Vaginal thrush, also known as candida, vulvovaginal candidiasis or vaginal candidosis, is a yeast infection. It is caused by the candida species of fungus, usually Candida albicans.
Thrush most commonly affects women in their thirties and forties, and those who are pregnant. Many women are affected by vaginal thrush at some point in their lives and, in some women, it recurs regularly.
Candida albicans is naturally found in the vagina and is harmless. However, when it multiplies it can cause irritation and swelling of the vagina and vulva. In the majority of cases thrush can be treated effectively.
It is not known what makes some women more prone to thrush than others, but women with poorly controlled diabetes or a seriously damaged immune system have an increased risk of developing the condition.