Diagnosis of a Yeast Infection

The diagnosis of yeast infection is usually made based on the patient history, reported symptoms and vaginal examination. Unfortunately, none of the signs is specific for vulvovaginal candidiasis, therefore a laboratory examination, such as vaginal smear microscopy or antibody testing, may often be required.

Mere presence of candida species in the vaginal smear is not indicative of candidiasis, because, as stated above, these organisms may be present in many healthy asymptomatic women. Only in combination with the clinical picture may the laboratory findings suggest of vulvovaginal candidiasis.

Self-diagnosing of yeast infection, quite commonly performed by women, may be a tricky and dangerous practice. Without a specialist’s opinion and a laboratory testing available, the symptoms of STD or bacterial inflammation may be confused for those of yeast infection, and valuable time will be lost in the incorrect treatment attempts. Self-diagnosing should not be attempted by women experiencing the yeast infection for the first time or by women who are at risk of having an STD.

Recurrent yeast infection

Vaginal candidiasis is considered to be recurrent if four or more episodes of yeast infection during a one year period are observed. While the majority of women will experience vaginal candidiasis in some point of their lives, only 5% of women will suffer from the recurrent infection. There is no single opinion regarding the causes of yeast infection recurrence, but some data suggests that weakened immunity, vaginal persistence of the candida, or infection with a non- albicans species of the fungus may be a factor.5