Yeast Vaginitis (cont.)

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How are vaginal yeast infections and vulvitis diagnosed?

Vaginal yeast infection is suggested when a cheesy white discharge is noted over the walls of the vagina, but the symptoms of vaginal yeast infection are nonspecific and may be a result of other conditions. To firmly establish the diagnosis and to rule out any other causes of the symptoms, your doctor may take a specimen scraped from the affected area for microscopic analysis or for culture in the laboratory. Identification of yeast under a microscope, when possible, is the least expensive and most rapid and accurate way to establish the diagnosis.

What is the treatment for vaginal yeast infection and vulvitis?

Vaginal yeast infection and vulvitis may be treated with antifungal medications that are applied topically in and around the vagina or with antifungal medications taken by mouth. Sometimes, mixed infections with more than one microbe can require combinations of treatments.

Topically applied antifungal creams include:

The over-the-counter topical treatments are an option for some women when yeast is the cause of the infection. As previously mentioned, infection other than yeast can cause similar symptoms. These include bacterial vaginosis, Chlamydia, and gonorrhea. If symptoms are not eliminated by over-the-counter products, women should see their doctor for evaluation.

Antifungal medications that are also available as vaginal tablets include:

Oral medications for yeast vaginitis and vulvitis include fluconazole (Diflucan).

Most doctors prefer to treat vaginal yeast infections with vaginal tablets or suppositories rather than oral medications. Oral antifungal medication can cause side effects such as headache, nausea, and abdominal pain, while vaginal treatment is unlikely to cause these side effects.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 2/4/2013

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