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SKILLMAN, N.J. According to a recent survey of women ages 18 to 24 years commissioned by the Monistat brand, 61% of young women are unsure about which, if any, over-the-counter products can cure a yeast infection.
"Many women don't realize that once they've identified they have a yeast infection, they can easily treat it on their own terms," stated Suzanne Gilberg-Lenz, a board-certified OB/GYN who practices in Beverly Hills, Calif., and a partner in the Monistat survey.
The survey also found more than 36% of women incorrectly believe that treating the symptoms of a yeast infection is the same as curing the infection. And 38% of women mistakenly believe a yeast infection only can be cured by a doctor's prescription.
"The symptoms of a yeast infection vary greatly among individuals," Lenz said. "The classic symptoms … do not appear for all women. The important sign is always vaginal discomfort that develops out of the blue. If you are unsure, especially if you've never had a yeast infection, check with your doctor to make sure your symptoms aren't actually the result of a sexually transmitted disease, bacterial infection or a combination of yeast and bacteria."
"If your yeast infection does not clear up, contact your doctor," Lenz added. "Once you've treated the infection, long-term, preventative measures, including changes to your diet and lifestyle, can help prevent future infections."