Yeast Infection Tests: MedlinePlus Medical Test (2023)

What is a Yeast Test?

A yeast test can help find out whether you have a yeast infection. Yeast is a type of fungus that lives on your skin and genitals and in your mouth and intestines (gut).

Candidiasis, candidosis, and moniliasis are other names for a yeast infection.

Normally, yeast doesn't cause problems. But if yeast grows out of control, it can cause a bothersome infection that needs treatment. If you're generally healthy, a yeast infection is rarely serious. But in people with weakened immune systems, a yeast infection may become very serious. It may affect the blood, heart, brain, eyes, bones, and other parts of the body. This is called an invasive yeast infection.

Other names: potassium hydroxide preparation, fungal culture; fungal antigen and antibody tests, calcofluor white stain, fungal smear

What is it used for?

A yeast test is used to diagnose yeast infections. There are different methods of yeast testing, depending on where you have symptoms.

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Why do I need a yeast test?

Your health care provider may order a test if you have symptoms of a yeast infection. Symptoms depend on where the yeast is growing. Yeast infections tend to grow in moist areas of your skin and mucous membranes.

These are the typical symptoms of some common types of yeast infections, but your symptoms may vary:

Yeast infections on the folds of the skin include conditions such as athlete's foot and diaper rash. Symptoms include:

  • Bright red rash, often with ulcers (open sores)
  • Itching and/or burning
  • Pimples

Vaginal yeast infections are very common. Symptoms include:

  • Genital itching and/or burning
  • A white discharge that looks like cottage cheese
  • Pain when urinating (peeing) and during sex
  • Redness and swelling of the vagina and labia (folds of skin around the vagina)

Yeast infection of the penis is more common if you have diabetes or a foreskin. Symptoms include:

  • Redness
  • Itching and/or burning
  • Rash on the head of the penis that may be painful

Yeast infection of the mouth is called thrush. It is common in young children. Thrush in adults may be a sign of a weakened immune system. Symptoms include:

(Video) Dr. Explains How A Yeast Infection Is Diagnosed

  • White patches on the:
    • Tongue
    • Inside of cheeks
    • Roof of the mouth
    • Throat
  • Redness or soreness
  • Cotton-like feeling in the mouth
  • Loss of taste
  • Pain while eating

Yeast infection at the corners of the mouth may be caused by thumb sucking, ill-fitting dentures, or frequent licking of the lips. Symptoms include:

  • Cracks and redness at the corners of the mouth

Yeast infection in the nail beds can happen in the fingernails or toenails, but it's more common in toenails. Symptoms include:

  • Discolored nail (yellow, brown, or white)
  • Thick nail
  • Cracks in the nail
  • Pain and redness if the infection is severe

What happens during a yeast test?

The type of test depends on the location of your symptoms.

To test for:

  • A vaginal yeast infection - Your provider will perform a pelvic exam and take a sample of the discharge from your vagina.
  • Thrush - Your provider will look at the infected area in the mouth and may scrape some cells to examine under the microscope.
  • A yeast infection on the skin or nails - Your provider may use a blunt-edged instrument to scrape off a small bit of skin or part of a nail to examine. During this type of test, you may feel some pressure and a little discomfort.

Your provider may be able to tell if you have a yeast infection just by looking at the infected area and examining a sample of the cells under a microscope. If there are not enough cells in the sample to find an infection, you may need a fungal culture test.

During a fungal culture test, the cells in your sample are sent to a lab to grow until there are enough cells to test. Results are often available within a few days. But some yeast grows slowly, so it may take weeks to get a result.

(Video) Lab Results, Values, and Interpretation (CBC, BMP, CMP, LFT)

If your provider thinks you may have an invasive yeast infection in your blood or organs, you may have a fungal culture test or other tests on a sample of blood, other fluid, or tissue from the part of your body that may be infected.

Are there any risks to the test?

There is no known risk to having a yeast test.

What do the results mean?

If your results show that you have a yeast infection, your provider may recommend a prescription or over-the counter antifungal medicine. Antifungal medicines come in many forms for different types of infections, including pills, vaginal creams and suppositories, skin creams, powders, and lotions. Your provider will tell you which treatment is best for you.

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It's important to take all your medicine as prescribed, even if you feel better before you finish it. Many yeast infections get better after a few days or weeks of treatment, but certain fungal infections may need treatment for several months or longer before they clear up completely.

Learn more about laboratory tests, reference ranges, and understanding results.

Is there anything else I need to know about a yeast test?

Certain antibiotics can cause yeast to grow out of control. So, be sure to tell your provider about any medicines you are taking.

