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How long does it take to get rid of thrush?

(4 Posts)
Cookiejar Sat 06-Nov-10 01:33:25

Is this unusual?
I've been on 200mg per day of fluconazole, plus nystin drops for the baby, for 4 weeks now. I'm in pain and I'm getting a bit miserable... When will this go? It's my first baby, he's 7 weeks old and I really don't want to have to give up breastfeeding him. I reckon I got the thrus at the end of week one, but because I didn't recognise the symptoms I didn't start the treatment til three weeks, by which point it was excruciating. I was crying with pain.

It has got a lot better since, but it's very much two steps forward and one back. Today for no reason it's quite bad again. I'm really fed up. The GP is no help, they don't even know what thrush is, it's been a bit of a struggle getting them to recognise it and prescribe. I printed off the Breastfeeding Network leaflet and took it with me to the surgery.

I went to a breastfeeding cafe and they gave me a leaflet that said it could take four weeks to get rid of thrush.

Has anyone got any experience to share? How long before this awful pain goes? I can't believe it's taking this long. I need to know whether there is light at the end of the tunnel.

cinnamongreyhound Sat 06-Nov-10 05:03:12

I had it with ds1 and it took 6 weeks but I was first prescribed daktarin cream and drops which didn't work and was then given nystatin cream and drops, was gone within 10 days of this one and felt better within a couple. I hope you are feeling better soon and can start to enjoy breastfeeding.

MrsTimeOut Sat 06-Nov-10 05:12:27

Hi cookiejar. You have my sympathies. Thrush is just awful. You dread every feed don't you. I had it when dd was 3 wks old but like you didn't get treatment til later. She was 6 wks. If dd was asleep and we were visiting people, I was like an Antichrist telling them not to waken her cos I knew if she woke, she'd want food and I was in so much pain that I didn't want to feed her. Tears every feed, in between feeds, emotional breakdowns with the pain & the thought of not being able to feed my own daughter. I took a 28 day course of fluconazole , 150 mg, & that did the trick. I started to notice an improvement after a week with the afterpain subsiding. I'm stil painfree 6 wks after finishing. Are you absolutely sure it's thrush? What are your symptoms? Have you rang a bf helpline?

Since it's stil so sore, have you tried nipple shields? My right side was worse than my left so for about 3 days I fed using nipple shields & tried to feed as much from my left (and express from my right to keep supply up) rather than my right to give it a break. That did help.

Cookiejar Thu 18-Nov-10 22:09:06

cinnamongreyhound, MrsTimeOut - thanks for your answers. It's interesting to hear that it took you weeks to get rid of it too. Thanks most of all for giving me some encouragement. Sorry I have taken so long to answer – our laptop broke down and has just got fixed. So glad you both got rid of the thrush, and hopefully I will too soon.

Things have continued to improve slowly so I am feeling calmer about everything. I asked for and was given a weekly appointment with a sympathetic GP at the surgery, so I finally feel it’s being taken seriously. She was wonderful, it's amazing how far a bit of sympathy and understanding will go. She gave me another big loading dose of fluconazole and a continuing prescription of 200mg per day, plus a Daktarin cream for my nipples. The Nystin drops for the baby have been changed to Daktarin oral gel at my request (the Breastfeeding Network website says this is more effective). The doctor said I needed to get more sleep to fight off the infection, so DH is doing a bottle of EBM in the night. This is giving me an uninterrupted block of 5 to 7 hour sleep as opposed to the 2 or 3 I was getting before. Finally, the doctor said she didn’t think giving up breastfeeding would have any impact on the infection. This means there is no pressure to give up, which has removed a key source of emotional upset.

I don’t know which if any, or all, of these things is working, but overall it is definitely getting better. Albeit slowly. I still have pain every day, 8 weeks after the problem appeared (5 weeks after starting the fluconazole) but it is a shadow of what it was. Pretty soon I hope it will be discomfort rather than pain, and then slowly fade away. My target is to be fully better by Christmas and really enjoy having DH home for the holidays.

MrsTimeOut - yes it is truly awful isn't it. I'm sorry you had to go through it too. I’m sorry anyone has to! I can’t believe how little knowledge the doctors have of it. I can’t believe I wasn’t warned that a C-section was a risk factor for it, and at least told what warning signs to look out for. It’s making me feel quite militant. There were three days where I just expressed as it was too painful to feed, although that was when he was very small and wouldn't take a bottle, so we had to cup feed him, he screamed throughout. It was horrible.

I’m sure it’s thrush as I’ve been to a bf cafe, rung the bf helpline, seen several midwives, etc. etc. My health visitor says my symptoms are pretty much “classic thrush”. Thanks for the advice re: nipple shields. It actually doesn’t hurt anymore when feeding (only did that when it was at its worst). Most of the pain now is the stinging/stabbing/throbbing between feeds. I still have a crack in the nipple on the left, so I try to not to offer that breast first, and sometimes express on that side instead of feeding. That seems to have helped a bit.

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