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Women's Health

Yeast infection?

11/21/2006

Question:

On and off for the past 3 days I`ve felt swelling, burning and itching in the area outside of my vagina. It is rather uncomfortable. I think it might be a yeast infection but how can I be sure?

Answer:

Vaginal yeast infections are quite common in women.  Symptoms include a "cottage cheese" type of vaginal discharge, redness around the outside of the vagina, and itching.  Another cause for the symptoms you are describing could be an allergic or irritative reaction, sometimes to toilet paper or soaps.  

Some women first try an over-the-counter vaginal yeast preparation (your pharmacist can help you locate one), and if not better, go to their physician for an exam.  Other women go straight to the physician for the exam, which is truly the only way to know exactly what is causing your symptoms.  A good handout to read is this one on Vaginits from the American Academy of Family Physicians.

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Response by:

W. Fred Miser, MD W. Fred Miser, MD
Professor of Family Medicine
Director of Ohio State Medicine Residency Program
College of Medicine
The Ohio State University