Vaginal yeast infection can be diagnosed clinically upon examination but many other conditions such as other vaginal infections, allergic reaction or sensitivity and eczema can cause similar symptoms. Your doctor may recommend tests to confirm the diagnosis.
History and physical examination: Your doctor will take a detailed history of your signs and symptoms. The doctor may ask questions such as:
- When did the symptoms start?
- Do you have any discharge? Has there been a change in colour, smell or consistency of discharge?
- Is there pain, itching, or burning?
- Does your sexual partner have symptoms such as discharge, itching or rash on his penis?
- How many sexual partners do you have, and do you practice safe sex such as using condoms or diaphragms?
- Have you taken any treatment such as over-the-counter drugs?
- Do you have any other disease such as diabetes or HIV/AIDS?
- Are you on any long term medications specifically steroids or oral contraceptive pills?
Test to confirm the diagnosis: Vaginal yeast infection causes cheesy white discharge, but many women may not have discharge or the consistency may be different. Your doctor may recommend urine tests and samples of any discharge to confirm the diagnosis.
- Microscopic examination or culture: A sample of discharge or a specimen scraped from the affected area may be taken for microscopic analysis or culture to confirm the diagnosis and to rule out any other causes of the symptoms. Examination of the vaginal discharge under a microscope (called a wet mount and KOH test) may show Candida and confirm the diagnosis. Microscopic identification of the yeast candida is an easy, inexpensive, rapid and accurate method to confirm the diagnosis. Culture of vaginal discharge or the scraped specimen may be done if infection does not improve with treatment or becomes recurrent.
- Pelvic examination: Examination of the genital area may show swelling (inflammation) of the skin of the vulva and in the vagina, and there may be dry, white plaques on the vaginal wall.
- Urinalysis: This may be done to rule out urinary tract infection.
If needed your doctor may recommend other tests to confirm if some other condition such as other vaginal infections, allergic reaction, or eczema is causing your symptoms.