When it comes to diagnosing thrush, the doctor’s approach will depend on whether you have regular bouts of thrush or if it’s only an occasional problem.
As the symptoms of thrush are often very similar to the symptoms of other common health issues, they’ll want to ask you questions to rule out other conditions. This is known as a differential diagnosis.
If you have experienced regular bouts of thrush (at least two in the last six months), they will want to understand why it keeps coming back and will work with you to find an effective long-term treatment.
Is it thrush?
Before prescribing any treatment, it’s important to be sure that the condition you have is definitely thrush. Our doctors will ask you a series of standard questions about your symptoms and any other medication you’re taking.
Often, these questions will focus on the possible causes of thrush, such as using certain bathroom products, or factors that increase your risk, like pregnancy or another health condition such as diabetes.
These questions are nothing to worry about and your answers are completely confidential. It’s important to be honest, as they will help the doctor rule out other conditions, such as bacterial vaginosis and sexually transmitted infections.
In some cases, you may need to be referred to a sexual health specialist for a physical examination. Our doctors can write a referral letter that will ensure your treatment continues as quickly as possible.
Diagnosing persistent thrush
If you have had more than four thrush infections within a 12-month period, this suggests that whatever antifungal treatment you’re using to deal with it isn’t quite working.
Our doctors will talk to you and find out why your treatment isn’t getting rid of thrush for good. This will help provide more effective long-term care.
In serious cases, the doctor might want to conduct a small swab test to see if it provides any clues as to why you’re suffering from persistent thrush.
They can arrange for a swab test kit to be sent to your home. This will contain everything you need to collect a sample and comes with clear, easy-to-follow instructions.
Simply send your sample back to our lab and our technicians will have your results available online in just a few days. Your doctor will explain what these results reveal about your thrush and use the information to recommend a more effective treatment.
Diagnosing thrush in men
Our doctors will ask you questions and may ask to look at the affected area. If your symptoms are severe or persistent, they may send you a swab test to check that thrush is definitely the cause.
If you’re a heterosexual, it’s also worth finding out whether your partner has also been getting outbreaks of thrush. While it’s not a sexually transmitted infection, thrush symptoms can sometimes be triggered by sex.
What happens next?
Based on the the answers you provide and (if appropriate) your test results, our doctors can prescribe the most effective treatment to clear up your thrush.
There are lots of treatment options for thrush , so you’ll be able to discuss them with your doctor before starting any medication.