At-home tests for vaginal yeast infections can tell you if your symptoms are likely to be from a yeast infection. But they may not be able to confirm the diagnosis. It's best to talk with your provider about your symptoms and which test is best for you. This is important, because many symptoms of a vaginal yeast infection are the same as the symptoms from certain sexually transmitted diseases (STDs).

References

  1. Arya NR, Rafiq NB. Candidiasis. StatPearls Publishing [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): [last update 2022 Feb 12; cited 2022 Mar 9]; [about 8 screens]. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK560624/
  2. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention [Internet]. Atlanta: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services; Candidiasis; [reviewed 2020 Oct 30; cited 2022 Mar 9]; [about 6 screens]. Available from: https://www.cdc.gov/fungal/diseases/candidiasis/
  3. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention [Internet]. Atlanta: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services; Fungal Nail Infections; [reviewed 2020 May 22; cited 2022 March 9]; [about 9 screens]. Available from: https://www.cdc.gov/fungal/nail-infections.html
  4. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention [Internet]. Atlanta: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services; Invasive Candidiasis; [reviewed 2020 Dec 29; cited 2022 Mar 11]; [about 8 screens]. Available from: https://www.cdc.gov/fungal/diseases/candidiasis/invasive/index.html
  5. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention [Internet]. Atlanta: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services; Candida infections of the mouth, throat, and esophagus; [reviewed 2021 Feb 5; cited 2022 Mar 11]; [about 4 screens]. Available from: https://www.cdc.gov/fungal/diseases/candidiasis/thrush/
  6. Hinkle J, Cheever K. Brunner & Suddarth's Handbook of Laboratory and Diagnostic Tests. 2nd Ed, Kindle. Philadelphia: Wolters Kluwer Health, Lippincott Williams & Wilkins; c2014. Candida Antibodies; 122 p.
  7. Mayo Clinic [Internet]. Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research; c2022. Oral Thrush; [cited 2022 Mar 11]; [about 5 screens]. Available from: https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/oral-thrush/diagnosis-treatment/drc-20353539
  8. Merck Manual Consumer Version [Internet]. Kenilworth (NJ): Merck & Co., Inc.; c2022. Candidiasis; [reviewed 2021 Apr; cited 2022 Mar 11]; [about 5 screens]. Available from: https://www.merckmanuals.com/home/infections/fungal-infections/candidiasis#v787792
  9. Merck Manual Consumer Version [Internet]. Kenilworth (NJ): Merck & Co., Inc.; c2022. Candidiasis (Yeast Infection); [reviewed 2021 Sep; cited 2022 Mar 11]; [about 6 screens]. Available from: https://www.merckmanuals.com/home/skin-disorders/fungal-skin-infections/candidiasis-yeast-infection#v8571022
  10. Mount Sinai [Internet]. Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai; c2022. Skin Lesion KOH Exam; [reviewed 2021 Jun 19; cited 2022 Mar 11]; [about 3 screens]. Available from: http://www.mountsinai.org/health-library/tests/skin-lesion-koh-exam
  11. Testing.com [Internet]. Seattle (WA): OneCareMedia; c2022. At-Home Yeast Infection Test; [modified 2021 Dec 14; cited 2022 Mar 9]; [about 15 screens]. Available from: https://www.testing.com/tests/at-home-yeast-infection-test/
  12. Testing.com [Internet]. Seattle (WA): OneCare Media; c2022. Fungal Tests; [modified 2021 Nov 9; cited 2022 Mar 9]; [17 screens]. Available from: https://www.testing.com/tests/fungal-tests/
  13. Testing.com [Internet]. Seattle (WA): OneCare Media; c2022. Glossary: Culture; [cited 2022 Mar 9]; [about 1 screen]. Available from: https://www.testing.com/glossary/#culture
  14. University of Rochester Medical Center [Internet]. Rochester (NY): University of Rochester Medical Center; c2022. Health Encyclopedia: Microscopic Yeast Infection; [cited 2022 Mar 9]; [about 6 screens]. Available from: https://www.urmc.rochester.edu/encyclopedia/content.aspx?contenttypeid=85&contentid=P00265
  15. WomensHealth.gov [Internet]. Washington DC: Office on Women's Health, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services; Vaginal yeast infection; [updated 2019 Apr1; cited 2022 Mar 9]; [about 11 screens]. Available from: https://www.womenshealth.gov/a-z-topics/vaginal-yeast-infections

FAQs

What test is done to check for yeast infection? ›

Test vaginal secretions.

Your doctor may send a sample of vaginal fluid for testing to determine the type of fungus causing the yeast infection. Identifying the fungus can help your doctor prescribe more effective treatment for recurrent yeast infections.

Can yeast infection be detected by blood test? ›

Diagnosis and testing for Invasive Candidiasis

The most common way that healthcare providers test for invasive candidiasis is by taking a blood sample or sample from the infected body site and sending it to a laboratory to see if it will grow Candida in a culture.

How do doctors test yeast? ›

During the exam, a speculum is inserted in the vagina to allow the doctor to check for symptoms such as swelling or discharge. Doctors also generally take a sample of discharge with a swab from within the vagina and examine it under a microscope in the office, Wagner says, so a diagnosis can be made right away.

Is there a rapid yeast infection test? ›

This at-home, discreet test can let you know in seconds whether you may have a yeast infection. This screening kit includes 2 test swabs and instructions are easy to follow. Easy-to-read results can let you know if you may have normal or abnormal acidity.

Does yeast infection show in urine test? ›

A UTI is diagnosed with a urine sample. You will be asked to fill a small cup with urine midway through your stream. A laboratory will test the urine for certain bacteria to diagnose the condition. A yeast infection will be diagnosed after taking a swab of the affected area.

How do you test for vaginal Candida? ›

Diagnosis & Testing

Healthcare providers usually diagnose vaginal candidiasis by taking a small sample of vaginal discharge. They examine the sample under a microscope in the medical office or send it to a laboratory for a fungal culture.

What blood tests detect fungal? ›

Fungal Culture (Infection) Blood Test (Quest)

This test is used to detect fungal infections in a blood sample. Fungal infections can are usually classified as superficial or systemic. Superficial infections are typically less serious and can include things like ringworm, athletes foot or yeast infections.

What is the main cause of yeast infection? ›

A yeast infection can happen if your skin gets damaged. Yeast can also “overgrow” in warm or humid conditions. An infection can also happen if you have a weak immune system. Taking antibiotics can also cause an overgrowth of yeast.

What blood tests detect fungal infections? ›

The best test to order in a patient with a bloodstream infection is a routine blood culture, which includes one anaerobic and one aerobic bottle. Routine blood culture can easily recover aerobic and anaerobic bacterial organisms as well as Candida spp., Aspergillus spp. and sometimes Fusarium spp.

Is there a home yeast infection test? ›

Can an at-home test check for yeast infection? No. At-home pH tests cannot check for yeast infections. They can only tell you whether your vaginal pH is normal.

How do you treat chronic yeast infections? ›

To treat chronic yeast infections, a doctor will prescribe a longer course of antifungal medication to be taken once a week for up to six months. They'll also help you understand what's causing your chronic yeast infections so you can make any lifestyle adjustments to prevent infections.

What cures yeast infection fast? ›

The best treatment to get rid of most yeast infections comes down to medicated creams or a pill. Studies show that these creams and the oral pill, fluconazole, both work more than 90% of the time. Uncomplicated yeast infections usually respond to treatment within a couple of days.

How much is a yeast infection test? ›

Here's what to look for when shopping for a home yeast infection test: Cost: Test prices fall in the range of about $25 to $240, depending on the type you choose.

Can you have a yeast infection without discharge? ›

There is often little or no vaginal discharge; if present, discharge is typically white and clumpy (curd-like) or thin and watery. Symptoms of a yeast infection are similar to a number of other conditions. A physical examination and laboratory testing are needed to determine the cause of symptoms.

How do you test for BV or yeast infection? ›

Your gynecologist may test the pH of your vagina or take a sample of secretions to be examined under a microscope in order to make a diagnosis of a BV or yeast infection.

Is a UTI a yeast infection? ›

To put it simply, UTIs and yeast infections are different infections. Their symptoms may be in the same general area, but they are very different presentations. UTI symptoms typically affect urination, while yeast infection symptoms include pain and itchiness in your vagina and vulva.

Do yeast infections make you pee a lot? ›

They may cause a burning sensation when you urinate, or you may feel a need to urinate more frequently. Yeast infection symptoms may include pain when urinating, but you'll also experience pain and itchiness in the affected area. Vaginal yeast infections also typically cause a thick, milky discharge, while UTIs don't.

What happens if yeast infection is left untreated? ›

Complications of untreated yeast infections

If left untreated, vaginal candidiasis will most likely get worse, causing itching, redness, and inflammation in the area surrounding your vagina. This may lead to a skin infection if the inflamed area becomes cracked, or if continual scratching creates open or raw areas.

