Canesten Pessary

Order a Canesten pessary for a fast thrush treatment

Canesten is a fast-acting thrush treatment that is inserted into the vagina with the convenient help of an applicator (included in the pack) that’s similar to a tampon applicator.

Our prices

Strength Quantity Price Stock
100mg6 pessaries£9.99In Stock
Prices exclude a prescription fee. This treatment requires a quick online consultation,
which a doctor will review to determine if a prescription is appropriate.

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What is a Canesten Pessary?

Canesten is a treatment for thrush which is a bacterial yeast infection in the vagina. The pessary is inserted into the vagina in order to soothe the symptoms and treat the thrush infection. The pessary tablet is placed into an applicator shaped like a long plastic stick. This is then inserted into the vagina, pushing up to release the tablet the same way you would with a tampon applicator. 

How does the Canesten Pessary work?

Thrush is caused by the Candida fungus. This is produced naturally in the vagina but it causes thrush to occur when the fungus increases or if your immune system is lower than usual, producing less good bacteria to keep it under control. The clotrimazole contained in Canesten kills the fungus to clear up the infection. 

How long does the Canesten Pessary take to work?

The Canesten pessary is a one-off treatment which usually begins to work overnight. You can expect your symptoms to be gone after a week. In addition to the pessary, you’ll also need to use the Canesten cream which treats the external itching and irritation. 


Active ingredients

Clotrimazole is the active ingredient within the Canesten pessary. 

Inactive ingredients

The inactive ingredients in the Canesten pessary are: lactose monohydrate, microcrystalline cellulose, lactic acid, maize starch, crospovidone, calcium lactate pentahydrate, magnesium stearate, colloidal anhydrous silica and hypromellose.


How to use a Canesten Pessary

Take your time to read through the instructions carefully before use. Wash your hands before you begin and carefully take the pessary out of the packet. Place the tablet in the holder, which is the wider end of the plastic applicator. When you’re ready, get into a comfortable position where you can easily slide the applicator into your vagina. Place it inside just like you would with a tampon, getting it as high up into the vagina as you can. Slide the plastic end upwards in a similar way to using a tampon applicator to release the tablet and then gently remove the empty applicator. It’s recommended to use the pessary at nighttime to allow it to work overnight. You’ll usually get a chalk-like discharge from the tablet but this is completely normal. Continue to apply the Canesten cream 2-3 times a day until the itching, redness and irritation disappears. 

Pessary dosage

The Canesten pessary contains a 500mg dose of clotrimazole which is for single use only.

How long should I use Canesten for after resolution of symptoms?

The Canesten pessary is for one use only. If you are also using Canesten cream, the cream can be used until your symptoms have disappeared.

Side Effects

Canesten Pessary side effects

It’s unusual for the Canesten pessary to cause side effects but it can happen, as with any other type of medicine. Possible side effects include itching, burning, redness, discomfort or irritation in the vagina. If this happens you should see your doctor for advice. 


Canesten should be avoided if you have an allergy to clotrimazole or any of the other ingredients. It should be used with caution if you have any of these additional symptoms: 

  • Burning sensation while peeing
  • Unusual vaginal bleeding
  • Discharge which is green, yellow or bloody in colour
  • Smelly discharge 
  • Pain or discomfort in the genitals
  • Pain during or after sex 

These could be signs of a sexually transmitted infection and should be assessed and treated accordingly. 

Drug interactions

Other medications won’t affect a Canesten Pessary

Canesten and alcohol

There is no need to avoid alcohol while using Canesten. 

Canesten Pessary and pregnancy

It’s recommended to seek advice from your midwife or doctor before using Canesten to treat your thrush to make sure that it is safe. 

Will Canesten affect my contraception?

Canesten is likely to damage the latex in condoms and diaphragms but it won’t have any effect on hormonal forms of contraception. It’s advised that you do not have sex while you are being treated for thrush. While it’s not a sexually transmitted infection, it can be passed on during sex so you risk reinfecting yourself or exacerbating your symptoms. 

Will Canesten affect my fertility?

Your fertility will not be affected by Canesten. 

Treatment Options

Canesten Pessaries vs other forms of Canesten

For vaginal thrush, the pessary is needed to fully treat thrush in combination with the cream to soothe the external symptoms and discomfort. In men, or for treating other fungal infections, only the cream is needed. The Canesten pessary comes in two different forms: as a gel or tablet. Both work in the same way and are for use inside the vagina. Internal Canesten cream is also available if you feel uncomfortable with using a pessary, and it also comes in the applicator format. 


Can Canesten be used for other fungal infections?

Canesten cream can be used for other fungal infections but the pessary is for the treatment of vaginal thrush only.

Is Canesten an antibiotic?

Canesten is an anti-fungal medicine, it’s not an antibiotic. Antibiotics are designed to fight bacterial infection, not fungal infections such as thrush.

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