Dealing with irritation or an infection that impacts the vagina can not only be painful or frustrating, if left untreated it could become a more serious issue.
Often many people will assume any kind of vaginal problem is a yeast infection when in reality, it could be a host of other things, said Dr. Sanya Kostov, an assistant professor at the University of Alberta in the department of family medicine who specializes in reproductive and sexual health.
Understanding the differences between a yeast infection, bacterial vaginosis and a urinary tract infection (UTI) is important so you can clearly describe symptoms to a doctor if these issues do not clear up on their own, said Kostov.
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“What I’d always recommend to patients is that if it’s persistent or if it’s bothering you or if it’s the first time you’ve ever had it that’s a great time to go see their family doctor,” she said. “This is all stuff that is very commonly treated by family doctors.”
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It can be hard to tell on your own what the issue is — which is why contacting a doctor in these cases and identifying your symptoms can help speed up the recovery process by linking you to the care you might need,