Dr. Kellogg Spadt explains what causes yeast infections and how they are diagnosed.
Dr. Kellogg Spadt:
Yeast infections or infections where fungus affects either the inside of the vagina or the outer skin or both are actually very common. They are the second most common infections of the genitals in women. They can either be associated with sexual activity or just be associated with things like immunosuppressant, not having strong immune system, perhaps diabetes, perhaps inappropriate hygiene or use of products that are heavily perfumed.
When women get a yeast infection they often can self-treat because there are yeast products over-the-counter. However, when those products fail to cause a decrease in symptoms then it is really important for women to seek care from their health care provider. Yeast infections can be identified through simple swabs that are in the office of the healthcare provider looked at under the microscope, but even more importantly, if those swabs fail to really help the woman and the healthcare provider bring resolution to her symptoms, special cultures can be sent to microbiology labs to be tested for what kind of yeast, there is not one kind, they are many, what kind of yeast is growing and therefore to guide the healthcare community in treating that woman for the specific type of yeast that she has.
If symptoms return and/or are recurrent even after all of that, the skin can actually be biopsied, a small biopsy can be taken, and that tissue can be stained in a special lab to look for fungus in the skin itself, not just in the vagina, but in the skin of the genitals on the outside. So a woman who is knowledgeable about yeast treatment and yeast diagnosis can really help her healthcare provider in coming to a solution to chronic yeast problems.
About Dr. Kellogg Spadt, Ph.D., C.R.N.P.:
Dr. Susan Kellogg Spadt is a Professor of OB/GYN at Drexel University College of Medicine, and professor of Human Sexuality at Widner University. She is also the Director of Vulvar Pain and Sexual Medicine at The Pelvic and Sexual Health Institute. She has her Ph.D. in Human Sexuality from the University of Pennsylvania; her post-masters certificate as an OB/GYN Practitioner from the University of Pennsylvania's Center for Professional Development; her MSN as a Maternal-Child Clinical Specialist from Loyola University and her BSN from the College of St. Teresa.
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