Yeast Infection Diagnosis - How to Diagnose Yeast Infections?

Yeast infection diagnosis

Yeast infections are rarely life threatening and can be easily treated with both oral and local medications. Often women think they may have a yeast infection and try to treat themselves with one of the over the counter medications without symptom resolution. A recent study performed by the American Social Health Association found that close to 70% of women used over-the-counter medications designed to treat yeast infections before notifying their health care professional. Subsequent clinical studies demonstrate that self diagnosis in yeast is often bacterial vaginosis or, in fact, a bacterial infection. Sometimes other causes of vaginitis are present including allergic reactions or local chemical irritation from a variety of allergens including perfumed soap, detergent or powders.

It is important for your health care provider to do a vaginal examination to make certain that you have a yeast infection and not some other cause of vaginitis. An office microscopic evaluation of the vaginal discharge (wet prep) can be preformed to identify a vaginal infection. To complete a wet mount, a sample of the discharge is placed on a glass slide and mixed with a variety of solutions. On one slide, salty solutions are used, and the slide is then examined under the microscope. Hyphea, branching filaments from fungus, may indicate candidal infection. The Potassium Hydroxide Test can be done. Discharge is placed on a slide and is mixed with potassium hydroxide; the result will only leave yeast cells visible.

Other health care professionals prefer doing cultures or wet mounts that are preformed and sent to the laboratory for official interpretation. The results are often retrieved within 72 hours.  During the pelvic examination, many specialists choose to measure the vaginal ph or acid base balance. A small piece of specialized paper is touched to the vaginal walls and the ph is recorded. The normal vaginal ph is 3.8 to 4.5. An elevation of the ph may indicated bacterial vaginosis, trichomoniasis or atrophic vaginitis.



Read more about symptoms affecting the vulva and vagina that may be causing discomfort or pain.

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Read more about vulvar and vaginal disorders that affect women and their quality of life.

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