Women often misdiagnose themselves with a yeast infection and wrongly treat the problem, say researchers.
A study of 150 women who thought they had a yeast infection found that only 26% were correct.
The women reported itching and a vaginal discharge, which could also indicate inflammation, dry skin tissues or a sexually transmitted infection.
"Everything that itches isn't a yeast infection," said Susan Hoffstette at Saint Louis University School of Medicine.
"People keep treating themselves. They buy over-the-counter medicines for yeast infections or they call the doctor to get a prescription for medicine over and over again."
She advises nurses to encourage patients to book an appointment if they feel they have a yeast infection, instead of treating the problem themselves.
"Women shouldn't just run to the drugstore if they think they have a yeast infection. The optimal thing would be to have the condition evaluated."
Saint Louis University School of Medicine
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