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Women's health

‘Doctor, I’ve got thrush again.’ A guide to vaginal discharge

KATHERINE BROWN

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© KATERYNA_KON/STOCK.ADOBE.COM CANDIDA ALBICANS
© KATERYNA_KON/STOCK.ADOBE.COM CANDIDA ALBICANS

Abstract

There are many different causes of vaginal discharge. An exploration of the symptoms, examination of the patient and relevant testing will help the GP make an accurate diagnosis and guide subsequent management.

Article Extract

Many women, and all too frequently their doctors, think that every complaint of vaginal itch, discomfort or discharge is due to a Candida infection, colloquially known as ‘thrush’. (Interestingly, this term is so common that the first items to come up in a Google search of ‘thrush’ all relate to Candida rather than birds.) Although some Candida species do cause vaginal discharge, there are many different causes of discharge, some of which require treatment and all of which benefit from an accurate diagnosis.

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© KATERYNA_KON/STOCK.ADOBE.COM CANDIDA ALBICANS
© KATERYNA_KON/STOCK.ADOBE.COM CANDIDA ALBICANS