The treatment of thrush is usually very simple. The most effective treatment is pessaries (dissolving tablets) inserted into the vagina at night. Other options are tablets that are taken by mouth, and creams that are applied to the skin around the vagina.
These medications contain anti-fungal medicines such as clotrimazole, miconazole, fluconazole and nystatin. They are available over-the-counter at a pharmacist, and can also be prescribed by a doctor.
In most cases, treatment will relieve the symptoms. However, some women may have recurrent thrush and others seem to get it almost continually. In these instances, doctors may prescribe longer courses of treatment.
Treatment is not usually needed for a sexual partner of someone who has thrush.
Looking after yourself
- If you have thrush, practicing good hygiene can help to clear up the infection.
- Clean the infected area in warm water at least twice a day. Make sure you dry the area well by patting it rather than rubbing it. This will help reduce the build up of moisture in the area and make it difficult for the fungus to survive.
- Do not share your towel with others.
- Avoid using perfumed soaps, shower gels or deodorants around the area, as this can cause further irritation.
- Wearing loose fitting cotton underwear can help to keep your genitals dry and cool, and prevent the build up of the fungus.
- You should visit a pharmacy where you can buy anti-fungal creams or a single dose pill. Make sure that you follow the dosage information on the patient information leaflet that comes with the medicine. If you are in pain, get advice on medicines you can take.
You should see a doctor if:
- this is the first time you’ve had symptoms of thrush
- 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.
Not sure what to do next?
If you are still concerned about vaginal thrush, check your symptoms with 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).
Last reviewed: July 2015