In fact, yeat infections and STDs might occur just because you have a vagina, and that’s not to say vaginal health problems are anything to be ashamed of. Of course, no woman wants to deal with the discomfort that accompanies yeast infections, STDs, and other problems.
The worst thing is when you don’t know what you’re dealing with! This is due to the fact that yeast infections, STDs, and certain other vaginal problems can be extremely similar. Since yeast infections are common, when you experience burning, itching, and unusual discharge, you might be thinking you know for sure what’s going on.
However, there are some more serious conditions that can lead to similar symptoms. Since they require different treatments, it’s essential to understand if you have a yeast infection or STD or something else. So, let’s look at five common vaginal health problems women might confuse for yeast infections.
Trichomoniasis is STD which is extremely common. Moreover, about 70% of people with this STD have no symptoms, according to the CDC. Those who have symptoms, usually experience itching, burning, and thin white, yellowish, or greenish discharge. Other signs of trichomoniasis include pain or discomfort during urination and a strong fishy odor.
However, there is one difference between trichomoniasis and yeast infection – the texture of the discharge. In the case of trichomoniasis, discharge can be white and it has fishy odor in the case of a yeast infection, discharge is yellowish and has no smell. Trichomoniasis treatment involves antibiotics, and in order to prevent reinfection, your partner should also get treatment at the same time as you.
Although herpes manifests itself with one hallmark – painful genital sores, those sores can provoke symptoms that are similar to the symptoms of yeast infections. However, according to the Mayo Clinic, herpes is not accompanied by an unusual discharge. While herpes is currently incurable, doctors might offer antiviral medications that can help suppress the virus.
Chlamydia and gonorrhea
Yeast infections always provoke an inflammation that always causes symptoms like itching and burning. Any health problem that triggers inflammation can also trigger itching and burning. Infections such as chlamydia and gonorrhea are accompanied by inflammation.
Also, some people think that any abnormal change in discharge is linked to yeast infections, even when it’s a sign of chlamydia or gonorrhea. Although these diseases don’t always come with symptoms, when they do, abnormal changes in discharge is one of the most common symptoms. In some cases, gonorrhea and chlamydia can lead to pelvic pain and if left ignored, they can result in pelvic inflammatory disease. These issues are treated with antibiotics.
An allergic reaction or sensitivity
Allergies and sensitivities are also common. Using soap, lotion, or cream with aggressive components can lead to itching and burning. This is called noninfectious vaginitis. The good news is that this is not a result of bacteria, fungus, or other pathogens. The only thing you should do is to identify which ingredients cause your allergy and then cut them out. If you’re not sure you have an allergy or sensitivity, it’s better to talk to your doctor to figure out what’s causing your symptoms.
Bacterial vaginosis is probably the most common vaginal health problem in women of the reproductive age. Bacterial vaginosis is the condition in which the bad bacteria in the vagina start to overgrow. This can occur for different reasons such as douching or sex. Bacterial vaginosis usually leads to changes in discharge, fishy odor, burning, and itching as well as yeast infections. It’s still essential to determine the root cause of your signs since yeast infections and bacterial vaginosis are treated with different options.