Thrush is common especially through your teens when your body is changing and developing. Thrush is a yeast infection and can affect the vagina and vulva, penis and genital area and the mouth.

Normally, the yeast known as candida, lives on and inside the body without causing any problems as your immune system and friendly bacteria usually work together to keep the number of the organisms in check. Infection can happen when the candida increase and this can happen in your teens as your body is changing and developing.

For girls the symptoms of thrush can cause itching, irritation, discharge, redness, and swelling around the vagina and vulva area.

Symptoms in boys include a red, sore, itchy penis. You may also see little white spots at the top of your penis and experience smelly discharge.

Thrush is not a sexually transmitted disease.

However, it can be passed through sex if you don’t use a condom for protection. Candida grows in warm, moist environments so avoid tight fitting underwear and clothes as this can irritate the infected areas.

For girls:

  • Wash the vaginal area with warm water.
  • Avoid the use of perfumed or scented gels and soaps.
  • Change tampons and sanitary towels regularly.
  • Wear cotton underwear and loose-fitting clothes as this can stop irritation.

For boys:

  • Good hygiene will help to clear up the infection.
  • Wash the affected area carefully with warm water. Showers are better than baths.
  • Dry your penis carefully after washing.
  • Wear cotton underwear that fits loosely.
  • Don’t use perfumed shower gels or soaps on your genitals, as they can irritate the area.

To treat thrush, visit your local pharmacy for over-the-counter creams and tablets. If you have any concerns make an appointment to see your Doctor/G.P.

Remember thrush is a common problem and perfectly normal amongst teens so don’t panic it can be easily treated.

Who can help?

Visit your local Doctor/G.P. or click onto the NHS web site at You can also visit the NHS Direct website at or call the NHS Direct helpline on 0845 46 47 with any problems you may have.

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