Vaginal yeast, the second most common vaginal infection, is caused by a fungal organism called candida albicans. Vaginal yeast is NOT sexually transmitted, but there are certain factors than can make a person more at risk. Risk factors include any compromise to the immune system, taking antibiotics, diabetes, and pregnancy. The most common symptoms are itching of the vagina and vulva (the area surrounding the vaginal opening) and thick, white discharge. If you think you have a yeast infection there are over the counter vaginal creams and suppositories you can try. If you’re not sure what’s going on, it’s a good idea to visit a healthcare professional. A nurse midwife, nurse practitioner, physician assistant or physician can help you figure out what is wrong and how to treat it. If you are concerned that you might have a sexually transmitted disease or infection, but do not want to have a pelvic exam, it IS possible to be tested by giving a urine sample or collecting a swab from your own vagina.
Legitimate low cost reproductive health services are available on campus and here: