Abnormal Vaginal Discharge


For most of us, abnormal vaginal discharge has always been a subject of concern.

Vaginal discharge is the fluid that is produced by the glands in the lining of the vagina and cervix. It is nature’s way of keeping the vagina clean and healthy.

A small amount of discharge, about a teaspoonful a day, which is milky white, clear and odorless is considered normal.

This same type of discharge would seem to be abnormal when it increases. The increase in the amount of this clear, whitish or milky white discharge could be due to:-

  • Hormonal imbalance cause by mood swings
  • Menstruation (mid cycle of menses)
  • Stressful lifestyles
  • Sexual excitement
  • Medication
  • Pregnancy
  • Breastfeeding
  • Malnutrition

If you are certain that the symptoms for the increase in vaginal discharge is related to the above conditions, then it should not be a cause for concern.

It is a temporary problem. Once the underlying issue is resolved or you have passed that phase, the discharge will go back to its normal quantity. Meantime, you can use the vagina wand to reduce excessive discharge.

However, you might be having a vaginal infection if your discharge is:-

  • excessive
  • changes in color and texture
  • emits a foul smell 
  • accompanied by itching and burning sensation in the vulva. 

Vaginal Infections

Vaginal infections occur when there is an overgrowth of yeast and bad bacteria in the vagina resulting in an imbalance in the vaginal flora.

The most common form of infections are bacterial vaginosis and thrush.

Symptoms of Bacterial Vaginosis (BV)

  • Bacterial vaginosis has vaginal discharge that is watery, greyish and cloudy.
  • Has a fishy smell.
  • There may be itching or burning, slight swelling and redness in the vulva.

Symptoms of Vaginal Yeast Infection (Vagina Thrush or Candida)

  • Vagina yeast infection has a discharge that is foamy, white clumpy (cottage-cheese like) consistency. 
  • Unlike BV this type of abnormal vaginal discharge is odorless
  • There is an intense itching sensation and slight swelling around the vagina.

Trichmoniasis

Tricomoniasis is caused by a protozoa.

  1. The vaginal discharge is heavy and frothy.
  2. It has a yellow to greenish color.
  3. This is a smelly vaginal discharge.
  4. There is itching and pain during urination.

Menopause

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  1. The vagina becomes thinner and dryer after menopause.
  2. This fragile state causes the vagina walls to tear easily.
  3. It becomes an ideal environment for bacteria to enter and disrupt the vagina flora.
  4. Inflammation and infection occurs resulting in excessive vaginal discharge.

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Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs)

Abnormal vaginal discharge associated with STDs are caused by gonorrhea and chlamydia.

The discharge is thick with a yellowish to greenish color.

Other symptoms of gonorrhea and chlamydia include:-

  • bleeding between periods
  • painful urination
  • pain/bleeding during sex
  • bleeding after sex

Vagina Cancer

Based on information sourced from A.D.A.M Medical Encyclopedia, cancer of the vagina, cervix, or lining of the uterus may cause a blood-tinged, watery vaginal discharge.

When To Get Medical Attention

Home remedies do help with cases of BV and vaginal yeast infections.

However, if symptoms persist, do not be shy to see an obstetrician to determine the cause.

If the abnormal discharge is STD or cancer related, prompt medical attention can mean a matter of life or death.

Is it alright to have sex while being treated for abnormal vaginal discharge?

Well, you better not. If you are being treated for a sexually transmitted disease the chance of the infection recurring increases especially if your partner has not been evaluated and treated.

If anti-fungal vagina cream is used for treating yeast infection, its effectiveness could be affected. You run the risk of being incompletely cured.

If the discharge is causing you pain, be sure that you are completely treated and pain free before resuming sex as the chaffing from intercourse can worsen the pain.

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