In a nutshell, thrush is a yeast infection caused by the fungus Candida Albicans. Bacterial vaginosis is a bacterial infection caused by an imbalance of healthy and unhealthy bacteria in the vagina. You can quickly find out what you want by getting an at-home test which you can actually buy on Amazon:
Thrush usually causes itching, soreness and a thick white discharge in women who are pregnant or breastfeeding. Other symptoms include redness and swelling of the vagina and vulva (the lips around the vagina). Symptoms often come back after they’ve been treated for thrush, although this is normally because your treatment hasn’t completely cleared it up rather than you developing reinfection. It doesn’t usually cause any other symptoms in men, although it can occasionally cause penile itching .
Bacterial vaginosis can cause no symptoms, which one reason why it’s really important to get tested if you’re worried that you might have this condition. If left untreated, bacterial vaginosis can lead to complications, such as pelvic inflammatory disease. The symptoms that do develop are a thin grey-white discharge with a strong fishy smell, which you may notice after sex or between periods . It’s also associated with vaginal itching and soreness, although these don’t tend to be as severe as those from thrush.
Bacterial vaginosis is more common than thrush, affecting thousands of women every year in the UK. In fact, 1 out of 4 adults has it at any one time!
Thrush can usually be easily treated using anti-fungal medication that’s applied inside your vagina or taken as a single dose pill . Bacterial vaginosis treatment involves taking 2 different antibiotics (usually for 7 days), one of which is a vaginal cream or gel that you need to insert into your vagina.
As you can see, there are some key differences between thrush and bacterial vaginosis. If you’re not sure what’s causing your symptoms, it’s always best to get tested by a healthcare professional. This will help to ensure that you receive the correct treatment and relief from your symptoms.