At-Home Yeast Infection Test
- Also Known As:
- At-Home Vaginitis Test
- At-Home Vulvovaginitis Test
- At-Home Candida Test
- At-Home Vaginal Health pH Test Strips
- At-Home Feminine Screening Kit for Vaginal Infections
Test Quick Guide
Vaginal yeast infections are a common cause of vaginitis and vulvovaginitis, a condition in which the vagina and/or vulva becomes inflamed and irritated. Vaginitis is usually caused by an imbalance of normal vaginal microorganisms resulting in an overgrowth of vaginal yeast. Certain sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) can cause similar symptoms. Vaginal yeast infections are most often seen in patients that are immunosuppressed, have diabetes, are pregnant, or have recently used a broad-spectrum antibiotic.
At-home yeast infection tests enable you to narrow down the possible causes of vaginitis. These tests use a sample of vaginal discharge to provide information about possible causes of vaginitis and facilitate a conversation with your doctor or gynecologist.
Testing for yeast with an at-home test is not as thorough as testing done at a clinic or doctor’s office, and at-home testing is not a replacement for medical care administered by a professional.
About the Test
Purpose of the test
The purpose of yeast infection testing is to determine if vaginitis is caused by yeast or by a different microorganism such as bacteria or some other organism associated with a sexually transmitted disease.
Vaginitis often causes uncomfortable vaginal symptoms such as:
- Pain during sex or when urinating
- Vaginal discharge
There are several options when looking for a cause of vaginitis, including physician-ordered and at-home tests. The following information describes the purposes of at-home and physician-ordered vaginal yeast infection tests.
Purpose of an at-home vaginal yeast infection test
An at-home yeast infection test allows you to look for evidence of a vaginal yeast infection in the privacy of your home. There are several types of at-home yeast infection tests that are available for purchase, including vaginal pH test strips and self-collection kits that allow you to collect a sample at home and mail it to a laboratory for nucleic acid amplification testing (NAAT).
Although these at-home tests can provide information about whether a yeast infection is the likely cause of your symptoms, determining the cause of vaginal symptoms should be done by a trained professional. Doctors have access to additional tests that may be used to accurately diagnose the cause of your symptoms.
Purpose of a physician-ordered vaginal yeast test
Physician-ordered vaginal yeast infection testing is performed to diagnose the cause of vaginitis so that appropriate treatment can be started.
To diagnose the cause of vaginitis, your doctor may ask about your symptoms, examine the affected area, and take a sample of vaginal discharge. Several tests may be conducted on this sample of vaginal discharge that help to determine the cause of your symptoms.
What does the test measure?
Vaginal yeast infections are caused by a type of fungus called Candida. Small amounts of Candida are normally present in your mouth, digestive tract, and skin. Also, small amounts of yeast can be found in your vagina without causing any symptoms.
Under normal circumstances, Candida and other microscopic organisms in the vagina keep each other in balance. However, a yeast infection may occur if conditions change in a way that promotes an overgrowth of yeast. This abnormal overgrowth of yeast can lead to uncomfortable symptoms.
Yeast is not the only disorder that can cause symptoms of vaginitis. Other common types of vaginal infections include bacterial vaginosis (BV) and a sexually transmitted parasite called trichomonas that causes trichomoniasis. While most vaginitis is caused by infections, other causes of symptoms include chemical irritations and low hormone levels.
There are a number of commercially available at-home tests that provide information about the cause of vaginitis. The two types of tests available are described in the following sections.
At-home vaginal pH testing
A number of at-home vaginal tests use pH testing to provide information about whether your symptoms are likely caused by an infection.
A measurement of vaginal pH describes the acidity of vaginal discharge on a scale ranging from 1 to 14. Lower numbers indicate that a substance is more acidic. The normal environment of the vagina is relatively acidic, with a normal pH of 4.0 to 4.5 for people during their fertile years. Vaginal yeast infections are generally associated with a normal vaginal pH, while trichomoniasis and bacterial vaginosis tend to cause a high vaginal pH. At-home pH tests can help you rule out these non-yeast causes of vaginitis.
Knowing the pH of your vaginal discharge may help narrow down what underlying problem is causing vaginal symptoms. However, changes or increases in your vaginal pH do not always indicate that you have a vaginal infection, so it’s important to discuss your results with a doctor or gynecologist.
At-Home NAAT Testing
Some at-home vaginitis tests use nucleic acid amplification testing (NAAT) in a laboratory to determine if vaginitis is caused by yeast or something else. This test method analyzes the DNA and RNA in samples of vaginal discharge to identify bacteria, fungi, or parasites. DNA and RNA carry genetic information for living things, including microorganisms that cause infection.
