Is It A Yeast Infection Or An STD?

Is It A Yeast Infection Or An STD?

Nobody wants to deal with vaginal-related irritations — especially if you’re not sure exactly what’s going on. Burning? Itching? Discharge? Is it a yeast infection or a sexually transmitted disease (STD)? The physical symptoms and the emotional worry can be a lot. So – what’s the difference between the two? And what should you do if you have symptoms? 

Yeast Infection: 

Nearly every woman has a yeast infection at some time in her life. What are the symptoms of a yeast infection? Burning, itching, painful sex, pain when going to the bathroom, soreness, and a thick white discharge that doesn’t have a bad smell. Not everyone has all the symptoms, and you could have mild symptoms or very severe ones. 

What causes a yeast infection? The fungus Candida Albicans is naturally present in the vaginal region of healthy women. But when there is too much of the fungus, a yeast infection occurs. Keeping the perfect balance can be tricky, so yeast infections are pretty common. According to the Mayo Clinic, three out of every four women have a yeast infection at some point. 

Can I get a yeast infection from having sex? Yes, you can. Yeast infections aren’t considered sexually transmitted infections because you can get them in other ways. But if your partner has a yeast infection, you can also get a yeast infection through sexual contact. 

Because yeast infections are so common, many women automatically assume that any vaginal burning, itching, and discharge are because of a yeast infection and attempt to treat it with over-the-counter medication. But it’s important to see your healthcare provider because some STDs have similar symptoms, and the treatment is not the same. 


Chlamydia, trichomoniasis, and gonorrhea all can cause inflammation and are sometimes confused with a yeast infection. Trichomoniasis can cause a serious itching sensation. Usually, the itching progresses to pain when going to the bathroom and pain during sex – but occasionally, a yeast infection can cause those same symptoms. These STDs may cause a discharge that is green or yellow and smells bad. With some other STDs, like herpes, you may even have some visible sores down there. So if you see sores or notice your discharge is yellow or green and has an unpleasant smell, it may be an STD. Any time you have a vaginal discharge that seems abnormal for you, you should talk to your doctor about it. 

So do you have to see a doctor? 

If you regularly have yeast infections and you know your symptoms are consistent with that, then it’s probably safe to treat the yeast infection with over-the-counter anti-fungal medications. But if your symptoms are new or different, it’s best to see a medical professional and get an accurate diagnosis. Or if you try an at-home treatment and your symptoms aren’t better within a week, it’s best to go ahead and see your healthcare provider. 

Itching, burning, soreness, and discharge from our private areas can be embarrassing, and we may be tempted to put off seeing a doctor. But if left untreated, yeast infections can get much worse, eventually causing open or raw areas in your vaginal area. Untreated STDs can cause chronic abdominal and pelvic pain, pregnancy complications, and infertility. 

Did we answer all your questions? 

If you need more information, contact us through this website or call us in our Kearney office (308) 234-9880 or in Grand Island (308) 675-2217. We will protect your privacy and answer your questions or point you in the direction of resources with complete confidentiality. 


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