Updated on 19 October, 2021
While learning about the many different signs and symptoms of a yeast infection, patients should also be aware of the importance of a yeast infection test. "While understanding the basic symptoms-which may also include itching, swelling or redness, pain while urinating, sexual dysfunction, and pain during intercourse-is extremely important, an early yeast infection test is just as crucial." "Pregnant women who test positive for this condition should immediately visit their gynecologist in order to ensure that they don't have a sexually transmitted disease that is causing the irritation," adds Dr. Jill Tittler, a practicing gynecologist at Highland/St. Johns Regional Medical Center in Phoenix, AZ. "Bacterial vaginosis, trichomoniasis, or other conditions can all be causes of symptoms similar to those of a yeast infection."
In addition to bacterial vaginosis and Candida, yeast infections can be caused by a number of other conditions. One of the more common causes of these is trichomoniasis, which is commonly called a fungal infection. In trichomoniasis, there is an overgrowth of a fungus in the hair follicles of the woman's body. This can be as a result of overuse of certain chemicals (dyes), use of hair products that contain alcohol or imbalances in her hormonal levels.
Other conditions that can mimic a yeast infection or even be the cause of one are diabetes and oral contraceptives. Diabetics are particularly susceptible to developing yeast infections, especially because of the sensitivity of the skin to changes in blood sugar levels. "A simple blood test can tell a diabetic woman instantly if she has a yeast infection or whether she does not have one," says Dr. Herbert Schwartz, a former dermatologist and now a practicing internal medicine doctor. The same test that can show you if you have the disease also detects any abnormalities in the immune system, such as a low white blood cell count, a lowered platelet count, or signs of inflammation. These tests can be used in the diagnosis of diabetes, although they cannot confirm the existence of the disease.
Yeast infections, especially in women, can have very uncomfortable symptoms, including itching and burning around the vaginal area, soreness, irritation, discharge and swelling. In order for you to know if you have one, you'll need to visit your doctor to determine the cause. For example, if you're experiencing symptoms that are similar to the symptoms of a sexually transmitted disease (STD), a physician may order a swab test (or culture) of the discharge to make sure that it is a yeast infection.
There are a few ways to confirm the diagnosis. One way is to undergo a culture of vaginal secretions for any abnormal colonies. Alternatively, your doctor may take a scraping from the vaginal discharge and examine it under the microscope to detect a fungus or any other organisms. Some doctors perform both these tests and send the samples to their urgent care centers for testing. If the tests confirm that you have the condition, your doctor will prescribe an anti-fungal medication to begin treating the symptoms.
Most medical professionals recommend the use of suppositories or oral medications for most cases. Suppositories are inserted directly into the vagina using a thin, lubricated spongy insert. These suppositories are made from natural ingredients including latex and are designed to stay put for the entire length of the treatment cycle. Suppositories work best when taken one to three hours before sexual intercourse. Oral medications are applied or ingested into the mouth, usually with or without food. These medications are designed specifically for long-lasting relief of symptoms associated with yeast infections.
If you are experiencing any yeast infection symptoms that don't get better after seven days of applying the medication at home or at your urgent care center, you should seek the advice of a health care provider. In most cases, this will mean an overnight stay in the urgent care center. A doctor will administer a single or multiple doses of an anti-fungal medication, either in pill form or liquid form, to rid you of your yeast infection symptoms. In some cases, anti-fungal ointments, creams and suppositories may be prescribed to alleviate your yeast infection symptoms.
It's very important to note that even suppositories aren't 100 percent effective. Sometimes, they may relieve your symptoms for a few days but then become ineffective because your body adjusts to the medication. When this happens, the medication can no longer fight off the next round of symptoms. You could end up taking several weeks or even months to finally get rid of your yeast infection. For this reason, it's important to carefully read over the instructions on the suppositories you're thinking of purchasing before you leave the house for work or the day-after pill simply in case there are crucial differences between the suppositories and the dosage.