Embarrassed to see gyn for possible yeast infection

Originally Published: January 16, 1998 - Last Updated / Reviewed On: August 29, 2014
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Dear Alice,

I'm a 21 year old woman with white lumpy vaginal discharge (odorless)...I thought it was thrush but after two courses of yeast infection cream it has not resolved...I have never had sex, so can't have an STD...I get bad pain in my lower back and sacro-iliac region with my period and with ovulation though I don't know if this is relevant...I'm embarrassed to see a health care professional about this and don't know if I'm just concerned over nothing...

Thanks.

Dear Reader,

Been there, done that! If you’ve got it, a health care provider has most likely seen it already. Of course, it is completely normal to feel embarrassed. However, the benefits of getting the problem taken care of outweigh the drawbacks of the actual office visit. What you are describing may or may not be a yeast infection. It is important that you see a health care provider to determine what treatment is necessary, as your over-the-counter yeast infection creams may exacerbate your symptoms if used unnecessarily.

It may help to have a female health care provider with whom you feel comfortable. This way, speaking about something like an unusual vaginal discharge won't be too embarrassing. If you don't feel comfortable with whomever you've been to in the past, you may want to think about finding a new provider.

If you don't have an established health care provider, now is as good a time as any to find one. Perhaps you can ask your friends, or people at work or school. Ask them why they like a particular provider. Is s/he caring, understanding, and takes her/his time to explain things and answer questions?

The next step is to call and make an appointment. It is important that you let the person scheduling the appointment know that you are having a problem that requires immediate attention so that you will not have to wait too long to be seen. Columbia students can make an appointment at Medical Services (Morningside) or the Student Health Service (CUMC). In addition, you can always contact Planned Parenthood to find a clinic near you. These centers are staffed by health care providers with special training in women's health.

Here's to good health,

Alice