Espère's 'brief' guide to thrush

What is thrush?

Thrush is a common infection involving Candida yeast. Candida is present in all of us and it normally lives in the gut in equilibrium with other resident organisms. Problems arise when this equilibrium becomes unbalanced, leading to an overgrowth of the yeast.

  • Approximately 75% of all women suffer from at least one episode of vulvovaginal candida in the course of their life;
  • In 40-50% of these patients, Candida is a recurrent problem;
  • 18% of women with no symptoms have tested positive for Candida infection;
  • At any one time 5-8% of the women have active Candida symptoms;
  • Children can also be affected by Candida


The symptoms of thrush include:

  • Vaginal discomfort (itching or burning)
  • Redness or swelling of the vagina or vulva
  • Dyspareunia (pain during intercourse)
  • White vaginal discharge (often like cottage cheese), which does not usually smell

Recurrent infections are common, often because the symptoms are managed but not the cause.


When the vaginal ecosystem becomes altered, and the pH changes it creates the ideal conditions for Candida infections to develop. This can happen as a result of hormonal changes or the use of antibiotic therapies. Other factors such as reduced immunity, diabetes and digestive disorders can also contribute to the development of Candida. Inappropriate hygiene methods plus the use of close-fitting synthetic clothing may also contribute to recurrences.

Can you pass thrush on?

Thrush is not classed as a sexually transmitted infection (STI), but can be triggered by sex and is considered contagious to those at risk (like people with weakened immune systems or taking certain medications).


You'll usually need antifungal medicine to get rid of thrush. This can be a tablet you take, a tablet you insert into your vagina (pessary) or a cream to relieve the irritation.

What can cause recurrence of thrush?

Candida albicans, the yeast that causes thrush, is extremely resilient and can survive on cotton and synthetic fabrics even after normal machine washing. This means that there is a distinct possibility that patients can re-infect themselves simply by wearing the “clean” briefs that they wore last time they had an attack.

How DermaSilk can help?

The DermaSilk range is proven in clinical trials to significantly reduce the symptoms of recurrent Candidosis and to reduce the frequency of candida recurrences. DermaSilk helps to regulate temperature, staying cool in warm areas, helping to maintain healthy levels of pH and humidity in your most delicate area.

Please note: The use of these briefs are recommended as an additional treatment option and are not intended to replace any medication prescribed by your Medical Practitioner.

Clinically Proven

The effectiveness of DermaSilk in recurrent thrush has been demonstrated in clinical trials. In one study the effect of DermaSilk underwear was assessed in the treatment of a group of patients who suffered from a particularly persistent and resistant form of recurrent vaginal thrush. All the patients recruited had been suffering from recurrent vulvovaginal thrush for an average of 2.4 years and had in the 6 months prior to the start of the study been treated with standard preventative antifungal therapy but despite this had continued to suffer relapses and vulvar irritation.

The 96 patients involved in the study were divided into two groups: Half wore DermaSilk underwear and the other half pure cotton underwear. All continued the standard antifungal therapy for the entire observation period of 6 months. Neither the patients nor the doctors knew which group they were in.


At all stages of the study, the women in the DermaSilk group reported a much more marked and progressive improvement in terms of itching, burning, redness (erythema), vulvar irritation and swelling (oedema) than the women in the cotton group. The improvements in those who used DermaSilk continued for the entire duration of the study, whereas in some of the women who wore cotton underwear the symptoms returned after 3 months.

The study showed that the use of DermaSilk also helped to reduce the number of recurrences experienced during the 6 month study period.

32/48 (66.7%) of the DermaSilk patients had none or one recurrence during the 6 month study compared with only 17/48 (35.4%) of the patients wearing cotton.

Further support

Vaginal thrush doesn’t usually cause any long-term problems. But some women get recurrent bouts of thrush which can make you feel down or depressed. See your GP to get some support if this happens to you. There are also online support groups on websites like Facebook or Mumsnet which can be helpful in allowing connections between similarly affected individuals.

To learn more about how DermaSilk can help, visit our website today.