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?
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.
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.
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!