How to Choose an At-Home Yeast Infection Test

With many at-home yeast infection tests to choose from, consider the following when picking the best one for you: 

  • Cost: Test prices fall in the range of about $25 to $240, depending on the type you choose. The least expensive tests measure only vaginal pH, so they can’t explicitly tell you if you have a yeast infection. More expensive tests assess your sample in a lab for the presence of candida yeast, providing more accuracy.
  • Time for results: For immediate results, purchase an over-the-counter vaginal pH testing kit (like the ones available from Stix). Other, more thorough comprehensive tests that require a mailed sample may take anywhere from two days to a week to get your results back.
  • Availability: Unfortunately, many at-home tests aren’t available in the state of New York and certain other states. If you live in one of these states, you may need to purchase an over-the-counter vaginal pH test kit, which may not be as accurate.
  • Sample methods: All at-home yeast infection tests we encountered during our research require a vaginal swab.
  • Ease of use: Generally, these tests work in a similar fashion and are fairly easy to use. You will need to activate your test, collect the sample, mail it in, and wait for results. 
  • Accuracy: Lab tests done using a vaginal swab are going to be much more accurate than test strips that allow you to get results at home.
  • Treatment options: Some tests come with yeast infection treatment included, or an option to speak with a healthcare provider after you receive your results. 


Key Considerations

What is a yeast infection? 

Yeast is a healthy kind of fungus—also known as candida—that grows naturally within the body. However, a yeast infection can develop if yeast grows out-of-control and out of balance with other vaginal flora. This can be triggered by medications, immune system fluctuations and sex can increase risks. Symptoms include itching, burning or pain when urinating, thick vaginal discharge, soreness or rash. Other body parts—including the mouth, skin or penis—can develop yeast infections, too, but they affect the vagina most commonly. 

When Should I Take An At-Home Yeast Infection Test? 

You may want to test for a yeast infection if you’re experiencing any of the following symptoms:

  • Abnormal vaginal discharge
  • Painful urination
  • Painful sex
  • Itching in your genital area

Additionally, if you have any of these symptoms and fall into any one of the following categories, you may be at a greater risk of yeast infection:

  • Are pregnant
  • Use birth control pills
  • On a round of antibiotics or just finished one
  • Have diabetes or a compromised immune system
  • At-home yeast infections can give you some insight into the cause of your vaginal discomfort, but should never be a substitute for seeing a health care provider who can diagnose yeast infections and help you determine if there are any underlying or additional issues. 

How A Yeast Infection is Diagnosed

Yeast infections are most accurately diagnosed with a combination of a physical exam to look for signs of irritation and abnormal discharge and a culture, in which a sample taken from your vagina is tested in a lab for how much yeast is present. With an at-home test, you swab yourself. This should only be done if you have symptoms. Some testing companies will send your sample for analysis at Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments (CLIA)- or College of American Pathologists (CAP)-certified labs, which meet national testing standards. 

Fully at-home yeast infection tests mostly work by a sort of process of elimination. You’ll collect your own vaginal sample using a pH swab or strip. The swab or strip will turn different colors based on whether your pH is within or outside of the normal range. A positive test indicates a pH outside the normal range which is most likely caused by a bacterial infection, not a yeast infection. Most people have a normal pH when they have a yeast infection. So, a negative test suggests a yeast infection could be the cause of vaginal irritation, but it’s a good idea to confirm with a doctor.


Frequently Asked Questions

Is an At-Home Yeast Infection Test Accurate?

Home yeast infection tests can be equally as accurate as tests administered by a healthcare provider—particularly those tests requiring a sample that is sent to a lab. The tests that offer results in five minutes or less measure only vaginal pH, which can be an indicator of yeast—but they’re not as accurate as lab tests.

Who Should Take an At-Home Yeast Infection Test?

You should take an at-home yeast infection test if you are experiencing any of the symptoms of a yeast infection, like vaginal itching or painful urination. Additionally, if you’re pregnant, on hormonal birth control, or on antibiotics, you’re at an increased risk of developing yeast infections—so it’s important to be proactive.

Can I Take Yeast Infection Medication Without Going To The Doctor?

If you have never been diagnosed with a yeast infection before, do not self-diagnose or start treatment without seeing a health care provider. If you’ve been diagnosed with a yeast infection by a medical professional before, they may not need to see you again and may be able to suggest over-the-counter-medication, like Monistat, or prescribe medication over the phone.

What Else Can Be Mistaken for a Yeast Infection?

The irritation, itching, burning and abnormal discharge that come with a yeast infection is due to a form of inflammation, called vaginitis, that can have many different causes. The most common ones are yeast infections, bacterial vaginosis (BV), trichomoniasis and atrophic vaginitis. It’s difficult to say for sure which infection is causing your discomfort without an exam and/or testing. 


Methodology

We collected data on dozens of at-home testing companies, including those that offer sexual health testing for conditions like yeast infections. We assessed them based on data on the cost, accuracy, reputation, diagnostic validity, time-to-results and availability of their at-home tests. We further broadened our search to include companies and products specific to at-home testing for yeast infections. To choose the best home yeast infection tests, we narrowed down our list to seven  reputable companies that offer a variety of fully at-home tests and at-home collection kits that are analyzed in CLIA- or CAP-certified labs.

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