Deeper Look: Can You Go to Urgent Care for a Yeast Infection?
April 27, 2018
April 27, 2018
“Can you go to urgent care for a yeast infection?” you ask. Of course, you can! Yeast infections are common, and most urgent care centers are equipped to treat them. You don’t always need to go to urgent care for a yeast infection, though. While it’s always best to err on the side of caution with any medical problem, we should discuss what yeast infections are, and when they need medical attention.
Can You Go to Urgent Care for a Yeast Infection?
Many women have found themselves asking, “Can you go to urgent care for a yeast infection?” Yeast infections can often cause immense amounts of pain at seemingly the most inconvenient times, and urgent care is there to help things like that. However, urgent care isn’t always the best answer. Generally, though, if a doctor can help you with something, then an urgent care clinic can, too.
“Can you go to urgent care for a yeast infection” is a valid question. In fact, it’s an extremely rational one. Many people might consider an emergency room for problems like a yeast infection, but you know the difference. A yeast infection isn’t likely to kill you, but it can sometimes require attention in a hurry. Symptoms vary in severity, and a severe yeast infection can feel like something much worse. If you have never had a yeast infection before, or this one feels unlike any other then you should seek medical attention.
What Is a Yeast Infection?
Yeast is something you’ve probably heard of before, and that you consume fairly often. If you’ve ever done any baking then you know that yeast is what makes bread rise. If you’ve done any brewing or drinking, you know that yeast is what makes beer. This kind of yeast is not a problem. There is a different kind of yeast though, Candida albicans, which can be very problematic. This bacteria grows in the human body and causes oral and genital infection.
This type of yeast is inside every vagina and is generally healthy. However, the yeast sometimes grows out of control, causing many problems with the vagina. This very common infection leads to itching and soreness, and pain or burning during urination or sex. These symptoms are more likely to occur the week before your menstrual period, and are often mild. Some women experience a cottage cheese like discharge from the vagina. This discharge has no odor, and is normally very clumpy like lint.
What Causes a Yeast Infection?
Yeast infections might crop up for a variety of reasons, but the theme throughout all of them is a lack of proper vaginal hygiene. It’s simple: if you keep your vagina clean, your risk of yeast infection is very low. However, they are almost never zero. Some women are also naturally prone to infection, but that should only serve as a motivating factor to take even better care. If you are aware of yeast infections, and the dangers of them, than you should have no issue even if you do come down with one.
A very common cause of yeast infection is leaving a tampon in for too long. Tampons and pads create a high-moisture environment inside the vagina, which allows bacteria to grow. Especially in warm weather, you should frequently change your tampon or pad. You might also want to keep a close eye on the underwear that you are wearing the week of, and the week before, your period. Snug underwear often don’t let enough air to access the vagina, creating a warm, dark environment that bacteria loves.
Beyond your vaginal care, a yeast infection can be caused by a few other factors. One of the riskiest is antibiotics. If you are taking antibiotics for a UTI or strep throat, it might cause the healthy bacteria in your vagina to be killed off. If this occurs, there is a significant risk of overgrowth for the yeast in your vagina. When your doctor prescribes you an antibiotic, you should ask about the risk of yeast infection if you’re concerned. The doctor will be able to help.
High blood sugar is problematic, as well. Yeast feeds off of sugar, so more of it leads to more yeast. Women with diabetes or prediabetes are at increased risk for yeast infections. Similarly, steroids can lead to yeast infection. Steroids dampen your immune system, leaving you vulnerable to many kinds of infection and making you ask, “can you go to urgent care for a yeast infection?”
You might be interested to learn that yeast infections don’t only occur in women. In fact, oral yeast infections (known as thrush) are actually very common. Much less common is a penile yeast infection, but it’s still a possibility. Yeast infections can be caused by sex with an infected body part, on both sides. This means that you should likely keep away from your partner during an infection, and expect them to do the same for you.
Can a Yeast Infection Be Treated at Home?
Before asking, “can you go to urgent care for a yeast infection,” you should know that most yeast infections can be treated at home. You can often treat an infection using over the counter antifungal cream, or vaginal suppositories. These should be available at your local pharmacy, and are something that many women learn to stock up on. If your symptoms are bearable, it is sometimes best to simply wait out the yeast infection. Symptoms should clear up in a few days on their own, and there is no need to purchase medication.
However, you should not treat a yeast infection at home if you are pregnant, or think that you might be. Over the counter treatments for a yeast infection can cause complications during pregnancy. Unfortunately, pregnancy can also lead to an increased risk for yeast infection. You also shouldn’t rely on a condom or diaphragm as birth control for some time after using a vaginal suppository. The oils from the suppository can interfere with the effectiveness of these birth control methods. Generally, it is best to abstain from sex during a yeast infection.
Should You Go to a Doctor for a Yeast Infection?
There are several reasons to see a doctor when you have a yeast infection. The first, as noted above, is pregnancy. Because yeast infections become more frequent during pregnancy and they can’t be treated at home, this is something you should talk to your doctor about before it becomes a problem. Often, your doctor will have a recommendation of how to cope with or eliminate symptoms during a pregnancy, as well as what your risk factors are. A doctor will have a good idea of what your risk is, and what risks might come from medication.
You should also see a doctor about a yeast infection if you have seen the infection more than four times inside of a year. You don’t need to keep strict track of when you have a yeast infection, but if it is suspiciously frequent, you should see a doctor right away. Yeast infections often come back a few times before going away for good, so they should be monitored. However, a high frequency of yeast infection often demonstrates a risk factor that may otherwise go unnoticed. Commonly, frequent yeast infections are an early sign of diabetes.
Finally, you should see a doctor about a yeast infection if you have never had one before. Yeast infections are often falsely diagnosed at home, and are instead a much worse issue. For example, it is easy to mistake the symptoms of HPV as a yeast infection. Once you’ve experienced a yeast infection, you should have a good idea of when a yeast infection might be a more serious issue. Until that time, though, it is always best to seek medical attention. Remember, a doctor’s opinion is never a bad thing to get about a health problem.
Can You Go to Urgent Care for a Yeast Infection?
We’ve already answered the question “can you go to urgent care for a yeast infection?” The answer, unsurprisingly, is yes. Remember, if your doctor can do it, then an urgent care center can, too. That’s what an urgent care center is — a doctor’s office that’s open all the time. With that in mind, the question becomes, “should you go to urgent care for a yeast infection?”
If your symptoms are the normal itchiness and discomfort during urination or sex, than you likely shouldn’t, especially if you’ve had a yeast infection before. A normal yeast infection will clear up in a few days, and only after that does it become a medical problem. However, if you have experience with yeast infections and are considering urgent care, it’s likely you should go. Your intuition will often lead you the right way, and in this case it might be telling you that a yeast infection is not the real issue.
If you do not have experience with yeast infections and are considering urgent care, you may want to come in. If the pain is bearable, you might be more comfortable waiting for your primary care physician, though. However, yeast infections are often a source of anxiety, and clearing that up as soon as possible might be more important than getting rid of an infection.
So, the answer is yes. You can go to urgent care for a yeast infection. You don’t have to, but we’d be happy to help you if you did.