How do I know if I have a fungal infection in my body? ›

Fungal infections can affect many parts of the body, including: Hair.
...
Some common symptoms include:
  1. Asthma-like symptoms.
  2. Fatigue.
  3. Headache.
  4. Muscle aches or joint pain.
  5. Night sweats.
  6. Weight loss.
  7. Chest pain.
  8. Itchy or scaly skin.

Which type of fungal infection is most serious? ›

The most common types of fungi that cause serious or life-threatening infections include:
  • Aspergillus, which causes aspergillosis. ...
  • Candida, which causes candidiasis, also called thrush. ...
  • Histoplasma, which causes histoplasmosis when the spores enter the lungs.

How do I know if I have Candida overgrowth? ›

When Candida begins to overproduce, it can lead to health problems and cause a range of adverse symptoms.
  1. Oral thrush. Candidiasis that develops in the mouth or throat is called “thrush.” ...
  2. Tiredness and fatigue. ...
  3. Recurring genital or urinary tract infections. ...
  4. Digestive issues. ...
  5. Skin and nail fungal infections. ...
  6. Joint pain.

How do you get a fungal test? ›

If you have a fungal infection on the skin, your healthcare provider may take a small scraping of skin cells for testing. To diagnose oral thrust or a vaginal yeast infection, a cotton swab is used to collect fluid and cells. Blood testing may also be done to help diagnose systemic infections.

Can yeast affect the heart? ›

Invasive candidiasis is an infection caused by a yeast (a type of fungus) called Candida. Unlike Candida infections in the mouth and throat (also called “thrush”) or vaginal “yeast infections,” invasive candidiasis is a serious infection that can affect the blood, heart, brain, eyes, bones, and other parts of the body.

Does blood culture show fungal infection? ›

A blood culture is done to check if bacteria or fungi are infecting your blood. Usually, a blood infection occurs with other serious infections.

Does a yeast infection smell? ›

It's a common vaginal condition that can cause vaginal odor. Trichomoniasis, a sexually transmitted infection, also can lead to vaginal odor. A yeast infection usually doesn't cause vaginal odor.

Can you treat yeast infection without antibiotics? ›

Fortunately, the infections respond well to over-the-counter antifungal creams or suppositories, so if you're sure you have a yeast infection, go ahead and try an OTC yeast infection medication like Monistat or yeast arrest suppositories, which contain boric acid, a mild antiseptic.

Why does my yeast infection keep coming back? ›

Frequent antibiotic use can kill healthy bacteria in the vagina and allow yeast to flourish, leading to frequent yeast infections. Medications that suppress the immune system (such as cancer and transplant medications) can make it harder for the body to fight off yeast infections, resulting in more frequent infections.

What probiotic helps with yeast infections? ›

Lactobacillus rhamnosus, the most researched probiotic, has been found to be beneficial in the prevention of yeast infection,” explains Dr. Goje. “Research shows that Lactobacillus rhamnosus kills bacteria and yeast in the vagina.

Which foods prevent yeast infections? ›

5 Diet Tips to Fight Candida Yeast Infections
  • Coconut oil. Candida yeasts are microscopic fungi found around the skin, mouth, or gut ( 2 ). ...
  • Probiotics. Several factors may make some people more prone to Candida infections, including diabetes and a weakened or suppressed immune system. ...
  • A low-sugar diet. ...
  • Garlic. ...
  • Curcumin.
30 Jul 2019

What are the symptoms of chronic yeast infection? ›

What Are the Symptoms of Recurrent Yeast Infections?
  • Itching is the primary symptom but there may also be burning in the area outside the vagina (vulva), which may worsen when urinating or during intercourse.
  • Red and swollen vulva.
  • Increased vaginal discharge.
  • Vaginal discharge that is white, clumpy and odorless.

How does apple cider vinegar get rid of yeast infections overnight? ›

Apple cider vinegar

Apple cider vinegar (ACV) has been found to inhibit the growth of Candida albicans, the strain of fungi that typically causes yeast infections. To use this natural remedy, mix 1 spoonful of ACV into a glass of water and drink every morning. . Never use apple cider vinegar at full strength.

Does cranberry juice help yeast infection? ›

Cranberry juice may help cure yeast infections. When taken regularly, it's said to prevent recurrent yeast infections. The high levels of vitamin C in cranberry juice may aid in upper respiratory infections. It may reduce the frequency and severity of these infections.

Can a yeast infection spread? ›

Yeast infections are not STIs. But it is possible to pass yeast infections to your partner during vaginal, oral, or anal sex. If your partner is a man, the risk of infection is low. About 15% of men get an itchy rash on the penis if they have unprotected sex with a woman who has a yeast infection.

