Vaginal discharge is a clear whitish fluid that comes out of the vagina. The uterus, cervix, and vagina produce it. It is mainly made up of cells and bacteria. The vagina is a self-cleaning organ of the female body and this discharge helps in cleaning and lubricating the vagina as well as fighting off bad bacteria and infections. Discharge from the vagina is completely natural and normal but if there is some change in it, it might be a cause for concern. Women may have varying amounts of vaginal discharge. Some may produce more discharge than others whereas others might notice a very little amount. Changes in the color, texture, smell, or amount of usual vaginal discharge may mean there’s a problem and you may need to visit the best gynecologist in lahore. Most causes of abnormal vaginal discharge are curable with medicines.
Types of Vaginal Discharge
There are several types of vaginal discharge, which are often classified by color and consistency.
- White Discharge
White discharge is considered normal especially at the start or end of the menstrual cycle. Its consistency is thick and sticky, with no strong odor.
- Clear and Watery Discharge
Around the time of ovulation, the discharge becomes clearer and wetter. Such discharge is specifically noticed more when you’re sexually aroused or pregnant.
- Clear and Stretchy Discharge
When the discharge is clear but stretchy like mucus, it indicates the likelihood of ovulation. The reason for this stickiness is to trap the sperm inside in order to fertilize the egg.
- Brown or Bloody Discharge
This discharge is seen during or right after the menstrual cycle. If one happens to have such discharge between periods, it is called spotting. Spotting can also be a sign of pregnancy if it occurs at the time of your period, called implantation bleeding. If spotting occurs during early pregnancy, it can be a sign of miscarriage.
- Yellow or Green Discharge
A darker shade of yellow or green discharge, when it is thick or accompanied by a foul odor, might be a sign of an infection. If you ever notice a yellow or green discharge visit a competent gynecologist via oladoc.com immediately.
Causes of Unusual Change in Vaginal Discharge
Here are some common causes of changes in vaginal discharge:
- Bacterial Vaginosis
It is a common bacterial infection that causes increased vaginal discharge with a strong, foul, and fishy odor. The discharge may also look thin, gray, and watery. This infection puts you at a higher risk of getting STDs.
Trichomoniasis is caused by a parasite. It usually spreads by sexual contact but it can also spread by sharing towels or bath suits. It causes yellow, green, or frothy discharge with an unpleasant smell. Other symptoms include pain, inflammation, and itching around the vagina during urination as well as intercourse.
- Yeast Infections
These are quite common and occur when yeast growth increases in the vagina. The vagina then produces a thick, white discharge that looks like cottage cheese but without any smell. It also causes burning, itching, and irritation around the vagina with soreness during sex and urination.
- Gonorrhea and Chlamydia
These are STIs that can produce abnormal discharge due to infection in the cervix. The discharge is usually yellow, greenish or cloudy in color.
- Genital Herpes
This STI can lead to a thick vaginal discharge with a strong smell, especially after sex. Sores and blisters may also appear around the genitals with bleeding and burning sensation while urinating.
- Pelvic Inflammatory Disease
It may cause heavy, foul-smelling discharge with pain in the stomach after sex, while on periods or during urination.
- Human Papillomavirus (HPV) or Cervical Cancer
Spread by sexual contact, HPV can lead to cervical cancer. It may cause bloody, brown or watery discharge and pain while urinating or increased urge to urinate.
Each infection is treated differently. Most vaginal infections are not serious and can be treated with prescription medicine. If not treated timely, your symptoms may get worse and put you at risk for future problems.
Your vaginal discharge is a sign of your vagina being healthy. Vaginal discharge alone does not mean there is an infection. However, if the color, smell, or consistency seems different than usual, it could be a sign of infection.
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