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Vaginal thrush diagnosis

Thrush can be confused with a number of other conditions which cause itching and redness with or without discharge. These other conditions include herpes infections and bacterial infections.

So you should see a doctor if:

  • this is the first time you’ve had symptoms of thrush
  • you are aged under 16 or over 60
  • you’ve had thrush in the previous six months and treated it successfully
  • you’ve had thrush in the past and it’s been difficult to treat
  • you are pregnant or breastfeeding
  • you have a smelly discharge, sores on the skin around the vagina, abnormal vaginal bleeding or pain in the tummy
  • you are worried you or your partner could have a sexually transmitted infection (STI)
  • your symptoms don't improve after 7 to 14 days of treatment.

Your doctor should examine you and take a swab or do further tests to confirm the diagnosis. If you get thrush a lot, they may also want to rule out a medical condition like diabetes or HIV.

If you have had thrush before and treated it successfully, but it was more than six months previously, then it is fine to treat it yourself without seeing a doctor.

Not sure what to do next?

If you are still concerned about your vaginal thrush, why not use healthdirect’s online Symptom Checker to get advice on when to seek medical attention.

The Symptom Checker guides you to the next appropriate healthcare steps, whether it’s self care, talking to a health professional, going to a hospital or calling triple zero (000).

Sources:

NHS Choices (Vaginal thrush), SA Health (Thrush - including symptoms, treatment and prevention)

Last reviewed: September 2017

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