Thrush is a yeast infection, caused by Candida species, usually Candida albicans. It is a commensal organism, most commonly found around the mouth and genitals, particularly the vagina and anus. It is asymptomatic until it multiplies and penetrates the skins surface.
For more on thrush and similar conditions, visit Independent Nurse's Women's Health section
Genital thrush is extremely common with 75% of women having at least one episode in their lifetime. Persistent thrush or recurrent vulvovaginal candidiasis is defined as at least four episodes of symptomatic thrush within the last year. It can be a frustrating condition for patients, with significant morbidity and impact on psychological well-being.
Recurrent vulvovaginal candidiasis is usually thought to be caused by host factors, rather than resistant strains. Incomplete eradication of the yeast will allow it to multiply again when conditions are favourable.1
Around 80-92% of infections are with Candida albicans, with approximately 3-15% caused by the azole resistant Candida glabrata. Less common Candida species include Candida krusei and Candida tropicalis.