Let’s face it; there’s not anything much more embarrassing than going to the doctor because you’re itchy or you smell down there. I know too well the feeling of shame associated with the thought of discussing your hygiene with a stranger – especially if you’re like me and don’t have a regular OB or family doctor. Thankfully, the big manufacturers understand this as well and are now providing us women with products to help us demystify common symptoms. The Vagisil Screening Kit is supposed to do exactly just that; let you know if you have a yeast infection, bacterial vaginosis or any other kind of similar infection.
When I heard of the Vagisil Screening Kit I was pretty much in Heaven.
Many times I’ve felt uncomfortable down there and ended up on my computer, researching very vague symptoms such as “itching”, “discharge” and more. While Google is a very good ally for many things, whenever you end up searching for medical symptoms information on Internet you’ll end up convinced that you have something much worse than what it probably is. So when I heard of the Vagisil Screening Kit, I was pretty much in Heaven. A kit that I can purchase at the drugstore and that will tell me if something is off in my nether regions and what I should do about it? Sold!
Let’s talk about the kit in itself, first. It comes in a box similar to most Vagisil products. In the box you’ll find two swabs and a little card to associate the swab color with. The instructions are quite simple – take one of the wands and insert it in your vagina by pressing it on the walls of your vagina for about five seconds. Once you take it out, the end of the wand will be able to tell you what’s up. You then need to match the color of the wand with the color on the little card included in your kit to determine what condition you may (or may not) have.
Basically the Vasigil kit works by measuring your pH. According to the pH level of your insides, you’ll be able to figure out what condition you most likely have, if any. Vagisil says that the kit will determine a normal pH at 4.5; so anything above that means that something needs to be checked out.
I was ecstatic when I first found out about this kit. I never really had any major infections, although I did have a few self-diagnosed yeast infections (well at least the itching went away with over-the-counter yeast infection products, so I just always assumed that’s what it was…). My health insurance doesn’t cover much so I try my best to avoid trips to the clinics.
The few weeks before I bought the kit, I had light symptoms – nothing major and nothing uncomfortable, but I was having strange discharge and more than usual. It didn’t seem to be anything to be alarmed of, but I was starting to really notice that the discharge was increasing in quantity and even had a different color. This is pretty much why I decided to purchase the kit. I had no desire to explain to a strange doctor that my downstairs was leaking. I figured it was worth the $20, in comparison to $75 for Urgent Care. I bought the kit and rushed home to try it out.
It’s very easy to use – I’ll give it that. However, after I used the swab and compared it to the pH levels on the card, it told me I most likely had BV. That isn’t so bad, I told myself. What can I do to cure it? If you keep reading on the card thinking it would tell me what actions to take. Guess what it said for BV?
That’s pretty much what it says for all pH levels. Whether you have a yeast infection – where it advises you to see your doctor if you’re a first time sufferer – Trichomoniasis or Bacterial Vaginosis, the Vagisil Screening Kit advises you to see your doctor. If, like me, you thought this was your out of jail free card, you were mistaken. You still have to drive to the doctor’s office, pray for your insurance to cover the appointment and have someone examine you and ask you embarrassing questions.
Vagisil Screening Kit: The Verdict
After using the Screening Kit I did end up going to the doctor’s office, where I was told that I may or may not have BV and that I should just try a round of antibiotics to see if it goes away. The doctor was helpful as they always are in that kind of situation which isn’t very impressive. I didn’t tell him about the Vagisil Screening Kit as I wanted to have an unbiased opinion. He examined me rather quickly (he wasn’t an OB and, and since this was Urgent Care I’m guessing he had no desire to do this) and asked me a few questions – if I had any pain, itching, etc. I had no other symptoms than the strange discharge so he didn’t seem to be concerned about a yeast infection or Trich, which is probably why he ruled it out as BV.
In short, the Vagisil Screening Kit works – I think
In short, the kit works – I think. The doctor did agree with the diagnosis, however the antibiotics didn’t cure anything so I’m still wondering how accurate that diagnosis was. I waited it out and the symptoms never completely went away – I’m still dealing with the discharge although refrigerated acidophilus caplets seems to have dramatically improved the condition over the last few days (more about that in upcoming post!).
On the other hand, you’ll still need to go to the doctor’s office, so I personally wouldn’t spend another $20 on this kit.
However, if you’re prone to yeast infections and have been diagnosed with them before, the kit can help you make sure that nothing worse is actually happening and reassure you.