Tuesday, March 14, 2023

Pelvic Exam For Yeast Infection

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What Is A Vaginal Yeast Infection

Yeast Infections: Debunked

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.

What To Do If A Person Develops A Yeast Infection Before A Pap Smear

If a person has symptoms of a yeast infection, or is taking medications for a yeast infection, they should inform the doctor before the Pap smear appointment.

The doctor may suggest that they rearrange the Pap smear until a person has finished treating the yeast infection.

In , a yeast infection may not cause any symptoms, so a person may not know they have it. In this case, the Pap smear result may come back as ASC-US.

If this happens, the

Diagnosis Of Yeast Infection

Many women who have experienced a yeast infection before will know the signs and can often treat it themselves at home with over-the-counter medications. However, if you are at all unsure of your symptoms or feel your yeast infection is unmanageable on your own, it is best to see your doctor.

When you arrive at your appointment, your doctor will ask you questions about your symptoms and your medical history. You may also be asked whether you have had a sexually transmitted infection in the past and about your sexual history.

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Living With Yeast Infections

Be sure to see your doctor the first time you have symptoms of a yeast infection. Its very important to make sure you have a yeast infection and not another more serious infection. The symptoms of a yeast infection are also the symptoms of other infections, such as some sexually transmitted infections . Treating yourself for a yeast infection when you actually have another type of infection may make the problem much worse.

Some women have recurrent yeast infections. This means they get more than 4 vaginal yeast infections in a year. This condition is called recurrent vulvovaginal candidiasis . If you have multiple yeast infections each year, talk to your doctor. He or she may be able to prescribe a treatment that can help prevent the infection from coming back so often.

If you have been diagnosed with many yeast infections over the years, talk to your doctor about medicine you can buy without a prescription to relieve your symptoms and treat the infection.

Yeast Infection And Periods

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Having both a yeast infection and your period can feel like a double whammy. However, this isnt uncommon. Yeast infections are most likely to occur in women during the final days leading up to their period.

If you experience white to yellow discharge in the week before your period, this isnt automatically a yeast infection unless you have other hallmark symptoms, too, such as redness, burning, and itchiness.

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Is There Anything Else I Need To Know About A Yeast Test

Certain antibiotics can cause yeast to grow out of control. So, be sure to tell your provider about any medicines you are taking.

At-home tests for vaginal yeast infections can tell you if your symptoms are likely to be from a yeast infection. But they may not be able to confirm the diagnosis. It’s best to talk with your provider about your symptoms and which test is best for you. This is important, because many symptoms of a vaginal yeast infection are the same as the symptoms from certain sexually transmitted diseases .

How Can I Reduce My Risk Of A Yeast Infection

You can often prevent vaginal yeast infections by making a few lifestyle changes. These changes can include:

  • Not douching douching can kill bacteria that actually control fungus.
  • Avoiding the use of feminine deodorants.
  • Not using scented tampons or pads.
  • Changing out of wet clothing, like bathing suits or gym clothes, as soon as you can.
  • Wearing cotton underwear and loose-fitting clothes.
  • Using water-based sexual lubricants.
  • Keeping your blood sugar levels in a normal range if you have diabetes.

The symptoms of a vaginal yeast infection are similar to other conditions. If you have any questions, a physical exam by your healthcare provider will help.

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Prevention Of Vaginal Yeast Infection

Women who are at high risk of a yeast infection may need to take an antifungal drug by mouth to help prevent yeast infections. Such women include those with the following:

  • A need to take antibiotics for a long time

  • Repeated yeast infections, particularly in women with a weakened immune system

Keeping the vulva clean and wearing loose, absorbent cotton clothing that allows air to circulate can reduce moisture, which encourages the growth of yeast, and thus help prevent yeast from growing.

Enhancing Healthcare Team Outcomes

Candidal (Yeast) Infections Overview | Oral Thrush, Vaginal, Intertrigo, Esophageal Candidiasis

Candida vulvovaginitis is usually managed by the gynecologist, nurse practitioner, primary care provider or an internist. The condition is clinically diagnosed and management is with antifungal medications. Most simple cases resolve within days. Patients with complicated candidal vulvovaginitis require longer therapy. Pregnant patients should not be given oral antifungals. In these patients, a 7-day course of intravaginal therapy is appropriate. Fluconazole is considered safe in breastfeeding women. There is inadequate evidence to recommend intravaginal or oral yogurt therapy, intravaginal garlic, or douching.

At the same time patient education is important. The condition is not life threatening but can be associated with embarrassment and withdrawal from sexual activities. It is also important to maintain a broad differential diagnosis. Trauma, abuse, foreign body, malignancy, immune diseases, inflammatory bowel disease, and sexually transmitted infections can all present with vaginal discomfort. The provider should always perform a careful and complete physical exam, appropriate ancillary testing as described above, and further testing if treatment failure occurs.

