A 2002 study published in Obstetrics & Gynecology found that when women self-diagnosed a yeast infection, only 33 percent got it right, while the remaining women had another type of vaginal infection such as bacterial vaginosis or trichomoniasis. Since symptoms for all three are similar (itching, burning, unpleasant odour, excessive vaginal discharge), it can be hard to tell which is which’but each requires a different treatment.
VagiSense is an over-the-counter screening test, the first of its kind available in Canada. The test involves taking a small swab from inside the vagina. After a few seconds the swab may turn from yellow to blue or green if the level of vaginal acidity is abnormal’likely meaning you have a bacterial or parasitic infection such as bacterial vaginosis or trichomoniasis. In that case, you need to see your doctor for prescription treatment. If the swab remains yellow, you may have a yeast infection and could try a non-prescription remedy. ($18 for two tests; available in pharmacies, vagisense.ca)