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Yeast Infection Detection

If you simply rely on looking at vaginal discharges to detect yeast infection, then you are definitely on the wrong track. Women normally have vaginal discharges at certain points in their menstrual cycle, and this does not mean that they suffer from yeast infections already.

If vaginal discharges are coupled with itchiness and burning sensations in the genitalia, then you might have yeast infection. However, you need to keep in mind that there are also other vaginal infections which are not caused by fungus. Trichomoniasis and bacterial vaginosis are caused by parasites and bacteria, but the symptoms of these are very similar to that of the fungal yeast infection.

Correct diagnosis from a trusted doctor is the most essential step in dealing with yeast infections. An improper diagnosis always leads to improper treatment, which can aggravate your yeast infection. Say, if you actually have yeast infection but you have been misdiagnosed for bacteria-caused infections like vaginosis, the doctor might prescribe you with antibiotics. Antibiotics do not kill yeast fungi; they can make the situation worse by killing the good bacteria that prevents overgrowth of the yeast fungi.

If you seek for professional help in detecting yeast infection, the physician might perform pelvic examinations and obtain discharge samples from your vagina. These clinical tests can determine whether or not you are really suffering from yeast infection or from bacteria-caused vaginal infection.

The Wet Prep/Wet Mount Test

A vaginal wet mount or smear helps a lot in identifying the cause of vaginal irritation. There is no risk involved in the vaginal wet mount procedure, and it can only take a few minutes before it is done.

Before undergoing this clinical procedure, you will need to disrobe from the waist down and then put on a hospital gown or drape. You will be asked to lie on your back with your knees bent and your feet set on the stirrups. A sterile metal or plastic tool called speculum will be inserted into your vagina to keep it slightly open. This procedure is not painful, although you might feel a slight discomfort.

The doctor will do a pelvic examination to check for inflammation in the vulva skin and inside the vagina, after which the doctor will insert a moist and sterile cotton swab to retrieve samples of your vaginal secretions.

Once enough samples are obtained, the swab and speculum will be removed. The discharge samples will be prepared into slides and will be checked under the microscope for evidence of yeast fungus. Some of the specimen might be put into culture to determine if yeast or another type of microorganism is present.

As a preparation for this test, you will be instructed not to use douche, tampons, or vaginal medications 24 hours before the wet mount is performed.

A vaginal wet mount might yield inaccurate results if it's done during menstrual period, as menstrual blood might interfere with the microscopic examination and test results. Pregnant women, or even those who might be pregnant, should inform the examining health professional before performing the wet mount.

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