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What Is A Pelvic Exam

A pelvic exam is where a doctor or nurse practitioner looks at a girls reproductive organs . This includes feeling a girls uterus and ovaries to be sure everythings normal.

Teens dont usually get pelvic exams. Sometimes doctors do pelvic exams if they think theres a problem. For example, if a girl complains of heavy bleeding, missed periods, or discharge, the doctor will want to check for a cause. Otherwise, doctors dont recommend regular pelvic exams or Pap smears until a woman is 21 years old.

When To Go To Urgent Care For A Yeast Infection

You may want to seek medical attention for your yeast infection if:

  • This is the first time youâve had yeast infection symptoms
  • Youâre not sure whether you have a yeast infection
  • Your symptoms arenât relieved after treating with over-the-counter antifungal vaginal creams or suppositories
  • You develop other symptoms
  • Your primary care doctor is unavailable

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What Are The Treatments For Vaginitis

Vaginitis is usually easy to cure. The type of vaginitis treatment thats best for you depends on:

  • whats causing your vaginitis

  • how bad your symptoms are

  • whether you’re pregnant

If your vaginitis is caused by a yeast infection, bacterial vaginosis, or trich, your doctor may give you a prescription for creams, suppositories, vaginal tablets, or pills. You can also get medicated creams or suppositories for yeast infections at the drugstore without a prescription. Trich is the only type of vaginitis thats sexually transmitted. So if you have trich its very important for your sexual partners to get treated, too.

If your vaginitis is caused by an allergy or irritation, the symptoms will usually go away when you stop using whatevers causing the problem. Sometimes you might need to use a cream to help clear up your vaginitis. In rare cases of really bad allergic reactions, you may need emergency medical help.

If your vaginitis is caused by low levels of estrogen, your doctor may give you a prescription for creams, pills, or vaginal rings that release estrogen into your body.

No matter what type of vaginitis treatment you need, make sure you:

During your vaginitis treatment:

Are Yeast Infections Contagious

Candida Infection Vaginal Swab Test

Yeast infections arent considered STIs. In rare cases, you can pass a yeast infection from one partner to another.

Its also possible for a baby to get a fungal diaper rash at birth if the mother has a vaginal yeast infection during delivery. You may also pass on a yeast infection to your babys mouth during breastfeeding if Candida overgrowth is present in the breast area.

While you can pass a yeast infection to another person, its not contagious in the same way as other infections are. You wont catch the infection by air or by using the same shower as someone with the infection, for example. If youre concerned about transmission, talk to your doctor about situations in which a yeast infection could be contagious.

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How Do You Prevent Yeast Infections While Pregnant

Whether or not you’re pregnant, the ways to prevent yeast infections include:

  • Keeping your genital area clean and dry
  • Avoiding douching, as well as hygiene sprays, fragrances, or powders in the genital area
  • Wearing cotton underwear, and avoiding underwear made of silk or nylon
  • Avoiding wearing tight-fitting pants or shorts

Does My Sexual Partner Need To Be Treated If I Have A Vaginal Yeast Infection

A note from Cleveland Clinic

Yeast infections are a very common fungal infection that most women or people assigned female at birth will have in their lifetime. Its highly treatable with medication, some of which are available to purchase at your local drug store without a prescription. Even though you may know the signs of a vaginal yeast infection, its important to get examined by your healthcare provider. They can recommend the best treatment based on the type of yeast infection you have and its severity.

Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 09/02/2022.

References

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Yeast Infection After Sex

While its possible to develop a yeast infection after sex, a yeast infection itself is not an STI. Instead, there are other factors at play that can throw off Candida balance in the vaginal area. Vaginal intercourse, as well as penetration via sex toys and fingers, can introduce bacteria.

most common type of vaginal infection in women between the ages of 15 and 44. Its primary causes are bacterial imbalances from douching and sex its not a fungal infection like a typical yeast infection. BV is said to have a strong fishy odor, too.

BV has similar symptoms as a yeast infection, including discharge, burning, and itching. This can make distinguishing between the two infections difficult. But while a vaginal yeast infection doesnt cause long-term complications, untreated BV can.

Among the complications include fertility issues and premature delivery , and a higher risk of contracting STIs.

What Tests Are Done During The Pelvic Exam

How to Treat a Yeast Infection

A sample of cells may be taken as part of a regular test called a Pap smear, or Pap test, to screen for cervical cancer or cells that look like they might lead to cancer. The sample is placed in a solution and sent to a lab where it is examined. Tests also may be done to screen for sexually transmitted diseases.

