Is it normal vaginal discharge?
Yes glands inside the vagina and cervix produce small amounts of liquid. This fluid flows out of the vagina each day, carrying out old cells that have lined the vagina. This is the way the body to keep the vagina healthy and clean. The flow is usually clear or milky in color and has no odor.
The color and thickness of the flow change with the monthly cycle. The discharge is thicker when you ovulate (when one of the ovaries releases an egg), when you breastfeed or when you are sexually excited.
What changes could be a sign of a problem?
The changes that could signal a problem include an increase in the amount of flow, a change in the color or smell of the discharge and irritation, itching or burning in the vagina or around it. This is called vaginitis. The flow stained with blood when you’re not having your period could also be a sign of a problem. If any of these signs, talk to your doctor.
Also pay attention to symptoms of fungal infections in the form of yeast, bacterial vaginosis and trichomoniasis, three infections that can cause changes in vaginal discharge.
Signs of fungal infections in the form of yeast:
- White discharge, similar to the color of cheese curd (“cottage”).
- Swelling and pain around the vulva.
- Intense itching.
- Painful intercourse.
Signs of bacterial vaginosis:
- Vaginal discharge white, gray or yellowish.
- Fishy odor that is strongest after sex or after washing with soap.
- Itching or burning.
- Mild redness and swelling of the vagina or vulva.
Signs of trichomoniasis:
- Watery and bubbly, yellow or green.
- Unpleasant odor.
- Pain and itching when urinating.
- More noticeable after periods.
Causes and risk factors
What can cause changes in vaginal discharge?
Changes may occur if the normal balance of healthy bacteria (germs) in the vagina is disrupted. Many factors can upset the balance of a healthy vagina, including douching, feminine hygiene sprays, certain soaps or bubble baths, antibiotics, diabetes, pregnancy or infection.
How can douching be harmful?
It is possible that chemicals in douches irritate the vagina and change the normal balance of bacteria in the vagina. Douching can also spread infection to the uterus and increase the risk of pelvic inflammatory disease (PID, for its acronym in English).The PID is an infection of the fallopian tubes that can cause you can not have children.
Douching is not necessary to keep the body clean. It is possible that usually notice odors coming from outside the vagina (vulva). Keeping this area clean with mild soap and water can prevent smells.
What is a fungal infection in the form of yeast?
It is often found in small amounts in the form of yeast fungi in a healthy vagina. But if they grow too, can cause a yeast infection as yeast. Fungal infections in the form of yeast, usually not spread from one sexual partner. You are more likely to have a yeast infection as yeast if using antibiotics, are pregnant, have diabetes or if it stays hot and sweaty for long periods. Some women have yeast infections yeast as often for no apparent reason.
What is bacterial vaginosis?
Generally, bacterial vaginosis is caused by the bacteriaGardnerella vaginalis. Why the presence of this infection in some women is unclear. You may not be spread from one sexual partner.
What is trichomoniasis?
Trichomoniasis is caused by an organism called Trichomonas vaginalis. You can be infected but have no signs for a long time.Possible signs of trichomoniasis are listed in the box below.Trichomoniasis, usually spread by having sex without a condom with someone who has the infection.
What about other infections?
Two sexually transmitted infections, chlamydia and gonorrhea can also cause vaginal discharge. These are cervical infections caused by bacteria. It is sometimes the only symptom may be increased vaginal discharge. Both infections can be treated with antibiotic injections or pills.
Should my partner be treated?
Sometimes. Talk to your doctor if you are sexually active. You may also need to avoid sex or use condoms until you have been treated.
How are fungal infections in the form of yeast?
Fungal infections in the form of yeast treated, usually with a drug that is placed inside the vagina. Fungal infections in the form of yeast can also be treated with oral medications.
If you have a yeast infection yeast as often, your doctor may suggest you use a medication you can buy without a prescription. But if you have any questions about the cause of vaginitis, you should call your doctor. In addition to a yeast infection as yeast, many other factors can cause vaginitis.
How is bacterial vaginosis?
Bacterial vaginosis is treated with antibiotic drugs, usually with a pill.
How is trichomoniasis?
Usually treated with oral antibiotics.
Tips on preventing vaginitis
- After using the toilet, always wipe from front to back. This may help prevent bacteria from the rectal area to reach the vagina.
- Wear cotton underwear during the day. Cotton allows your genital area to “breathe”. Do not wear underwear at night.
- Avoid wearing tight pants, pantyhose, bathing suits, stockings, tights cycling for long periods.
- Change your laundry detergent or fabric softener if you think you might be irritating the genital area.
- The latex in condoms and diaphragms, and gels that kill sperm that are used as contraceptive methods can be irritating for some women. If you believe any of these things is a problem for you, talk to your doctor about other contraceptive methods.
- Avoid hot tubs.
- Bathe or shower daily and dry by patting the genital area.
- Do not douche.
- Avoid feminine hygiene sprays, colored toilet paper or scented deodorants, towels or tampons, and bubble baths.