Understanding Your Body: pH Testing for Vaginal Yeast Infection

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Understanding Your Body: pH Testing for Vaginal Yeast Infection

A yeast infection, also known as candidiasis, is a common condition caused by an overgrowth of the fungus Candida albicans in the body. The symptoms of a yeast infection can vary from itching, burning, and discharge in the vaginal area, as well as pain or discomfort during sex or urination. Around 75% of women worldwide experience at least one yeast infection over their lifetimes.

While vaginal yeast infections are not a sexually transmitted infection, there is an increased risk of contracting it around the same time that one begins to engage in regular sexual activity. Infections can also be linked to mouth-to-genital sex, according to some studies. Activities that improve your sexual health will help reduce the risk of a yeast infection.

This blog will provide instructions for performing a home test for a yeast infection, as well as tips for preventing and managing it if you have one.

At-home vaginal pH testing

One of the ways of testing whether you have a vaginal yeast infection is to take an at-home vaginal pH test.  These tests measure your pH on a scale from 1-14, and is a way to determine the acidity of your vaginal discharge. If your vaginal discharge is more acidic, then it means that it has a lower pH value. 

The vagina is relatively acidic, and it is normal for its pH to range between 4.0-4.5 during one’s reproductive years. Normal vaginal pH is typically associated with vaginal yeast infections, but high vaginal pH is typically caused by trichomoniasis and bacterial vaginosis. By performing a pH test at home, you can take precautions against the non-yeast causes of vaginitis.

Finding out the pH of your vaginal discharge can help you determine the possible underlying issues that might be causing vaginal problems.

What do the results mean?

Your doctor may prescribe you some medication or suggest that you take over-the-counter antifungal medication if your tests reveal that you have a yeast infection. Antifungal medications are available for various infections and come in many forms, such as pills, creams, suppositories for the vaginal area, lotions, pellets, and moisturizers for the skin. Your doctor will determine which treatment option is the best for you.

Even if you start feeling better before you finish using your medication for the prescribed period of time, taking it all as directed is crucial. Many yeast infections improve within a few days or weeks of treatment, while some fungal infections may require several months or more of care before they entirely disappear.

How to choose an at home test for yeast infection?

The best at-home yeast infection test for you will depend on any indications or other medical conditions you may have.

Some things you might consider before choosing the type of home test might include:

  • How quickly you want your results
  • The accuracy of the test
  • The cost of the test
  • The type of packaging used for advertising the test

For a more precise diagnosis, you might need to consult a doctor following several rounds ot tests. You should schedule a visit with a medical practitioner if your test results reveal that your pH levels are abnormal or that you have a vaginal infection of some kind.

Tips for self-care

Although there isn't anything you can do to completely prevent yeast infections, there are a few things you can do from home to help treat them if you get it.


Yogurt with the live cultures of the "friendly" bacteria lactobacillus acidophilus can help you prevent getting a yeast infection. If you’re not big on yogurt, you can also try using lactobacillus acidophilus pills, which may help you avoid them.

Wear breathable clothes

Wear cotton pants and/or underwear instead of tight-fitting ones so that your body can "breathe" and be more exposed to the air. Also, yeast thrives in warm and damp settings, so it’s important to keep your vaginal area dry and airy to avoid your yest infection from recurring.

Non-prescription medications

You might try an over-the-counter medicine to treat your symptoms if you are certain that you have a yeast infection. These products typically come in the form of lotions, liquefiable tablets, or oval-shaped suppositories that are inserted into the vagina. Nevertheless, it’s important to reach out to your doctor if your symptoms don't go away.

When to see your doctor

You may need to go see a doctor about your yeast infection if any of the following three scenarios apply to you:

If you've never had a yeast infection in the past

Consult a physician to ensure that it is not a more serious issue that requires a different course of therapy, such as another sexually transmitted infection (STI) or urinary tract infection.

If you’re pregnant

Any drug, including over-the-counter vaginal creams, must be cleared with your doctor if you are pregnant.

If you get yeast infections frequently

Recurrent vulvovaginal candidiasis is when a patient experiences four or more yeast infections in the space of a year. If you have it, then you will be prescribed an antifungal for up to 6 months. Additionally, persistent yeast infections may indicate diabetes or another medical issue.

You should visit your doctor for your personal peace of mind if you have concerns about your symptoms or if they differ from other yeast infections you have previously experienced. For example, your doctor might suggest a vaginal lotion with ingredients that are as strong as other prescription drugs to relieve the burning and itching more quickly than another over-the-counter remedy. Oral antifungal medicines are another option that doctors might prescribe you to treat your yeast infection.

In any of these situations, it’s important that you consult your doctor before beginning any treatment for a suspected yeast infection because at-home testing for yeast infections cannot substitute a diagnosis from a doctor. It's also necessary to carefully read the directions accompanying your test kit.

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