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Pearls And Other Issues

Although vaginitis is not a dangerous disease, it can be disabling and upsetting to patients. It is important to address social issues and sexual dysfunction in addition to the infection itself.

It is also important to maintain a broad differential diagnosis. Trauma, abuse, foreign body, malignancy, immune diseases, inflammatory bowel disease, and sexually transmitted infections can all present with vaginal discomfort. The provider should always perform a careful and complete physical exam, appropriate ancillary testing as described above, and further testing if treatment failure occurs.

What Are The Symptoms Of Trichomoniasis

The following are the most common symptoms of trichomoniasis:

  • A frothy, often musty-smelling, greenish-yellow discharge

  • Light bleeding, especially after sex

  • Burning during urination

  • Discomfort in the lower abdomen

  • Pain during sex

Some women with trichomoniasis have no symptoms. The symptoms of trichomoniasis may look like other conditions or medical problems. Always consult your health care provider for a diagnosis.

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How Often Should I Get A Pelvic Exam

A Pap smear is recommended starting when women reach 21 years of age. Women ages 21-65 should have routine screening with Pap test every 3 years.

The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force also recommends having a human papillomavirus test or combining it with a Pap test starting after age 30.

Women over age 65 can stop getting screened if theyâve had at least three consecutive negative Pap tests or at least two negative HPV tests within the previous 10 years, according to the guidelines. But women who have a history of a more advanced precancer diagnosis should continue to be screened for at least 20 years.

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What Happens When The Test Is Performed

Candida Infection Vaginal Swab Test

Your doctor or a technician examines the slides under a microscope for signs of infection with yeast, a tiny parasite called Trichomonas, or a bacterium called Gardnerella . If a second cotton swab was used, the doctor sends it to a laboratory for gonorrhea or chlamydia testing.

In the center of the cervix is a channel called the cervical os that leads to the interior of your uterus. If there is bleeding in the uterus, bloody material may be seen coming out through the cervical os. If there is an infection in the uterus, pus can be seen coming out through the os. With certain infections, the outer surface of the cervix can appear irritated, or may have tiny areas of bleeding.

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What Are The Symptoms Of A Yeast Infection

The following are the most common symptoms of a candida infection:

  • A thick, white, cottage cheese-like vaginal discharge that is watery and usually odorless

  • Pain with urination or sex

The symptoms of a vaginal candida infection may look like other conditions or medical problems. Always consult your health care provider for a diagnosis.

What Happens During A Pelvic Exam

A medical assistant or nurse will give you a robe to wear and a sheet to cover you. You’ll be left alone to undress either fully or from the waist down.

The doctor or nurse practitioner will come into the room and talk a bit about what to expect and why they’re doing the exam. Then, you’ll lie on the table so your behind is at the end of the table. You’ll bend your knees and rest your feet in two stirrups, which are metal triangular loops that stick out from the end of the table. These might look a little scary, but they’re just there to rest your feet in and keep you more comfortable.

The doctor will ask you to relax your knees out to the sides as far as they will go. It might feel a little funny to be lying with your legs opened like this, but everyone feels that way at first.

The Internal Exam

Once the speculum is in place, the doctor or nurse will gently open it up. Putting in and opening the speculum shouldn’t hurt. But some women say that it can cause a bit of pressure and discomfort.

The ovaries and uterus are so far inside a girl’s body that they can’t be seen even using a speculum. The doctor or nurse will need to feel them to be sure they’re the right size and free of cysts or other growths.

The entire pelvic exam takes about 3 to 5 minutes.

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How Are Vaginal Yeast Infections Diagnosed

Yeast infections are simple to diagnose. Your doctor will ask about your medical history. This includes whether youve had yeast infections before. They may also ask if youve ever had an STI.

The next step is a pelvic exam. Your doctor will examine your vaginal walls and cervix. Theyll also look at the surrounding area for external signs of infection.

Each yeast infection is different, so your doctor will suggest a treatment thats best for you. Treatments are generally determined based on the severity of your symptoms.

Do I Need To Get A Pelvic Exam For A Yeast Infection

Vaginitis: Candida, BV, Trichomoniasis – Wet Mount Whiff Test Vaginal pH Trich Albicans gardnerella

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What Do The Results Mean

If your results show that you have a yeast infection, your provider may recommend a prescription or over-the counter antifungal medicine. Antifungal medicines come in many forms for different types of infections, including pills, vaginal creams and suppositories, skin creams, powders, and lotions. Your provider will tell you which treatment is best for you.

It’s important to take all your medicine as prescribed, even if you feel better before you finish it. Many yeast infections get better after a few days or weeks of treatment, but certain fungal infections may need treatment for several months or longer before they clear up completely.

Learn more about laboratory tests, reference ranges, and understanding results.

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