A study from Belgium shows that 20 percent of heathy women with no vaginal symptoms whatever have large amounts of yeast in their vaginas, and therefore would give a positive culture for yeast.

Doing a yeast culture that is reported several days later is not the correct way to diagnose a yeast infection. If you are a woman who has vaginal discharge, itching, burning and odor, check with your doctor. This study shows that healthy women have positive cultures for yeast, so doctors should not diagnose yeast by doing cultures. The best way to diagnose yeast infections is to collect secretions on a cotton swab, immediately put it in a drop of water and look at the secretions immediately under microscope. If the doctor sees yeast, you are infected with yeast. If he does not see yeast, he should do other tests to find a cause. See report #W175.

Prevalence of vulvovaginal candidiasis and susceptibility to fluconazole in women. American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, 2002, Vol 187, Iss 3, pp 569-574. TGM Bauters, MA Dhont, MIL Temmerman, HJ Nelis. Nelis HJ, State Univ Ghent, Dept Pharmaceut Anal, Lab Pharmaceut Microbiol, Harelbekestr 72, B-9000 Ghent, BELGIUM

Checked 9/5/05

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