At-home vaginal yeast infection tests that use NAAT testing may focus on detecting just one type of infection or several potential causes of vaginitis. In addition to yeast, they may look for bacteria and sexually transmitted diseases that cause similar symptoms, such as trichomoniasis, chlamydia, and gonorrhea.
It’s important to check the product information accompanying your test kit to find out exactly which microorganisms it can detect.
When should I get an at-home vaginal yeast test?
There are no expert guidelines for when it’s appropriate to use an at-home vaginal yeast infection test. If you have symptoms of vaginitis (inflammation of vagina) or vulvovaginitis (inflammation of both vagina and vulva), it is best to see a health care provider. If getting in to see a doctor or nurse promptly is difficult, at-home vaginal yeast infection tests can provide information about whether your vaginal symptoms may be caused by an infection.
At-home vaginal yeast testing can not detect all cases of vaginitis. It is important to talk to your health care provider about your symptoms in order to access appropriate testing and treatment.
Benefits and Downsides of At-Home Vaginal Yeast Test
Every medical test is associated with risks and benefits. Learning about the pros and cons of at-home vaginal yeast testing may help you decide whether at-home testing is the right approach for you.
The potential benefits of at-home vaginal yeast testing include:
- Privacy and convenience: At-home vaginal yeast test kits allow you to conduct testing at your home.
- Easy sample collection: At-home test samples can be easily self-collected.
- Combining with STD tests: Some at-home vaginal yeast infection tests offer panels or packages of tests that include tests for vaginal yeast infections and common STDs, allowing people to screen for STDs using the same test samples.
- Transparent pricing: The costs of testing in a medical setting may be uncertain and depend on what and how many tests are performed. With at-home testing, your out-of-pocket costs are clear.
The potential risks of at-home yeast infection testing include:
- Limited test options: When you have vaginal yeast testing in a medical setting, multiple tests may be done, including a physical exam, examination under a microscope of vaginal discharge, and a culture, if needed. These options are not available through at-home testing.
- pH testing is of limited value for some people: The normal vaginal pH is higher in people before they are old enough to menstruate as well as after menopause. Because of this, testing pH is of limited value for people in these age groups.
- Overdiagnosis and overtreatment: Because vaginal pH is not a conclusive test, at-home vaginal pH tests may lead people to use treatments for vaginal yeast infections that they don’t need.
- Additional testing may be required: Patients who receive abnormal test results on an at-home vaginal yeast test may need to have the test repeated through a doctor’s office or laboratory.
Types of At-Home Vaginal Yeast Tests
Commercially available at-home vaginal yeast infection tests either measure vaginal pH or use NAAT technology to detect the presence of yeast, bacteria, or sexually transmitted disease.
Some of our picks for the best available options are described below.
Best pH Test
Natureland – Vaginal Health pH Test Strips
Price: See best price on Amazon
Sample: Vaginal secretions
Tests for: Vaginal pH
Results timeline: Within 20 seconds
Our pick for best pH yeast infection test is Natureland’s Vaginal Health pH Test Strips. When there are symptoms of itching, burning, odor, and/or discharge, and the pH is high, it suggests the presence of a bacterial vaginosis or trichomoniasis. This strip will not detect the presence of a yeast infection directly, but it can help you rule out these other causes of similar symptoms.
The Vaginal Health pH Test Strips from Natureland comes with 40 pH strips in each kit. The test strips are individually packaged.
To test your vaginal pH, start by washing your hands and carefully removing a test strip from the package. Using a cotton swab, collect a sample from the vaginal wall and use it to moisten the reagent pad on the test strip. Discard the cotton swab and match the reacted color of the pH test strip to the color chart provided on the bottle.
For color reference kits, vaginal acidity/alkalinity is measured on a scale of 1-14. Normal values are between 3.5 and 4.5. This test measures vaginal pH, but it isn’t able to diagnose or rule out the presence of a yeast infection or an sexually transmitted disease (STD), so it’s important to discuss results with your doctor or gynecologist.
Best Drugstore pH Test
CVS Health – Feminine Screening Kit for Vaginal Infections
Sample: Vaginal secretions
Tests for: Vaginal pH
Results timeline: Within a few minutes
If you want to test for vaginal pH using an at-home test from a drugstore, consider CVS Health’s Feminine Screening Kit for Vaginal Infections. The kit includes two swabs and detailed instructions for conducting and interpreting this test.
