How do I know if I have a yeast infection? Now there’s an app for it!

How do I know if I have a yeast infection or a bacterial infection?

 

how do i know if i have a yeast infection

Not sure if you’ve got a yeast infection or a bacterial vaginosis? Sometimes the symptoms of both conditions are very similar, but it’s important to figure out what kind of infection you’re suffering from in order to treat it effectively.

 

A study done by Saint Louis University focused on women suffering from recurring vaginitis convinced they had a yeast infection, but only 26% of them actually had one. They confused their symptoms with inflammation, dry skin tissues or a sexually transmitted infection and by using antifungal drugs to treat it, their condition was getting worse and worse.

 

So if your over-the-counter antifungal medication doesn’t work, make sure you go to see your doctor to find out what condition you’re suffering from. Having said that, it’s useful to know the most common signs of a vaginal yeast infection:

 

  • red, itchy and swollen vagina and vulva

 

  • pain during sexual intercourse

 

  • a burning sensation while urinating

 

  • vaginal discharge is either transparent and watery or thick and white

 

  • sometimes the skin around vulva and vagina becomes cracked

 

If you’re suffering from a bacterial vaginosis, apart from the above symptoms, you may notice:

 

  • a very unpleasant smell, especially straight after an intercourse

 

  • the discharge is usually abundant, grayish white, yellow or green

 

If you’re still in doubt, you can use diagnostic pH test strips. By placing a little bit of your vaginal discharge on the strip, you’ll find out if your vaginal pH is normal (3.8 to 4.5). If it’s between 4.5 – 5.0 it can indicate a bacterial infection, and a pH higher than 6 – vaginal yeast infection.

 

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Still not sure if it’s a yeast infection?

 

A new app created by Esther Ndagire, Bridget Mendoza and Pearl Margaret Nanyombi from the College of Computing and Information Sciences in Makerere, Uganda will help you figure it out within minutes. It’s called Her Health BVKit and it consists of hardware and a software application.

how do i know if i have a yeast infection

 

The hardware connects to your smartphone app via Bluetooth. If you place a urine or vaginal discharge sample into the kit, the sensor will take the results and send PH values to the app. Then the app will tell you if the bacteria in your vagina are normal or harmful and if you should see a doctor. It will even tell you where the nearest doctor is!

 

The app will initially be targeted at women in remote areas in Africa who don’t have an easy access to healthcare facilities. It’ll help them diagnose themselves without seeing a doctor. Hopefully it’ll become available globally in the near future and enable women around the world to make informed decisions about their health wherever they are.

 

Can you imagine the possibilities it offers? Even if your doctor is round the corner, sometimes a vaginosis may be so painful that even a short walk to your health center may be a challenge. With BVKit you’ll be able to save time, go straight to the pharmacy with your accurate diagnosis and the treatment you need.

 

Where can I download the app?

 

The application and hardware are currently in prototype phase and they are being developed and tested in coordination with doctors from Nsambya hospital and Mayo Clinic.  The free app will be available from the the Windows Store in the near future, however we don’t know yet when it’ll be possible to buy the hardware. I’m very excited to see how this project grows and I’ll keep you updated about further developments!

 

For now, you can watch a video, where the three innovative students, who call themselves Team Code Gurus, present their new app in more detail. Enjoy!

 

 

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15 comments

  • Dear kams,
    Wow, The candida albican is a type of fungal infection that often confused with gonnorrhea because the clinical manifestation of both infection almost the same. Through my experiecne, the people can easily get infected by fungal is by the sexual activity, but the most common individual get this disease is among the woman. Personal hygiene is the best way to prevent candida.

    Stay healthy

  • Wow! What a great idea. I love how technology can help us with preventative health more and more these days, or in this case even diagnose health problems! I really hope that technology going into the future will help ease the pressure on the public health system where people will only need doctors in true emergency situations rather than minor chronic health problems that they can’t yet diagnose themselves with.

    • Thanks for commenting Liz, the digital self diagnosis technologies will definitely benefit both women and public health system, I’m looking forward to seeing how this technology will develop and if it will prove effective in diagnosing vaginal yeast infection and bacterial vaginosis in the long run.

  • Using antifungal drugs only to have one’s condition get worse and worse sounds absolutely tortuous; I’m thrilled that there’s a mobile app that will help women in remote areas obtain an accurate diagnosis!

    I’m particularly intrigued by the hardware sensor as it seems this solution could perhaps be adapted to perform other tests that also require analysis of a sample. Do you happen to know if this solution is based on hardware/software applications that already exist for diabetics, for example, or others, or if there is a plan to extend this technology to other testing scenarios? It just seems like a really great, commonsense approach that could have a lot of wonderful applications.

    Thank you so much for the really interesting article; it’s very intriguing and hugely good news for women in particular!

    • Thanks for your comment Gayle. I don’t know if similar technology is already in use for monitoring other conditions, but it seems very reasonable that it should be developed to monitor overall health, it could check urine or saliva pH to provide accurate information about other sorts of infections, not only vaginal yeast infection and bacterial vaginosis.

  • Hello thanks for sharing our video, I just wanted to clarify (If that’s okay with you) that we are from Makerere University in Uganda not Ghana. Thank you again

  • Thanks for sharing about the App- I had no idea! That will be very handy to have.

    I like you sharing the tip about the ph test strips, it is hard to tell if you have a yeast or bacterial infection sometimes because the symptoms are so similar.

    • Thanks for your comment Dinh. I’m just preparing a review of diagnostic pH test strips that can be used to test vaginal discharge, I’ll be uploading it soon, stay tuned!

  • This is very interesting. It really should not surprise me though, there is an app for everything these days :).

    Apps have really made things convenient and this is no different. It seems as if you could also use this and advise your doctor of your findings. It may help obtain a prescription without a consult??

    I love the fact that women who do not have ready access to a doctor can at least determine what it is they are suffering from. That is huge and very beneficial.

    Thank you for sharing.

    • Thank you for your comment Kellie. You’re right, the kit could be very beneficial even to women with easy access to healthcare. Some infections can get very painful and a trip to the doctor’s can become a challenge. If you can test yourself at home and get medication at the pharmacy straight away, it’s fantastic!

  • I had no idea there was such an app that could help you determine your infection!

    That is crazy! I’m glad I know of it now, so if I ever need to figure it out without going to the doctor I can use it. I think people are always looking for new apps to make their lives easier, so if you find more I would definitely post about them as well.

    Thanks for the great insight.

    • Thank you Karissa, one thing that may be a potential problem is that in order for it to work you not only need the app, but also the sensor, which is a small electronic device. While I know that the app is free, I don’t know how much the sensor will cost, but I guess the price will be affordable since the target market are women in underdeveloped areas.

  • I think the app is a fantastic idea. This is a great idea especially in countries where people have a difficult time to seek medical attention. I too hope that this app is a global product that women can use without going to the doctor first. What a fantastic idea. I’m pretty sure it will go global in a few years. Thanks for sharing this great article.

    • I`m glad you enjoyed the article, I was so excited to share it with my readers! I think the future is bright for Her Health BVKit and I cant’t wait for it to become available globally, it’s definitely got the potential.

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