New screening kit for vaginal infections

The Vagisil Screening Kit For Vaginal Infections - an inhome screening kit offering rapid results - is now available to help women make a more accurate assessment of what type of infection their vaginal discharge and vulvar symptoms might indicate.

While vaginal infections are common occurrences in adult women, many women assume that it's a yeast infection and self-treat the problem with over-the-counter products. But in fact, more than 50 percent of these women are wrong. They are not always suffering from a yeast infection but from another type of vaginal infection that often requires treatment by a healthcare professional. Several types of vaginal infections can cause symptoms such as unusual discharge, itching, unpleasant odor and burning.

In fact, bacterial vaginosis (BV), not yeast, is the most common vaginal infection in women of reproductive age, according to The National Institutes of Health. BV is caused by a bacterial imbalance in the vagina. BV has a variety of risk factors including douching, certain forms of contraception and sexual activity.

Self-Treatment May Not Be "What the Doctor Ordered"

Playing the waiting game can certainly be tough. Until they see their medical practitioner, many women self-treat their symptoms with over-the- counter medications. They're eager for relief, but find themselves at a loss.

"This kit is a significant step in empowering women to better understand their vaginal health," said Donnica L. Moore, MD, President, Sapphire Women's Health Group. "As it happens, many women don't turn to their doctors either because they're embarrassed to talk about their condition, because they think they know what the problem is, or because they want immediate relief. Using this kit can help women feel more confident when telling their gynecologists about their symptoms and also more confident that they are seeking the right treatment."

The Vagisil Screening Kit is intended for use by women who are experiencing itching, burning, unpleasant odor or unusual discharge. One way medical practitioners can check for vaginal infection is by measuring vaginal pH. The Vagisil Screening Kit allows women to measure their own pH in the comfort of their home.

About the Vagisil Screening Kit

The kit contains two individually wrapped vaginal wands with pH paper at one end, detailed instructions and a pH guide. A woman inserts one of the wands into her vagina and presses it against the vaginal wall and removes the wand. Under a bright light (not fluorescent) or daylight, a woman compares the color of the pH swab to the colors on the guide. She slides the swab back and forth until she finds the color on the chart that matches the paper. The number that corresponds with the color match is her vaginal pH. If a woman's pH reading is 4.5, her symptoms may be due to a yeast infection. (A normal pH is 4.5; a yeast infection usually doesn't cause an increase in pH so the pH will read 4.5.)

If her pH reading is 5.0 or higher, her symptoms may be due to bacterial vaginosis (BV). This occurs when the normal vaginal bacteria balance shifts and "bad" bacteria in the vagina overgrow. Symptoms may be similar to a yeast infection: abnormal vaginal discharge, vaginal odor (often fishy), itching and burning. A 5.0 pH or higher may also be caused by an STD (sexually transmitted disease) called trichomoniasis, most often found in young, sexually active women. An estimated 7.4 million new cases occur each year in women and men. Symptoms of trichomoniasis may include unpleasant smelling vaginal discharge, itching and burning.

If a woman's pH reading is 5.0 or greater, or if her pH reading is 4.5 and she has never had a yeast infection but is symptomatic, it is strongly recommended she visit her physician for a full diagnosis and treatment.

The Vagisil Screening Kit for Vaginal Infections does not identify specific causes or types of infections. Only a doctor can determine the specific diagnosis. The kit should not be used by post-menopausal or pregnant women. If women do not experience their period, they may have low estrogen, which can increase the vaginal pH and influence the result. But if they have symptoms and are not having normal periods, they should see a medical professional.

Manufactured by Combe Incorporated, the makers of Vagisil feminine care products, the new screening kit, retailing for approximately $16.99, will be widely available in May in the feminine hygiene section at food, drug and mass merchandise stores.


  1. Anon Anon United States says:

    Some skank stole one of the kits and instructions out of the box I ended up purchasing for $15 at a big box store...thank you for posting these instructions for innocent people such as myself.

The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of News Medical.
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