Candida albicans exists naturally in the vagina, mouth, bowel and elsewhere. Normally, it causes no problems. But in some circumstances, the balance of normal bacteria and fungi in the body changes, making conditions favourable for Candida organisms to multiply and cause symptoms.
This can happen:
- when taking antibiotics; these upset the normal balance of bacteria on the skin and in the body
- during a period, or in pregnancy, when hormonal changes make the vagina more prone to thrush
- in people with certain other illnesses, such as diabetes or a poorly functioning immune system.
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 your 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