Should I Call My Doctor Or Nurse If I Think I Have A Yeast Infection
Yes. Seeing your doctor or nurse is the only way to know for sure if you have a yeast infection and not a more serious type of infection.
The signs and symptoms of a yeast infection are a lot like symptoms of other more serious infections, such as STIs and bacterial vaginosis . If left untreated, STIs and BV raise your risk of getting other STIs, including HIV, and can lead to problems getting pregnant. BV can also lead to problems during pregnancy, such as premature delivery.
How Can I Tell If I Have A Yeast Infection
How can I tell if I have a yeast infection? Joella*
A girl usually notices certain things if she has a vaginal yeast infection. She may have:
- swelling and irritation of the vulva
- pain or burning when peeing or having sex
- thick, white vaginal discharge that looks a bit like cottage cheese
Some girls will have several of these symptoms others may only notice one or two.
It’s best to see a doctor if you think you may have a yeast infection, or if you have anything different going on, like changes in your vaginal discharge. Other infections can cause similar symptoms, including some sexually transmitted diseases .
Your doctor can recommend the best treatment for you. If you don’t have a family doctor, you can visit a health clinic like Planned Parenthood. If your school has a student health center, you might be able to get checked out there.
*Names have been changed to protect user privacy.
How To Know If You Have A Yeast Infection
In order to know if you have a yeast infection, there are a few classic signs of yeast infection to look for, that are usually present. Here is how to tell if you have a yeast infection:
- Abnormal yeast infection discharge: looks like cottage cheese discharge which has a thick chunky curd like appearance.
- Discharge color: discharge color is usually milky white or light yellow.
- Odor free: yeast infection is usually odorless. Some people describe the yeast infection smell as similar to bread yeast though.
- Yeast infection symptoms: intense itchiness of the vulva causing the need to scratch.
Additional yeast infection symptoms may include:
- Irritation, swelling and burning around the vulva.
- Vaginal rash, sometimes with yeast infection bumps. Sores or blisters however, are not common.
- Pain during sexual intercourse .
- Pain or burning during urination .
To learn what a yeast infection looks like in men: yeast infection in men. To learn about the causes, treatment of yeast infection in women, see: yeast infection in women.
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Common Symptoms In Men
Men can get yeast infections too. They can happen when thereâs an overgrowth of fungus on the skin. This can happen if a man has sex with a female partner who has a vaginal yeast infection. Itâs more common in men who arenât circumcised. The symptoms include:
- Itching, burning, or redness on the
- A thick, white substance in the skin folds of the , and moistness
Should You See A Doctor
Both UTIs and yeast infections should be reviewed and diagnosed by your doctor to prevent them from getting worse. UTIs that are untreated could lead to a more serious kidney infection. Yeast infections may also be something more serious, or the symptoms may actually be from another condition, such as a sexually transmitted infection.
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Yeast Infection In Babies
While yeast infections are commonly associated with vaginal infections, babies can also get them.
The most common yeast infection in a baby is a diaper rash. However, not all diaper rashes are the result yeast overgrowth.
You can tell if the condition is more than just a diaper rash if your babys skin is extremely red and has spots in the diaper/groin area, despite using diaper rash cream. Yeast infections may also be presented in other folds of the skin, such as under the armpits.
What Doctors Look For When They Suspect A Yeast Infection
At your doctor’s office, your doctor will ask you about your symptoms and your overall medical history, including past vaginal infections and sexually transmitted diseases.
You doctor will then conduct a gynecological exam to check for redness, swelling, discharge, and odor.
Your doctor will also examine your cervix for swelling and redness, and your vaginal walls for dry, white spots.
To get a concrete diagnosis, your doctor will likely take a sample of your vaginal secretions and examine it under a microscope.
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Causes And Risk Factors
Vaginal yeast infections are usually caused by a type of yeast called Candida albicans. Its normal for this yeast to live in the mucous membranes lining the genitals. There are usually only small amounts of it, though, so it doesn’t cause any problems.
But the healthy balance of microorganisms living in the membranes is sometimes disrupted for instance, through pregnancy or medication.
The level of estrogen in the body is particularly high during pregnancy. That can upset the healthy balance and increase the likelihood of developing a vaginal yeast infection. Taking the contraceptive pill affects a woman’s hormone levels in a similar way to pregnancy. So women who take the pill are also more likely to have yeast infections.
Some illnesses increase the risk of vaginal yeast infections. These include diabetes and other diseases that weaken the immune system. Various medications can increase the risk too, such as , steroids, hormone therapy, radiotherapy and chemotherapy. Other factors that increase the risk of vaginal yeast infections include stress, washing your genitals with soap, wearing synthetic and tight clothes, sweating and using non-breathable panty liners or sanitary pads. These things allow the yeast to thrive, leading to an inflammation.