How do you test for BV or yeast infection? ›

Your gynecologist may test the pH of your vagina or take a sample of secretions to be examined under a microscope in order to make a diagnosis of a BV or yeast infection.

What is the main cause of yeast infection? ›

A yeast infection can happen if your skin gets damaged. Yeast can also “overgrow” in warm or humid conditions. An infection can also happen if you have a weak immune system. Taking antibiotics can also cause an overgrowth of yeast.

Is there a way to test for yeast infection at home? ›

Can an at-home test check for yeast infection? No. At-home pH tests cannot check for yeast infections. They can only tell you whether your vaginal pH is normal.

How do you tell if it's a UTI or yeast infection? ›

Yeast infections cause itching, pain, and odorless vaginal discharge. UTIs, on the other hand, cause urinary symptoms, such as a frequent urge to urinate and painful urination. Both types of infection require medical attention, but they are easily treatable.

What can be mistaken for a yeast infection? ›

8 Common Conditions Often Mistaken for a Yeast Infection
  • Bacterial vaginosis (BV) ...
  • Cytolytic Vaginosis (CV) ...
  • Allergic reaction (contact dermatitis) ...
  • Genital herpes. ...
  • Genital warts. ...
  • Trichomoniasis ("trich") ...
  • Gonorrhea‍ ...
  • Hemorrhoids.

Can a yeast infection turn into BV? ›

A yeast infection and BV are both infections that cause vaginitis. Vaginitis is the medical term for inflammation of the vagina. It can lead to uncomfortable symptoms, including: itching.
...
Differences.
Bacterial vaginosisYeast infection
vaginal itchingvaginal itching
5 more rows
14 Apr 2020

Can a yeast infection smell? ›

It's a common vaginal condition that can cause vaginal odor. Trichomoniasis, a sexually transmitted infection, also can lead to vaginal odor. A yeast infection usually doesn't cause vaginal odor.

Can stress cause yeast infections? ›

Women tend to be more likely to get vaginal yeast infections if their bodies are under stress from poor diet, lack of sleep, illness, or when they are pregnant or taking antibiotics. Women with immune-suppressing diseases such as diabetes and HIV infection also are at increased risk.

What is the fastest way to get rid of a yeast infection? ›

What is the fastest way to get rid of a yeast infection? The fastest — and most reliable — way to get rid of a yeast infection is to visit a doctor if you suspect you have one. They will likely prescribe fluconazole, an oral treatment that may take 1 week to get rid of the infection.

How do you stop recurring yeast infections? ›

Still, you can take steps to prevent yeast infections:
  1. Practice good hygiene.
  2. Wear the right clothes.
  3. Avoid scented sprays and bath products.
  4. Don't douche.
  5. Avoid certain medications (when possible)
  6. Maintain proper diet, sleep, and exercise.
  7. Keep the vagina clean and dry (1)

Can I have a yeast infection without discharge? ›

There is often little or no vaginal discharge; if present, discharge is typically white and clumpy (curd-like) or thin and watery. Symptoms of a yeast infection are similar to a number of other conditions. A physical examination and laboratory testing are needed to determine the cause of symptoms.

Why does my yeast infection keep coming back? ›

In the vagina, chronic yeast infections can happen when there's an imbalance or variation in vaginal bacteria. These bacteria normally help keep Candida from overgrowing. An imbalance or variation can happen if too much bacteria are removed via antibiotics or douching.

Can you treat yeast infection without antibiotics? ›

Fortunately, the infections respond well to over-the-counter antifungal creams or suppositories, so if you're sure you have a yeast infection, go ahead and try an OTC yeast infection medication like Monistat or yeast arrest suppositories, which contain boric acid, a mild antiseptic.

Can a yeast infection spread? ›

Yeast infections are not STIs. But it is possible to pass yeast infections to your partner during vaginal, oral, or anal sex. If your partner is a man, the risk of infection is low. About 15% of men get an itchy rash on the penis if they have unprotected sex with a woman who has a yeast infection.

Is there an over the counter test for yeast infection? ›

VagiSense® is a non-prescription home vaginal infection screening test that helps identify if your vaginal symptoms are more likely caused by a bacterial or parasitic infection so that you know what steps to take next.

Can yeast infections spread to urethra? ›

The inflammation can also easily spread to nearby tissue, such as the opening of the urethra. Serious complications are very rare and are usually associated with a weakened immune system, for instance due to cancer treatment or AIDS.

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