The Testing Feminine Screening Kit for Vaginal Infections measures vaginal pH, which can help you decide if further medical attention is required when vaginal symptoms of itching, burning, odor, and/or discharge are present. This test is used outside of the menstrual window and should not be performed within a day of starting your period or within five days after your period has ended. This test is not designed for people who have reached menopause.
Be sure to conduct this test according to instructions contained in the test kit. Test results are available within a few minutes of finishing the test and can be interpreted by checking the tip of the swab to see if it has turned blue or green, both of which indicate an abnormal vaginal pH.
Keep in mind that an abnormal result indicating a higher pH than normal on the Feminine Screening Kit for Vaginal Infections suggests a non-yeast cause of infection such as bacterial vaginosis or trichomoniasis and requires a follow-up appointment with your doctor.
Best Subscription pH Test
Stix – Vaginal pH Test for Yeast Infections
Sample: Vaginal secretions
Tests for: Vaginal pH
Results timeline: Within 2 minutes
The Vaginal pH Test for Yeast Infections from Stix is our pick for best subscription pH yeast infection test. In addition to offering individual tests, Stix test kit helps you measure your vaginal pH on a regular basis by offering a subscription program that will send you a test kit every two, four, eight, or twelve weeks. This kit does not diagnose yeast infections directly, but it can help you determine whether a non-yeast cause of vaginitis may be present.
This test kit includes everything you need to test vaginal pH at home, including a test strip, cotton applicator, and detailed instructions. To conduct the test, simply insert the cotton applicator into the vagina for about five seconds, then remove and rub the cotton swab on the yellow portion of the test strip. To read your vaginal pH test result, compare the test strip to the color chart on the test kit’s foil pouch.
An abnormally high pH test result with symptoms of vaginitis indicates you may have bacterial vaginosis or trichomoniasis. A normal pH level with symptoms of vaginitis indicates you may have a yeast infection.
In addition to the Vaginal pH Test for Yeast Infections, Stix offers several other products related to yeast infections, including probiotics, treatments, and combo packages that allow you to both test for and treat yeast infections from home.
Best Bulk pH Test
Nutrablast – Feminine pH Test Strips
Price: See best price on Amazon
Sample: Vaginal secretions
Tests for: Vaginal pH
Results timeline: Within 30 seconds
The Feminine pH Test Strips from Nutrablast includes a roll of test strips long enough to test your vaginal pH around 100 times. The large number of simple tests provided in one kit makes the Feminine pH Test Strips our pick for best pH yeast infection kit for frequent retesting.
To use the Feminine pH Test Strips, start by washing your hands and cutting a piece of pH test strip from the roll. Insert the test strip into your vagina so that it comes into contact with the vaginal wall. Keep the test strip in place for five seconds.
Once you remove the test strip from your vagina, wait 30 seconds before comparing the test strip color to the chart provided on the test kit package. The color chart includes information about which colors are normal and which are abnormal. If you have vaginitis symptoms and an abnormally high pH test result, you may have bacterial vaginosis or trichomoniasis. If you have symptoms and a normal pH level, you may have a yeast infection.
Best NAAT Test
LetsGetChecked – Home Vaginitis Test Kit
Price: $239 (Get 25% off with your exclusive Testing.com discount code. Use code TESTING25 at checkout.)
Sample: Vaginal secretions
Tests for: Bacterial Vaginosis, Candida Species, Trichomonas
Results timeline: Within 2 to 5 days
The Home Vaginitis Test Kit from LetsGetChecked is our pick for best at-home NAAT test. This panel of tests detects three of the most common causes of irritation in the vagina. In addition to all of the supplies needed to collect your test sample and mail it to the laboratory, LetsGetChecked includes clinical support and medication for these conditions at no extra cost.
Collecting a sample for the Home Vaginitis Test Kit is simple using the instructions and video tutorials provided by LetsGetChecked. For accurate results, be sure to wait to collect your sample until after your menstrual period and at least 48 hours after sex or using vaginal creams or gels.
Once your sample is packaged and mailed using the prepaid shipping envelope, test results are available within 2 to 5 days after the CLIA-certified laboratory receives your sample. LetsGetChecked provides results through a secure online result dashboard and the LetsGetChecked smartphone app.
As part of your purchase, the company includes a review of your results by a LetsGetChecked physician and a 1-on-1 call to provide guidance and treatment options based on your test results. If your results are positive and require treatment, medications will be sent directly to your home.
