Yeast Infection Provider Treatments
You can usually treat yeast infections by yourself at home, but there are times when you should call a healthcare provider. See a provider for any of the following:
- Symptoms don’t go away within a few days of completing the treatment. If symptoms are getting worse, follow up with a doctor.
- You’ve never had a yeast infection. It is important to be sure it’s a yeast infection. There are other vaginal infections that can cause similar symptoms, such as bacterial vaginosis and some sexually transmitted infections (STIs).
- If you have had more than 4 yeast infections within a 12-month period, talk to your doctor. Frequent yeast infections can be a sign of an underlying health issue like diabetes or problems with the immune system. It could also mean that your infection is caused by an unusual type of yeast that needs a different treatment.
- You’re pregnant and have symptoms of a yeast infection.
Go to the ER if you have fever or chills, extreme fatigue, vomiting, severe abdominal or back pain, or an area of warm, red skin that is spreading.
Usually a yeast infection can be diagnosed based on your symptoms and a physical exam that includes a pelvic exam. This is similar to the exam for a pap smear. A vaginal sample is taken using a swab and examined under a microscope to confirm the diagnosis. Sometimes a doctor will do additional samples to check for other vaginal infections, like bacterial vaginosis, trichomonas, gonorrhea, and chlamydia. These infections can sometimes cause symptoms similar to a yeast infection.
What to expect from your visit
- Your healthcare provider will diagnose you based on your symptoms, an examination, and possibly testing.
- If you have a yeast infection, and OTC medications were not effective, your doctor may want you to take an oral antifungal medication.
- Most women will get some relief within 24-48 hours of starting treatment. In some cases, you may need to repeat the treatment.
- If you continue to get yeast infections, your doctor may recommend boric acid vaginal suppositories, which are available over the counter. This helps treat and prevent yeast infections.
- If you have a different type of bacterial infection, you will be prescribed antibiotics to treat it.
Prescription yeast infection medications
- Prescription topical antifungals: creams or suppositories applied internally to the vagina.
- Butoconazole (Gynazole-1)
- Terconazole (Terazol 3, Terazol 7)
- Fluconazole (Diflucan). Taken by mouth (not recommended if you’re pregnant).
Types of providers
- A primary care physician (family medicine or internal medicine) can treat mild or moderate symptoms.
- A gynecologist (ob/gyn doctor) can also manage mild or moderate symptoms. You might be referred to an ob/gyn for complicated or recurring yeast infections.
- Urgent care or emergency medicine (ER) doctors can also diagnose and treat yeast infections if it’s an evening or weekend.