Canesten Pessary

Buy a Canesten pessary online to help treat thrush quickly

  • Fast-acting thrush treatment inserted into the vagina with an included applicator
  • Available from £9.99 + prescription fees and delivery costs

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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  • Safe and regulated treatments
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  • Fully registered UK pharmacy


Dr Samantha Miller

Reviewed by Dr Samantha Miller MB ChB
(2017, University of Glasgow)
GMC number: 7561464

Information last reviewed 28/03/2021


What is a Canesten pessary?

A Canesten pessary contains clotrimazole, a treatment for thrush, which is a yeast infection that can occur inside 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 symptomatic thrush to occur when the numbers of the fungus increase, 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 that usually begins to work overnight. You can expect your symptoms to be gone after a week. In addition to the pessary, you may also need to use a Canesten cream to treat any external itching and irritation.

Canesten pessary summary


One pessary, inserted into the vagina, once per treatment

Type of Medicine Imidazole antifungal

Affects the permeability of fungal cells walls, preventing proper formation of new fungal cells.

Available Size

6 pessaries

Available Strengths


Active Ingredient



From £1.67 per pessary

Side Effects

Can include swelling, itching, rash, redness, discomfort, pain, nausea, vaginal peeling, vaginal discharge or bleeding


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 may get a white, chalk-like discharge from the tablet but this is completely normal.

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 for external symptoms, 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, rash, burning, redness, swelling, discomfort or irritation in the vagina. 
  • Vaginal peeling or bleeding
  • Abdominal or pelvic pain

If you experience any of the above side effects, you should check in with your doctor.


Canesten should be avoided if you have an allergy to clotrimazole or any of the other ingredients. 

Before using Canesten pessary, you should speak with your doctor if any of the following apply: 

  • This is the first time you have experienced thrush-like symptoms
  • You are unsure if you have thrush
  • You have had more than two thrush infections in the last six months
  • You or your partner(s) have ever had a sexually transmitted infection
  • You’re under 16 or over 60
  • You’ve ever had an allergic reaction to Canesten products, or other antifungal agents
  • You are pregnant or breastfeeding

You should also speak to your doctor before using Canesten pessary if you have any of the following symptoms:

  • Unusual vaginal bleeding
  • Vaginal discharge which is green, yellow or bloody in colour
  • Smelly vaginal discharge 
  • Pain or discomfort in the genitals
  • Pain during or after sex 
  • Pain or difficulty passing urine
  • Ulcers, blisters or sores on the vulva or in the vagina
  • Lower abdominal pain
  • Fever or chills
  • Feeling sick or vomiting
  • Diarrhoea

These could be signs of a different type of infection and should be assessed and treated accordingly. 

The Canesten pessary may be less effective if you use it during a menstrual period. 

Do not use other vaginal products such as tampons, intravaginal douches or spermicides while using Canesten pessary.

Drug interactions

Be sure to tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are taking or have recently taken any other medicines, particularly tacrolimus or sirolimus.

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 fertility?

Your fertility will not be affected by Canesten. 

Will Canesten affect my contraception?

Canesten is likely to damage the latex in condoms and diaphragms so you should use alternative precautions or abstain from sex for at least five days after using this product. Canesten pessary won’t have any effect on hormonal forms of contraception such as the pill, implant, injection or coil. 

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.

Treatment Options

Canesten pessaries vs other forms of Canesten

Vaginal thrush can be treated with either a vaginal pessary, intravaginal cream, or with an oral fluconazole tablet. Thrush typically also infects the external vulval area, causing itching and discomfort. To treat the external infection, an antifungal cream is recommended alongside the Canesten pessary. 

You can also purchase a Canesten Duo or Canesten Combi pack which contains the medications needed to treat both internal and external infection.

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Easy to use website. A straightforward online consultation with a quick response back. Choice of products for your condition, all with clear descriptions and prices. And an amazing super fast dispatch/delivery. I found treatment for a minor problem in 2 days, sure beats trying to get an bob urgent appointment with my local surgery! Thank you all.