Most Comprehensive NAAT Test
my LAB Box – 5 Panel At Home Vaginal Health Test Pack
Sample: Vaginal secretions
Tests for: Bacterial Vaginosis, Candida Species, Trichomoniasis, Chlamydia, Gonorrhea
Results timeline: Within 2 to 5 days
Combining testing for a vaginal yeast infection with routine STD testing can save time and money. The 5 Panel At Home Vaginal Health Test Pack from myLAB BOX is our choice for the most comprehensive NAAT yeast infection test.
The 5 Panel At Home Vaginal Health Test Pack includes everything you need to test for five potential causes of abnormal vaginal discharge, including yeast infections, bacterial vaginosis, and the sexually transmitted diseases trichomoniasis, chlamydia, and gonorrhea.
Order this package online and a test kit is shipped from myLAB BOX to your home in discreet packaging. Collecting a sample of vaginal secretions is simple and takes just 5 minutes from start to finish. Instructions provided in the test kit walk you through using a swab to collect your sample and package it for free return shipping.
Within two to five days after your sample is received by the CLIA-certified laboratory, you can access your results on myLAB BOX’s secure online portal. If your test results are positive, myLAB BOX provides a free phone consultation to discuss your results and provide treatment if needed.
Interpreting At-Home Vaginal Yeast Test Results
Interpreting your at-home vaginal yeast test result depends upon what kind of test is used.
Interpreting a vaginal pH test requires comparing a test strip to a color chart included with your kit. After testing your sample of vaginal discharge, you can immediately compare the color to the test kit and find your vaginal pH.
A pH in the normal range indicates that vaginal yeast is a potential cause of your symptoms. While results indicating a normal vaginal pH in the presence of symptoms of vaginitis suggest that you may have a yeast infection, it is possible that your symptoms are caused by something else. You should contact your doctor to discuss whether to make an office appointment for additional testing.
An abnormal result showing an elevated pH could be caused by several conditions, including:
- Bacterial vaginosis (BV)
- Having both BV and a yeast infection at the same time
Regardless of your vaginal pH test result, it is important to contact your health care provider to discuss any vaginal symptoms that you’re experiencing.
If you purchase an NAAT test kit, you will be able to view your test results on a secure online platform after your sample is received and analyzed in the lab. Test results will indicate which microorganisms were tested and whether they were detected or not detected.
If microorganisms are not detected, your report may indicate that your results are normal. If microorganisms are detected, your results may be described as abnormal.
It’s important to talk to your doctor about the results of at-home NAAT testing. The company that provided your test kit may also help arrange a consultation with a health professional.
Are test results accurate?
Research has shown that self-testing vaginal pH as well as collecting samples at home for NAAT testing are similar in accuracy to testing performed by health care providers. However, at-home vaginal yeast infection testing is not a replacement for physician-ordered tests and you should talk to your doctor before treating a suspected yeast infection.
It is also important to follow the instructions that come with your test kit carefully. Sometimes pH testing is inaccurate because certain substances, including medications used in the vagina, menstrual blood, semen, douches, and lubricants, can temporarily raise vaginal pH.
Do I need follow-up tests?
A health care provider may recommend retesting to confirm the results of an at-home vaginal yeast infection test. Your health care provider may also wish to order additional tests that can only be performed in a medical setting, such as examining vaginal discharge under a microscope or performing a culture of vaginal discharge.
Follow-up testing may also be recommended if your symptoms persist or come back after treatment for a vaginal yeast infection.
Questions for your doctor after at-home vaginal yeast testing
After taking an at-home vaginal yeast infection test, it is important to speak with your health care provider about the test results. Questions that might be helpful include:
- What does my at-home vaginal yeast infection test result mean about my health?
- Are any follow-up tests needed to confirm my at-home test results?
- Is there anything that I can do to reduce my risk of yeast infections?
At-home vaginal yeast infection testing vs. physician-ordered vaginal yeast infection testing
Yeast infection testing uses samples of vaginal discharge to diagnose the cause of symptoms related to vaginitis. At-home and physician-ordered testing differs in several ways, including the type of tests available and the established role of each approach.
When testing is performed by a medical provider, the provider is able to choose from a variety of tests based on a patient’s symptoms and the results of a physical exam. In contrast, at-home testing options are limited to vaginal pH and NAAT testing.
Although some at-home test companies facilitate access to a medical professional after abnormal test results, these consultations are usually restricted to discussing the test result. When vaginal yeast infection testing is performed by a medical professional, visits typically include further guidance related to your reproductive and sexual health.
One of the most important differences between at-home and physician-ordered tests is their established medical role. Although research suggests that the accuracy of at-home tests may be comparable to testing conducted by a medical provider, there are few guidelines regarding the appropriate use of at-home vaginal yeast infection tests.
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