There is pretty much an at-home test for everything but find out if they actually work to detect a yeast infection.
We get it. Talking about your vaginas and topics like yeast infections are not the easiest conversations to have. But you are not alone. In fact, nearly 75% of women will get at least one yeast infection in their lifetime. If you know you have an insatiable itch down there but are not sure if it is in fact a yeast infection, it may seem like a good idea to take an at-home yeast infection test. You can do it in the privacy of your own home, no doctor's appointment needed, and you can get the results fast. Or can you? Get the details here.
Yeast Infection Testing
A yeast infection is caused by an overgrowth of yeast in the vagina called Candida albicans. YIs are fungal, not bacterial. Yeast lives naturally in the body and on the skin, but if it overgrows, it can cause intense itching and a few other unpleasantries. If you are looking to self-diagnose what’s causing your vaginal issues, start with looking at your symptoms.
- A thick, white/yellow vaginal discharge (like cottage cheese)
- Intense itching
- Redness and swelling around the vaginal opening
- Pain and soreness around the vulva
- Burning during urination
- Burning during sex
If you are experiencing some or all of these symptoms, it is possible that you do have a yeast infection. The only way to know for sure is to get tested. There are at-home test strips available at your local pharmacy that can test your vaginal pH.
The test itself is quite easy to do, simply hold one of the pH strips against your vaginal wall for a few seconds. After one or two minutes, the color of the test strip will change. The kit will come with a chart that will tell you what your colors mean and if your vaginal pH is in the normal range (no infection present). A normal vaginal pH level is in the range of 3.8 and 4.5. Although this kind of test will tell you whether your pH level is off, it won’t be able to confirm for sure whether you have a yeast infection. It can however help rule out other causes of similar symptoms. For example, if you have symptoms of itching, burning, odor, and/or discharge, and the pH is high (greater than 4.5), it suggests the presence of bacterial vaginosis or trichomoniasis.
If your vaginal pH is between 4 and 4.5 and you have the symptoms of a yeast infection, it is possible that you do. You can easily treat it with over-the-counter antifungal creams, including miconazole (Monistat) and clotrimazole, which kill the Candida fungus. If the symptoms do not go away after a week, you may need to contact your doctor for an oral prescription of fluconazole.
Of course, the most accurate way to determine whether or not you have a yeast infection is by receiving a vaginitis test from a doctor. They will examine the sample under a microscope to determine if Candida is present. Yeast infections may be prevented by taking a daily probiotic supplement or eating foods like yogurt, kefir, kimchi, kombucha, and raw sauerkraut. You can also try taking Apple cider vinegar supplements daily. ACV has antimicrobial effects that can help with vaginal symptoms. Check out Checkable Wellness Apple Cider Vinegar Gummies for a perfect dose of the good stuff.