According to Susan Hoffstetter, Ph.D., an SLUCare women’s health nurse practitioner and assistant professor of obstetrics, gynaecology, and women’s health at Saint Louis University School of Medicine, “Everything that itches isn’t a yeast infection.”
“Humans can’t stop indulging themselves. They repeatedly treat yeast infections by either purchasing OTC medications or making doctor’s appointments.”
Hoffstetter, co-director of the SLUCare Vulvar and Vaginal Disease Clinic, which treats women with chronic pain, unhealthy discharges, or skin problems in the vaginal area, estimates that nearly three out of four women are self-treating or calling a doctor for a medicine to treat a problem they don’t have.
If you treat yourself and the problem persists, Hoffstetter advises, you shouldn’t keep doing so. You are exacerbating the problem and may experience recurrent bouts of what seems to be a yeast infection.
Some of the Symptoms Yeast Infection
Three-quarters of all women will get a vaginal yeast infection at some point in their lives. Some of the symptoms include a burning, red, and swollen vaginal area; a thick, white, cottage cheese-like discharge; pain while urination; and pain during intercourse.
Hoffstetter reviewed the medical files of over 150 new patients at the SLUCare Vulvar and Vaginal Disease Clinic, an outpatient facility for women who suffer from recurrent vaginitis. Among these ladies, 26% really experienced yeast infections despite their beliefs.
She concluded that there was insufficient evidence to diagnose a yeast infection despite the patient’s complaints.
Inflammation, dry skin tissues, or a sexually transmitted infection could all account for the women’s itching and vaginal discharge. It’s not the same as treating a yeast infection with anti-fungal medication, therefore it’s not the first option.
Women who suspect they have a yeast infection should see a doctor or a women’s health nurse practitioner, she says. The doctor or nurse practitioner will examine your pelvis for signs of inflammation and abnormal fluid loss.
A swab may be taken so the doctor can analyse it in a lab or look at it under a microscope to determine if yeast is to blame.
“If a woman suspects she has a yeast infection, she should not go visit the local pharmacy. The best option is to be judged “To quote Hoffstetter:
Hoffstetter presented the results of her research at a recent educational session hosted by the International Society for the Study of Vulvovaginal Disease.