Is a vaginal swab enough to detect if I have yeast infection or not?

Hi there, Eric Bakker, naturopath, another question here. Here’s a question from Susie in Tennessee.

Would a vaginal swab be sufficient to detect my yeast infection?

That’s a good question, Susie, and one I get asked every now and then from different patients. Women are often used to going to a doctor for a vaginal swab to determine the presence of a yeast infection to make sure it’s a bacterial infection or a yeast infection. I just want to know what kind of infection I’ve got. So it’s important to remember, though, that a swab does not differentiate between a Candida infection and a vaginal colony of normally occurring vaginal Candida.

The cotton swab is sampling the surface of the vaginal wall, and it won’t tell you if your immune system is actually involved or if it’s been producing antibodies against the Candida itself. The test will only indicate what’s going on locally and not systemically. Another problem with a vaginal sampling is that if you’re using a pessary or been douching the area or it’s been sanitized to a degree, then it might return a false reading; you may not get a positive response and that could really throw you out and then you really won’t know what’s going on there. You didn’t think about those points, did you? I’ll bet you didn’t. This catches quite a few people out, so you need to be careful about interpreting Candida tests, including vaginal swabs.

So the results could be negative; the results could be positive, so how do you really know what’s going on there? Don’t make any false assumptions there. And a vaginal swab doesn’t necessarily always determine the presence of a yeast infection for that reason. You may want to think carefully about having that douche or that pessary just prior to getting the vaginal sampling done. That’s a good point there.

So look at the totality of your symptoms as well to see what other kind of problems do you have? Like fatigue, digestive problems, gas, bloating, sugar cravings, these things could also alert you toward a yeast infection. Be particularly careful there. I hope this answers your question.

There are a lot more questions and a lot more answers you’ll find on my YouTube channel, so be sure to have a look. And if the question is not there, go to candidacrusher.com and ask me the question and I’ll be sure to reply. And please subscribe to my Candida Crusher YouTube channel. And furthermore, if you really want to know about the female yeast infection, do my online survey at yeastinfection.org that will give you some good pointers as well.

I hope that answers your question. Thank you.

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