Canesten Instructions

Updated April 17, 2017

Canesten treats vaginal thrush, a common infection among women caused by a yeast called candida. Thrush can develop when the normal amount of candida which lives in your body multiplies, disrupting the delicate pH Balance in your system. Several things can cause an increase in candida. Some causes include wearing tight clothing, menstruation, pregnancy, taking antibiotics, perfumed soap or stress. Common symptoms of vaginal thrush include external itching and a white or yellowish discharge. Canesten usually comes in a box containing a pessary -- to clear up the internal infection -- and a soothing cream to reduce the external itching and irritation. Use both Canestan products to treat vaginal thrush.

Wash your hands with soap and water then dry them with a towel.

Remove the pessary applicator from the packaging and pull out the plunger until it stops.

Remove the pessary from the foil packaging and place firmly into the opposite end of the applicator to the plunger. The pessary will fit tightly into the end of the applicator.

Remove your clothing on the bottom half of your body so that you have easy access to your vagina, then take a comfortable position ready for inserting the applicator. The recommended position is to lie on your back with your knees bent upwards towards the ceiling.

Put the applicator as deep as is comfortable into your vagina and slowly press the plunger until it stops, allowing the pessary to enter the vagina.

Remove the applicator from the vagina carefully and dispose of it in a safe place out of the reach of children. Do not try to flush it down the toilet.

Put a panty liner on if you wish because it is common to get a white residue after the pessary dissolves in the vagina.

Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water then dry them with a towel.

Pierce the seal on the tube of cream by inverting the plastic cap over the end of the tube and pressing down.

Squeeze the tube gently with one hand to release a pea-sized amount onto your finger.

Apply the cream to the affected area around the opening of the vagina (called the vulva) with your finger. This will soothe the external symptoms of itching and soreness.

Do this two to three times a day until the cream runs out or your symptoms clear up. If symptoms persist after seven days, consult your doctor.

Wash your hands to ensure that you remove any excess cream.


Use the pessary before going to bed for the most convenient and comfortable treatment. Wear a panty liner during both treatments to avoid getting any residue on your clothing. Avoid using the treatment during your period if possible because it might be less effective.


Seek medical attention immediately if you get any of the following symptoms of an allergic reaction to Canesten: a rash, difficulty breathing; swollen lips, face, throat or tongue, dizziness, fainting or nausea. Consult your doctor before using Canesten if you are pregnant or trying to conceive. Canesten may reduce the effectiveness of latex contraceptives like condoms or a diaphragm so take extra precautions for five days after using the treatment. Before you use Canestehn, consult your doctor if you have had more than two episodes in the last six months.

Things You'll Need

  • Water
  • Soap
  • Towel
  • Canesten pessary and applicator
  • Panty liner
  • Canesten cream
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About the Author

Emily Watson started writing in 2008. Watson has been published in "Children & Young People Now," "Youth Work Now," "Accent magazine," "The House Hunter," "Gap Year Business," "Timeout Education" and online at and She holds an honors degree in history from Newcastle University and has a PMA-Group postgraduate diploma in magazine journalism.