Is it Trichomoniasis or Yeast Infection?
Is it Trichomoniasis or Yeast Infection?
When you notice unpleasant symptoms such as itching and discharge down there you may start wondering what may be the cause. Is it a yeast infection, a bacterial infection, or maybe one of those sexually transmitted diseases? Your best bet is to get checked by your doctor, get properly diagnosed and treated because studies show that about 20% of women with a supposed yeast infection, actually suffer from a different type of infection.
However, if for any reason you cannot see your doctor immediately and you want to find out what’s happening to you, this article will help you. Today I’ll be focusing on the differences between a vaginal yeast infection and trichomoniasis.
What is a Vaginal Yeast Infection?
A vaginal yeast infection is caused by an organism called Candida. When the bacterial balance in the vagina is disrupted due to hormonal changes, chlorinated water or stress (read more about other causes here) Candida cells start proliferating out of control causing unpleasant symptoms. You may be suffering from a vaginal yeast infection when:
- You feel pain during sexual intercourse
- You get a burning sensation while urinating
- Your vaginal discharge is either transparent and watery or thick and white, like cottage cheese with a yeasty smell
- In some cases, you may notice cracked around your vulva and vagina
If you’re trying to self diagnose, apart from looking at your symptoms, it’s best to do a vaginal health test. Hydrion pH strips can be used at home and it will help you establish if you’re suffering from a yeast infection or a different kind of vaginal infection. This test will determine if your vaginal acidity is normal or abnormal with an easy to read color change result. The test is very accurate, however it will not give reliable results in or menopausal women, or those on a hormonal therapy.
What is Trichomoniasis?
Trichomoniasis is a sexually transmitted disease caused by an organism called Trichomonas vaginalis. It gives similar symptoms to other sexually transmitted diseases that’s why it’s important to get properly diagnosed before starting treatment. Fortunately this infection is very easy to treat. The trichomoniasis symptoms include:
- vaginal discharge is either white, gray, yellow, or green, with frothy texture and an unpleasant smell
- vaginal burning or itching
- vaginal spotting or bleeding
- red and swollen vulva
- frequent need to urinate
- pain during urination or sexual intercourse
The main difference between yeast infection symptoms and triachomasis symptoms is the smell of discharge. In case of a yeast infection it’s yeasty and in case of triachomasis it’s a foul smell. However, these symptoms may be easily confused with bacterial vaginosis or other STDs, so getting your vaginal swabs tested in the laboratory is very important in order to treat the infection.
Fortunately, now you can get tested from the comfort of your home. You can order a test kit called MyLAB Box from MyLAB. It allows you to easily take a small urine, swab or tiny blood sample and send it in a self addressed envelope to the laboratory. You’ll receive a lab-certified results back via email in a matter of days. The test is very convenient and accurate, so you can get properly diagnosed when you cannot see your doctor.
How to Treat a Vaginal Yeast Infection?
There are many treatment options for vaginal yeast infection. From prescription medications to OTC medications and natural homemade remedies. In this section I’ll discuss 2 very effective over the counter yeast infection treatment that will help you get rid of your yeast infection for good.
If you want to treat your yeast infection, you can choose to use over the counter medication or natural remedies, such as aloe vera. The most popular OTC medication is Monistat 7. You have to insert one applicatorful before going to bed for 7 consecutive days.
Your symptoms should improve after the first night, but make sure you follow the whole treatment so that the infection doesn’t come back. If you’re pregnant, consult your healthcare professional before using Monistat 7.
It’s important to take all 7 applicatorfuls and not stop the treatment once your symptoms disappear. Some Candida cells may survive without giving any symptoms and start proliferating again when you finish treatment before taking all 7 doses. If you want to learn more about Monistat, check my article where I review different types of Monistat treatments.
If you notice that common OTC medications, such as Monistat, don’t clear your symptoms, there is another treatment option: Boric Acid Suppositories. Boric Acid is a 100% natural antifungal agent that treats both yeast infections and bacterial vaginosis. It’s also excellent in stubborn cases of recurrent yeast infections.
The treatment consists of inserting once suppository before going to bed for 7 consecutive days. If you suffer from recurrent yeast infections, you can use 1 suppository a week for up to 6 months as a preventative measure, after you finish your 7 day treatment. You can learn more about using boric acid for yeast infections here. It’s not recommended for pregnant and nursing women.
How to Treat Trichomoniasis?
If you suffer from trichomoniasis infection, you’ll be prescribed an oral antibiotic called metronidazole (Flagyl). It’s also the only treatment option for pregnant women. Make sure that your partner also gets treated so you don’t get reinfected. It’s best not to have sex until your symptoms and those of your partner completely disappear.
Update: Research shows that boric acid is very effective when it comes to killing trichomoniasis cells. It’s got a microbial effect on them and it works fine regardless the acidity levels in the vagina. Discuss this option with your doctor if you prefer to avoid taking antibiotics.
Even if your symptoms are gone, don’t interrupt your treatment because some trichomoniasis may survive in the vagina without giving any symptoms and reactivate if you finish your treatment before taking your prescribed dose. It’s also advised to get retested 3 months after you finish treatment to make sure it’s worked.
It’s easy to confuse yeast infection symptoms with those of sexually transmitted diseases, that’s why getting a reliable diagnosis is crucial before starting your treatment. If you don’t follow the right treatment, you may contribute to the spread of a STD or, in case of a yeast infection, your symptoms may worsen and be more difficult to treat.
Always remember to stop having sex when you experience any abnormal vaginal symptoms as well as during your treatment. Fortunately, both trichomoniasis and vaginal yeast infection are easy to treat and it won’t take more than 14 days to recover completely.
If you’ve got any questions or comments, or you’d like to share your experiences with us, we’d love to hear from you! Please use the comment section below.