Can I Go to Urgent Care for a Yeast Infection?

Vaginal yeast infections are common. Around 30 to 50 percent of women will experience an episode at least once in their lives. 

Candida albicans, candida krusei, and Candida glabrata are the three species that cause most infections, though there are others. Symptoms include needing to pee often, a burning sensation while urinating and uncomfortable itching in the affected area. 

This post explores whether you should go to urgent care for a yeast infection and what you can expect from it. 

Table of Contents

Can You Go to Urgent Care for a Yeast Infection?

Most patients with mild symptoms do not require urgent medical attention for yeast infections. These individuals should use over-the-counter (OTC) medications designed to clear up the infection. 

If you have a yeast infection and you want treatment, it is better to go to an urgent care center instead of an emergency room. Yeast infections are rarely life-threatening.

Yeast infections usually do not spread to other parts of the body and, in most cases, they do not lead to serious complications. Therefore, it is generally okay to delay visiting your doctor for a few days. Most infections will clear up by themselves or with the help of OTC medications. 

When Should You Go to Urgent Care for a Yeast Infection?

With that said, there are some situations where you should seek urgent care for a yeast infection. It may not be appropriate to wait for an appointment with your primary care provider.

You Haven’t Had a Yeast Infection Before

If you haven’t had a yeast infection before, it makes sense to get urgent care. Doctors can teach you about the condition and the signs you need to look out for if it happens again. They can also direct you to the right medications and antifungal creams.

You Have Other Symptoms

Yeast infection symptoms vary with the cause of the infection. However, most patients will notice itching, irritation of the vulva and vagina, redness and swelling, vaginal rash, and odorless cottage cheese-like discharge. 

If you develop other symptoms, you should seek medical attention. Fungal infections combined with fever or vomiting could indicate immunosuppression. 

You Have Other Conditions

If you have other conditions, such as diabetes, you should also seek urgent medical attention. Excess sugar in the bloodstream can help yeast grow, creating an environment in which they multiply more rapidly. 

You may also experience complications if you have HIV/AIDS or take immunosuppressants, such as rapamycin. Immunosuppressed patients are at a higher risk of both standard and invasive yeast infections. 

Your Symptoms Don’t Improve After Taking Antifungals

Antifungals eliminate the vast majority of fungal yeast infections. Medications target fungal cell walls and damage them, causing them to burst open, and killing the yeast. 

However, they are not always effective. That’s because some vaginal yeast infections are resistant to over-the-counter medications. 

Additionally, they don’t work if you have a bacterial or viral infection. Physicians and patients regularly mistake yeast infections for bacterial vaginosis, genital herpes, gonorrhea, cytolytic vaginosis, urinary tract infections, and even allergic reactions. 

You Have Severe Symptoms

Yeast infections generally produce mild symptoms. But if you have severe bleeding or pain and over-the-counter (OTC) medications do not provide relief, you should seek urgent care. You may require more powerful prescription medications.

You Have a Compromised Immune System

If you have a compromised immune system because you have HIV/AIDS or are on immunosuppressant drugs, you should seek medical attention immediately. Quick treatment reduces the risk of complications. 

You Have a Fever

Fevers don’t usually develop alongside yeast infections. If you have one, it could indicate that an infection is spreading around your body. Here, again, urgent care is important. 

What to Expect?

During your visit, the physician will carry out a physical examination. Doctors will note the inflammation around the walls of the vagina and some moderate tenderness. They will also perform the tests. In-person urgent care services diagnose vaginal yeast infections with a pelvic exam, pH testing, wet prep, and other methods to rule out infection, particularly with sexually-transmitted diseases (STDs). 

Yeast produces acid as a byproduct. Therefore, if you have an infection, a pH test will have a value lower than five. A wet prep will show certain types of bacteria present that wouldn’t be there otherwise. 

Treatment for vaginal yeast infections involves using antifungal agents. Practitioners prescribe azole-based medications for most infections. You either take these by the mouth or apply them topically to the vagina. 

If you have a “complicated” yeast infection (because you are immunosuppressed, for instance), you may need longer therapy. Doctors typically prescribe antifungals for a week or so, but you may require up to six months of treatment if you have a weakened immune system. 

Try Virtual Urgent Care For Your Yeast Infection!

With DrHouse, you don’t have to go to an urgent care clinic to get the medical advice you need. With our services, you can speak to a board-certified clinician about your symptoms without having to queue or spend time in a waiting room. Simply connect to us via your device and begin your consultation immediately. 

We begin by asking you some questions about your symptoms, such as what they are and when they started. Then we make recommendations and provide a treatment plan and any prescriptions if needed

Key Takeaways

  • Vaginal yeast infections will affect between a third and a half of women at some point in their lives
  • Usually, yeast infections are not serious and you can approach your primary care physician or simply buy OTC medications
  • In some cases, yeast infections can be severe. Get urgent care if you have a fever, are immunocompromised, are in significant pain, or don’t get better after using medications
  • To determine if you have a yeast infection, you will need to undergo several non-invasive tests

Sources:

  • Jeanmonod R, Jeanmonod D. Vaginal Candidiasis. [Updated 2022 Jul 18]. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2022 Jan-. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK459317/ 
  • Dun E. Antifungal resistance in yeast vaginitis. Yale J Biol Med. 1999;72(4):281-285. PMCID: PMC2578967, PMID: 10907778
  • Anwar KP, Malik A, Subhan KH. Profile of candidiasis in HIV infected patients. Iran J Microbiol. 2012;4(4):204-209. PMCID: PMC3507311; PMID: 23205253
  • Mohammed L, Jha G, Malasevskaia I, Goud HK, Hassan A. The Interplay Between Sugar and Yeast Infections: Do Diabetics Have a Greater Predisposition to Develop Oral and Vulvovaginal Candidiasis?. Cureus. 2021;13(2):e13407. Published 2021 Feb 18. doi:https://www.doi.org/10.7759/cureus.13407 
  • Oriel J D, Partridge B M, Denny M J, Coleman J C. Genital Yeast Infections Br Med J 1972; 4 :761 doi:https://www.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.4.5843.761 
  • Vaginal Candidiasis. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Available from: https://www.cdc.gov/fungal/diseases/candidiasis/genital/index.html 
  • Mbakwem-Aniebo C, Osadebe AU, Athanasonny E, Okonko IO. Prevalence of Candida spp. and age-related disparities amongst women presenting with vaginitis at the Obstetrics and Gynaecology (O&G) Clinic in a Tertiary hospital in Port Harcourt, Nigeria. Afr Health Sci. 2020;20(1):51-58. doi:https://www.doi.org/10.4314/ahs.v20i1.9 
  • Jacob L, John M, Kalder M, Kostev K. Prevalence of vulvovaginal candidiasis in gynecological practices in Germany: A retrospective study of 954,186 patients. Curr Med Mycol. 2018;4(1):6-11. doi:https://www.doi.org/10.18502/cmm.4.1.27 

DrHouse articles are written by MDs, NPs, nutritionists and other healthcare professionals. The contents of the DrHouse site are for informational purposes only and are not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you are experiencing high fever (>103F/39.4C), shortness of breath, difficulty breathing, chest pain, heart palpitations, abnormal bruising, abnormal bleeding, extreme fatigue, dizziness, new weakness or paralysis, difficulty with speech, confusion, extreme pain in any body part, or inability to remain hydrated or keep down fluids or feel you may have any other life-threatening condition, please go to the emergency department or call 911 immediately.

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