fungi that are responsible for thrush namely; Candida albicans and Candida glabrata. Symptoms include itching, swelling and general irritation of the vagina. Although thrush is fairly harmless it can be uncomfortable and should therefore be treated.

The causes of thrush

Thrush is a relatively common infection and most women at some point in their lives will get it. It is usually a sudden attack but it can be persistent for some people. It is easy to treat with tablets that can be bought over the counter or via prescription from your GP. You can also find links to thrush tablets here on this website too.

Bacteria and natural yeasts live side by side naturally in the vagina. They are usually kept in check and everything is fine. However, if the delicate balance is altered the Candida yeasts can dominate and multiply leading to the onset of thrush.

Symptoms of vaginal thrush

Symptoms include itching, swelling and general irritation of the vagina. Although thrush is fairly harmless it can be uncomfortable and should therefore be treated. We have provided you with some information and links to thrush tablets on this site.

Risk factors that can cause the onset of thrush

There are a few known factors that correlate with an increase in the risk of developing thrush such as the use of antibiotics when the Candida fungus is already present.

There are several triggers for thrush and here are some causal factors:

General poor health and bad diet

A poor diet and general poor health will be a contributory factor in getting thrush.


Another factor contributing to thrush could be when using medications such as antibiotics as these sometimes have the tendency to kill and destroy friendly bacteria and thus allow the yeasts to increase in number.


Vaginal infection during pregnancy is quite common. During pregnancy the vagina produces more sugars (e.g. glycogen) making the conditions for thrush to thrive. Pregnancy can lead to an increase in hormones which in turn due to hormonal imbalances may lead to the onset of thrush.

You should avoid the use of heavily perfumed soaps and avoid nylon clothing and clothing that is too tight as the warmth and lack of air encourages thrush to thrive.


Diabetics are also prone to thrush as high sugar levels are conducive for thrush to flourish. Higher glucose and a dry mouth make favourable conditions for thrush to develop.

Contraceptive pills

Birth control pills, as with antibiotics, can cause hormonal imbalance leading to yeast infections. You could consider changing contraceptive pills if you regularly suffer from thrush.


The immune system can be suppressed from stress or depression. Although there is no direct link between thrush and stress or depression some people do consider that there is an indirect relationship whereby a weakened immune system and high stress levels can depress the immune system and this might leave the patient somewhat more at risk of infection of thrush.

Thrush can easily be treated and if in any doubt you should make an appointment with your doctor.