Natureland Vaginal Ph Test
This kit offers 40 pH strips to test the acidity levels in your vaginal discharge. Its easy to use and read, and it comes with plenty of strips in case theres an error with your first test.
The strips are individually packaged, which makes them easy to carry and store.
Customers like that the rainbow chart for these strips is easy to read, and the results appear quickly. One reviewer who had to constantly monitor her pH levels said this kit was perfect for determining whether her levels were improving during her treatments.
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What Is A Vaginal Yeast Infection
A vaginal yeast infection, also known as candidiasis, is a common condition. A contains bacteria and some yeast cells. But when the balance of bacteria and yeast changes, the yeast cells can multiply. This causes itching, swelling, and irritation.
Treating a vaginal yeast infection can relieve symptoms within a few days . In more severe cases, it may take longer.
Vaginal yeast infections arent considered a sexually transmitted infection , commonly known as sexually transmitted disease . Sexual contact can spread it, but women who arent sexually active can also get them.
A specific kind of yeast called Candida albicans causes most yeast infections. These infections are easily treatable.
If youre having recurring yeast infections or problems getting rid of a yeast infection with conventional treatment, a different version of Candida might be the cause. A lab test can identify what type of Candida you have.
Probiotic Suppositories And Supplements
Probiotics help restore the bacteria-yeast balance throughout your body.
If you start a regimen of oral probiotics that contain strains of the Lactobacillus acidophilus bacteria, you can bring your digestive tract and vaginal flora back into alignment. Eating yogurt is one way to increase probiotics.
Oral supplements take about 10 days to reach full effect, so some people use probiotics as vaginal suppositories to see results more quickly.
Probiotic suppositories have also been shown to be effective for treating vaginosis.
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Preventing Vaginal Yeast Infections With Lifestyle And Diet Changes
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About 75% of women will experience a vaginal yeast infection sometime in their life, and up to 45% of those women will have repeat yeast infections. Thats a daunting prospect if youve had one before its not something you want to do again. Thankfully, you can make lifestyle and diet changes to prevent a yeast infection.
How To Identify A Vaginal Yeast Infection
Not all women will experience noticeable symptoms of a yeast infection. If the infection is mild, the symptoms may be subtle. Knowing whats normal for you will help you identify changes in your vaginal health. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms for the first time, consult your healthcare professional for a diagnosis. Most women have one or more of these yeast infection symptoms:
- Pain when urinating or having sex
- Vulvar inflammation
- Vaginal pain, soreness, or burning
- Vaginal discharge that may be thick, white, and lumpy like cottage cheese
The three most common forms of vaginitis are yeast infections, bacterial vaginosis , and trichomoniasis. Symptoms for all three can include some form of vaginal discharge, itching, and irritation, so it is important to understand how they are different so you can get the right treatment. Use the following information as a guide to help identify a vaginal yeast infection:2-5
Thin, milky white or grey
MONISTAT®, other over-the-counter and prescription treatments
If you experience any of the following symptoms, ask a healthcare professional before using MONISTAT®, as they could be signs of another type of infection.
- Lower abdominal, back or shoulder pain
- Nausea or vomiting
- Foul-smelling or greenish/grayish vaginal discharge
- Frequent urination, an urgent need to urinate or difficulty passing urine
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What To Expect From A Yeast Infection Test
The most accurate way to determine whether you have a yeast infection is by receiving a vaginitis test from a doctor.
The doctor will use a sterile cotton swab to retrieve a sample. Then, theyll examine the sample under a microscope to determine whether theres an infection.
If you take an at-home pH test, youll take one of the included pH strips and hold it against your vaginal wall for a few seconds.
Then, youll compare the color of the strip with the chart that came with your kit. This will tell you whether your pH level is off, though it wont be able to confirm for sure whether you have a yeast infection.
Diagnosing And Treating Yeast Infections At Home
Did you know 3 out of 4 women will get a yeast infection in their lifetime? Many will get more than one. The good news for womenespecially those who experience more than oneis you may be able to diagnose and treat a yeast infection from home. If you have never had a yeast infection, youll want to go to your doctor or at least talk to them first and get their advice.
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How To Cure A Yeast Infection Additional Facts To Consider
- Make sure you know you have a yeast infection. When in doubt, get tested by your doctor.
- Relieving the intense itching is a very important part of the vaginal yeast infection treatment. Constant itching often causes the desire or reflex to scratch which can make the infection and irritation become worse. If you need a relief, see: natural antifungal creams.
- To avoid chronic yeast infections or other complication, it is important to confirm that no other yeast infection symptoms are present in other areas of the body. To see the complete list of yeast infection symptoms broken down by different areas in the body see: candida overgrowth symptoms checker.
