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What is a Yeast Infection Test, and Why Is It Important To Your Health?

The Candida fungus occurs naturally in the vaginal region, while the bacteria lactobacillus regulates the growth of this fungus. There is a natural balance between bacteria and the Candida fungus. This balance prevents the overgrowth of the fungi. However, when your system is out of whack, these bacteria will not function properly. This functional disability and imbalance leads to vaginal yeast infection. A vaginal yeast infection is characterized by swelling and redness of the vagina and surrounding tissues. It also causes severe itching and burning in the vagina leading to vaginal pain. People with a vaginal yeast infection can also experience a white vaginal discharge. Most women will experience a vaginal yeast infection once in their lifetime. Certain factors like Pregnancy, diabetes and stress contribute to yeast overgrowth in the vagina. The excessive intake of antibiotics also contributes to vaginal yeast infection. A person with vaginal yeast infection should eat foods rich in vitamins, probiotics, and healthy fats.

If you suspect a yeast infection and go to your healthcare provider, they will perform a yeast infection test. Symptoms can vary depending upon the concentration of yeast on and in the body. Therefore, a yeast test is performed to measure this concentration. These tests help a lot in the proper diagnosis and treatment of yeast infections. Some common yeast infection tests preferred by healthcare providers are given below.

At-Home Testing

At home, the test is available to differentiate a low pH Candida with the high pH Bacterial Vaginosis (BV). It is simply a vaginal pH test. This test does not indicate a yeast infection. Instead, it tells whether your pH is off or not. It measures the abnormal pH level of the vagina. Yeast infection has low pH, while BV has high pH. A low reading on the pH kit will indicate high acidic pH and vice versa.

Having yeast in the vagina isn’t always a concern. It only becomes an issue when the yeast overgrows. These tests may or may not detect the amount of vaginal yeast present and whether it is causing your symptoms. Commercial tests should not be used to begin at-home yeast infection therapy unless comparable symptoms have previously been identified as yeast by your healthcare provider.

Lab Test

A microscopic examination of a vaginal smear sample is the standard test for yeast infection. Yeast is frequently seen in such samples. Your doctor can do the vaginal smear, or the patient can also take it. These self-smears have been demonstrated to be as useful in identifying yeast infections. The swab is straightforward and painless to perform. You will be instructed on how to obtain it. This form of self-smear is not the same as a yeast home test. The patient collects the smear, and the doctor analyzes it under a microscope.

Vaginal Secretion test

If you have recurring yeast infections or severe symptoms, the vaginal secretion test is done. In this test, your healthcare provider sends your vaginal fluid to a laboratory to be cultured for yeast. This test is also called a culture test. It can assist in identifying the precise type of yeast that is causing an infection. Like a test for bad bacteria, this test will guide therapy choices. Less prevalent forms of yeast frequently cause infections that are not curable with standard therapies. Such infections are diagnosed with secretion tests.

Vaginal Wet Mount and KOH test

The vaginal wet mount test and KOH test are the two standard tests for accurate yeast infection diagnosis.

Your healthcare provider or a lab technician will mix a sample of your vaginal discharge with a salt solution in the vaginal mount test. The sample is placed on a glass slide and examined under a microscope. You have a yeast infection if you have an abnormally high number of Candida microorganisms and white blood cells. It signals your body is battling an infection. Other diseases, such as bacterial vaginosis, can be ruled out using the wet mount.

The KOH test uses potassium hydroxide in place of salt solution. This treatment eliminates bacteria and vaginal cells, leaving just the fungus in your vagina. If the KOH has a fishy or amine odour, you may have bacterial vaginosis. This test helps to determine whether a Candida species other than Candida albicans is causing chronic infection or not.

By taking you through each of these types of yeast infection tests, we hope to help you become more informed when you take the next step in your healing journey. That’s what it’s all about: Your personal health and wellness. By monitoring yourself for signs and symptoms of a yeast infection, and getting tested if you notice anything out of the ordinary, you can hopefully work to treat your infection quickly and avoid additional discomfort.

About The Author: Dan Jackowiak, Nc, HHP, Founder of Yeast Infection Advisor. Dan is a Holistic Healthcare Practitioner and Nutritional Consultant that personally suffered from yeast and bad bacterial overgrowth of the gut for most of his life. The information on his website is a combination of his own nutrition and holistic training, life experiences, collaboration with fellow experts on his team, and over 18 years of studying medical research on candida yeasts infections of all types, which has allowed him to take his life and health back help others overcome yeast-related health problems and digestive problems of all kinds.