Is It a Vaginal Yeast Infection or Something Else?

Every year, millions of cases of vaginitis (vaginal inflammation) affect women of all ages, but they are especially susceptible during the reproductive years.1 Fluctuating hormonal levels, bacteria, and sexual activities are just a few of the most common reasons women experience vaginal infections and discomfort. Knowing your body well and understanding your symptoms, causes, risk factors and treatment options will help you decide upon a course of action that is right for you.

How to identify a vaginal yeast infection

Not all women will experience noticeable symptoms of a yeast infection. If the infection is mild, the symptoms may be subtle. Knowing what’s normal for you will help you identify changes in your vaginal health. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms for the first time, consult your healthcare professional for a diagnosis. Most women have one or more of these yeast infection symptoms:

  • Burning, redness, and swelling of the vagina and vulva
  • Pain when urinating or having sex
  • Vulvar inflammation (redness, swelling, rash)
  • Vaginal pain, soreness, or burning
  • Vaginal discharge that may be thick, white, and lumpy like cottage cheese

The three most common forms of vaginitis are yeast infections, bacterial vaginosis (BV), and trichomoniasis. Symptoms for all three can include some form of vaginal discharge, itching, and irritation, so it is important to understand how they are different so you can get the right treatment. Use the following information as a guide to help identify a vaginal yeast infection:2-5

Common Symptoms

Yeast Infection

Bacterial Vaginitis

Trichomoniasis

Itching/Irritation

Usually

Sometimes

Usually

Odor

None

Fishy or unpleasant

Musty or unpleasant

Discharge

Thick, white, cottage cheese-like

Thin, milky white or grey

Frothy, yellow-green

Burning

Usually

Rare

Usually

Common Treatments

MONISTAT®, other over-the-counter and prescription treatments

Prescription Antibiotics

Prescription Antibiotics

If you experience any of the following symptoms, ask a healthcare professional before using MONISTAT®, as they could be signs of another type of infection.

  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Rash or hives
  • Lower abdominal, back or shoulder pain
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Foul-smelling or greenish/grayish vaginal discharge
  • Missed periods
  • Frequent urination, an urgent need to urinate or difficulty passing urine

Treating a Yeast Infection

If you know that it is a yeast infection from past experience and are familiar with the symptoms, you want an effective and convenient medicine - one that works at the site of the infection. Try MONISTAT®, the #1 OTC antifungal.

MONISTAT® comes in 3 doses: highest dose MONISTAT® 1, regular strength MONISTAT® 3, and low dose MONISTAT® 7. Regardless of which product you choose, you should begin to experience some symptom relief after 3 days, and complete relief in 7 days.

Highest Dose MONISTAT® 1 may be the perfect solution for busy women with active lifestyles. This powerful single-dose product is available in the Ovule® form for use day or night and will stay in place during daily activities, even during exercise.

Regular Strength MONISTAT® 3 is a great option for women who want a less concentrated treatment that provides consistent treatment and relief at moderate dosage levels.

Low Dose MONISTAT® 7 has smaller doses of the active ingredient evenly distributed throughout the week at bedtime. Only 7-day topical yeast infection treatments are recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for the treatment of yeast infections in pregnant and diabetic women (consult your healthcare professional).

When to see your doctor

If you are experiencing symptoms of an infection, but think that it might not be a yeast infection, use the Vaginal Health Test from MONISTAT® CARE™ to help determine if you need to see a doctor.

Make an appointment with your doctor if:

  • It's your first yeast infection
  • You're under 12 years of age
  • You get an abnormal result from the Vaginal Health Test from MONISTAT® CARE™
  • You have missed a period, are pregnant or breastfeeding
  • You have or suspect you may have diabetes
  • You're taking the prescription drug Warfarin
  • You have a weakened immune system
  • You have recurring yeast infections
  • You may have been exposed to HIV
  • You develop other symptoms such as rash, fever, chills, nausea, vomiting, lower abdominal, back or shoulder pain
  • You have foul-smelling or greenish-grayish vaginal discharge
  • You're using MONISTAT® and there is no improvement in symptoms within 3 days
  • You're using MONISTAT® and symptoms last more than 7 days

If you are unsure of what to ask or uncomfortable speaking with your doctor regarding yeast infection concerns, download our Doctor Discussion Guide to help start the conversation.

References:

  1. Company study on file 
  2. http://www.guideline.gov/content.aspx?id=10925
  3. http://www.cdc.gov/fungal/diseases/candidiasis/genital/statistics.html
  4. http://www.cdc.gov/std/bv/stats.htm
  5. http://www.cdc.gov/std/trichomonas/STDFact-Trichomoniasis.htm
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