Yeast infection

Patient

Q: Hi! I've never had a yeast infection before but I think I might have one. I just started on birth control pills about 3 weeks ago and I started feeling itchy a week ago. I've never actually had sex, but I started to hurt and feel itchy down there the day after my bf and I were close to having sex. (he is STD free) It feels itchy on the inside and on the outside. I've had some discharge (was brownish, I think because my period was still hanging in there with the recent change to birth control) and now it's turned to a whitish discharge because my period is pretty much gone. It doesn't smell at all either. Also, I have no pain with urination. I bought some vagisil today and started using it, it's helping a little bit. I also bought some Monistat 3 but noticed the warning on the back that I shouldn't use it if I've never been diagnosed with a yeast infection by a doctor. I have no fever and no other weird symptoms besides symptoms from using birth conrol for the first time. Should I try the Monistat 3? Should I try the over-the-counter Yeast infection test? Is there any danger in taking Monistat if it's not a yeast infection? Thank you!

Doctor

A:   Vaginitis is an inflammation of the vagina that can result in discharge, itching and pain. The cause is usually a change in the normal balance of vaginal bacteria or an infection.
According to your description, I certainly agree that your condition might probably be caused by a fungus called Candida Albicans that usually causes this type of vaginitis. An estimated three out of four women will have a yeast infection like this in their lifetimes.
This is characterized by a main symptom which is itching, but you may have a white, thick discharge that resembles cottage cheese. Having these two symptoms could almost confirm your diagnosis.
You can treat yourself with over the counter antifungal cream or suppository, such as miconazole (Monistat), clotrimazole (Gyne-Lotrimin) and tioconazole (Vagistat). Yeast infections may also be treated with an oral antifungal medication, such as fluconazole (Diflucan). The advantages of over-the-counter treatment for a yeast infection are convenience, cost and not having to wait to see your doctor. Also avoid hot baths, spas, irritants near your vagina and moisture a sweat around the area.

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