Symptom Checker

Thrush. The real story.

Thrush is the second most common vaginal condition after Bacterial Vaginosis. In fact, BV is often mistaken for thrush.

Thrush is a common yeast infection caused by a simple imbalance of natural vaginal fungus, predominantly Candida Albaicans. Three out of four women will experience thrush in their lifetime and the symptoms can be very uncomfortable.

The difference between BV and Thrush

For a start, they’re not caused by the same thing. Even though both can occur when the micro-organisms inside your vagina are out of balance, BV is a bacterial condition but thrush is a yeast infection.

The symptoms of Thrush and BV differ too, but BV is often confused with Thrush because more people have heard of it. In fact, you’re twice as likely to have BV than Thrush, so it’s important to understand the differences so you can select the right treatment to get things back to normal.

What Causes Thrush?

We’ve all heard of Thrush, but how much do we know about it? Thrush is the common term for a yeast infection caused by Candida albicans, or “candida”. This is a yeast that lives on the skin and around your vagina. But if the natural balance of micro-organisms is disturbed, it can lead to intense itching and irritation. Sometimes, you may feel a burning sensation and see a thick ‘cottage cheese’, white discharge.

Although ‘Bacterial Vaginosis’ sounds scary BV is actually very common, in fact more women in the UK suffer from it than any other vaginal condition. And it’s twice as prevalent as thrush, even though BV is often mistaken for thrush, mainly because thrush is better known and understood. Because very few people have heard of BV they typically treat symptoms as thrush. This can cause recurrences of BV and sometimes lead to thrush!

Help recognising the symptoms of Thrush

Confused? That’s understandable. Luckily there are some distinct differences between the most common intimate health conditions

Symptoms of BV Symptoms of Thrush Symptoms of Trich
Is there a smell? Possible fishy smell No smell Unpleasant strong smell
Do you have a discharge? Thin, watery, possibly greyish white discharge or abnormally large amount of discharge Thick, white, curd-like discharge Yellow or green frothy discharge
Do you have itchiness or discomfort? Occasional discomfort Intense itching or even a burning sensation Soreness and possible inflammation
Redness and irritation of the skin around the vulva Pain during sex or when passing urine


Not sure if you have BV or thrush?

Our FREE, comprehensive symptom checker can help determine whether you may have BV or thrush and offer treatments

Try the Symptom Checker

What are the triggers and causes of Thrush?

Thrush is totally normal. It can be caused by lots of things but here is an idea of the most common causes:


A lowered immune system


Using perfumed soaps

What are the treatments for thrush?

Balance Activ Thrush Cream is a treatment with 3 benefits designed to help the body fight the cause, relieve the symptoms, and prevent the recurrence of thrush.

The cream forms a protective barrier over irritated area to inhibit the growth of harmful bacteria, allowing the body to fight the cause of infection.

The soothing formula provides effective relief from the symptoms of itching, redness, and soreness in your intimate area.

Restores and maintains an optimal vaginal pH level to promote a healthy vaginal flora and prevent thrush from recurring.


The NHS recommend you see a GP if:
you have the symptoms of thrush for the first time
you’re under 16 or over 60
thrush keeps coming back (more than 4 times in 12 months)
treatment has not worked
you’re pregnant or breastfeeding
you have thrush and a weakened immune system – for example, because of diabetes, HIV or chemotherapy
you may also be able to get help from a sexual health clinic if you think you have thrush.