How To Soothe Thrush Itching
If you have vaginal thrush, you may also find the following things help to relieve your symptoms:
- Avoiding wearing tight-fitting clothing, especially clothing made from synthetic materials. Loose-fitting, natural-fibre underwear may be better.
- Avoiding washing underwear with biological washing powders or liquids and avoiding the use of fabric conditioners.
- Avoiding using perfumed products around the vaginal area, such as soaps and shower gels, as these may cause further irritation.
- Using a simple emollient every day as a moisturiser to protect the skin around the vulva.
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What Increases My Risk Of Getting A Yeast Infection
Certain factors make you more likely to get a vaginal yeast infection.
Certain factors can increase your risk of getting a vaginal yeast infection. Some of those are:
Certain lifestyle risk factors also increase your risk of a vaginal yeast infection, such as:
- Sitting in a wet bathing suit.
- Not changing out of sweaty clothes.
- Wearing scented tampons or using a vaginal deodorant.
How Do I Know If I Have A Yeast Infection
Having common yeast infection signs and symptoms can be a strong indication that you may have a yeast infection. However, because it can be difficult to tell a yeast infection apart from other common causes of similar symptoms , testing is often recommended to ensure that you get the correct diagnosis and treatment.
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How We Chose The Best Vaginal Ph Tests
We made sure to look at reputable brands with positive feedback from customers who have used the products. We also took into consideration how easy it is to take these tests and how quickly you receive the results.
As previously mentioned, these tests will not tell you for certain whether you have a yeast infection. Instead, theyll indicate whether your pH levels are off.
While yeast infections typically have low pH levels, some other infections, like BV, have high pH levels.
Its best to get an official diagnosis and treatment from a doctor if youre unsure whether your symptoms are caused by an infection.
Ruling Out Other Vaginal Conditions
A few other vaginal conditions result in symptoms that are like those of thrush. See your doctor if you:
- have had several episodes of thrush in a short period
- have had recent sex without a condom with a new partner
- have associated pain in your pelvic area or abnormal bleeding
- treated yourself with a thrush treatment and your symptoms havent gone away.
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Whats The Difference Between A Yeast Infection And Bacterial Vaginosis
Infectious Diseases, Women’s Health
Sometimes vaginitisor vaginal inflammationcan be so mild you may not think anything out of the norm is happening. Other times, vaginitis is accompanied by pain and discomfort, which may point to a yeast infection or bacterial vaginosis.
The problem? Both issues share common symptoms, which can make it hard to distinguish which one you are experiencing.
Rachel Urrutia, MD, an OB-GYN at UNC Medical Center and assistant professor at the UNC School of Medicine, explains the difference between the two and when you should see a doctor.
When Should I Make An Appointment To See My Provider
The first time you experience the symptoms of a yeast infection, you should see your doctor to rule out any other conditions. Even if youve had a yeast infection before, you should consult your physician if the condition isnt improving despite using medication, or if you experience four or more yeast infections per year. You might need something stronger than whats available over-the-counter. Finally, if your discharge has a bad odor, if you have a fever, or if you have other serious medical problems, you should definitely seek medical attention.
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When Should You See A Doctor Or Other Healthcare Professional
Some vaginal infections may clear up without treatment from a healthcare professional, especially when you help the infection on its way with home remedies or OTC medications.
That said, infections wont always improve on their own. Youll want to make an appointment with your doctor or clinician if you:
- have never had a vaginal infection before
- had a vaginal infection in the past, but youre having new or different symptoms
- have a vaginal pH
- notice yellow or bloody discharge, or discharge with a foul odor
- have other symptoms, including vomiting, fever, or low back and stomach pain
- have difficulty urinating or need to urinate more than usual
If youve had a yeast infection before and you recognize the signs, you might not need to make an appointment. You can often treat yeast infections at home with OTC medications.
That said, it never hurts to connect with a doctor or clinician if you get them often. They may be able to prescribe more effective treatment and help you narrow down the cause. Youll also want to make an appointment if you have any doubts about the type of infection you have.
Its always recommended to get treatment from a doctor or clinician for any vaginal infection if youre pregnant or believe you could be pregnant. Untreated vaginal infections can get worse, and some can lead to complications during pregnancy and delivery.
Can I Get A Yeast Infection From Breastfeeding
Yes. Yeast infections can happen on your nipples or in your breast from breastfeeding. Yeast thrive on milk and moisture. A yeast infection you get while breastfeeding is different from a vaginal yeast infection. However, it is caused by an overgrowth of the same fungus.
Symptoms of thrush during breastfeeding include:
- Sore nipples that last more than a few days, especially after several weeks of pain-free breastfeeding
- Flaky, shiny, itchy, or cracked nipples
- Deep pink and blistered nipples
- Shooting pain in the breast during or after feedings
If you have any of these signs or symptoms or think your baby might have thrush in his or her mouth, call your doctor. Learn more about thrush in our Breastfeeding section.
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