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Health Questions & Answers



Are the results from an over-the-counter yeast infection test reliable?

Danielle asked this
March 26, 2012 at 10:45 AM



Vaginitis (irritation and or discharge from the vagina) is a common problem. There is a tendency to assume that all vaginitis is from a yeast infection, which may or may not be the case. Unfortunately, Over-the-counter “tests” for vaginal yeast infections don’t really test for yeast infections, here is why: The tests I have seen have the woman measure her vaginal pH, (the acidity of the mucus in the vaginal vault). The normal pH of a premenopausal woman is acidic because of lactobacilli, the pH typically ranges from 4.0 to 4.5. A yeast infection does not change the pH of the vaginal vault, so the pH is also usually around 4.0 to 4.5. It is important to know that many things can change the vaginal acidity. There are other causes of vaginitis such as bacterial vaginosis (BV) or trichomonas that can change the pH. Also blood, semen, and cervical mucus can also change the pH. Pos menopausal women tend to have less lactobacilli, so their vaginal pH tends to be higher. If you are having vaginitis, it might be worth a trial of over the counter treatment, but if your symptoms are not getting better relatively quickly, it is time to see a doctor.

Dr. Jeff Chamberlain, MD Health Coach answered
March 27, 2012 at 8:23 PM
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Yeast Fungal Infections

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