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"Are these symptoms of a yeast infection?"
I don't remember when it started but I've had occasional vaginal itching. I finished my period 3-4 days ago, and the itching this time started yesterday. Last night it itched a lot but I showered this morning and I was okay until tonight. I also have a slight rash in the center of my upper back---not sure if they're related, but it's been there for a little while too. I thought it would just go away but it gets better and worse on its own (also helps when I shower more). What could it be?
These symptoms could have various etiologies. You should follow up with your primary care physician or your gynecologist to discuss your symptoms and for a thorough examination. Vaginitis is the infection of the vagina and is characterized by abnormal discharge, vaginal discomfort, or both. The main causes are bacterial vaginosis, vaginal candidiasis (yeast infection), and trichomoniasis. Unfortunately, for a percentage of vaginitis cases, an underlying etiology is not found. While there are various risk factors for each cause, some common factors include tight fitting clothing, soaps with fragrances and chemicals, and poor hygiene. Specific symptoms for a yeast infection include pronounced itching (pruritus), thick white discharge (often described as cottage-cheese in appearance), and occasionally pain with sexual intercourse. In bacterial vaginosis, on the other hand, vaginal discharge is often thin with a bad odor and vaginal pain is uncommon. However, pruritus is possible. Another cause of vaginal itching is local irritation from chemicals in soaps, sprays, and detergents. Allergies to condoms, semen, or creams/lubricants could also be a contributing factor. Since there are various causes for vaginal itching and your symptoms are not straightforward, you should follow up with your primary physician or gynecologist for an examination and discussion of findings and possible treatments.
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