Every woman in this world has faced vaginal discharge, as it is a natural biological process. However, many of us may not even think about the condition of vaginal discharge. The first thing we need to know is what vaginal discharge is? And how can we tell that it is normal or what are the indications of having a problem? As vaginal discharge helps keep the body healthy, you need to speak with your doctor if you notice any unusual discharge.
Vaginal discharge is a natural process in women’s bodies; it comes from the glands inside the cervix and vagina. These vaginal glands create a small amount of liquid known as vaginal secretions. This liquid comes out from the vagina every day by cleaning out the old cells lined on the vaginal wall. The whole process of discharge is a way of keeping your body vagina clean and healthy.
However, vaginal discharge varies from person to person, as some women experience vaginal discharge every day, and others may not experience it every day. The normal vaginal discharge will be milky or clear or might have a unique scent but not false or unpleasant smelling. Moreover, you need to know that vaginal discharge alerts overtime during the menstrual cycle of a woman.
These natural changes will alter the color or thickness that are connected with the ovulation process. Your vaginal discharges tell you about your vagina’s health, and it also indicates the balance of healthy bacteria present in your vagina. If you notice any unusual smell or change in the color of discharge, it may be a sign of bacterial infection; therefore, you need to see your doctor.
Types Of Vaginal Discharge
There are various kinds of vaginal discharge. These kinds are mainly categorized based on their consistency and color. However, some kinds of discharge are normal and other indication may alert about the underlying condition of your vagina’s health, which needs medical attention.
A little bit of white color vaginal discharge from the beginning to the end of your periods is considered normal. However, if the vaginal discharge is accompanied by cheese like thick appearance and you experience burning, soreness, and itching consistently, it is not a regular discharge, and you need to get your test for bacterial infection. These types of signs are mainly due to yeast infection and need medical attention immediately.
- Clear And Watery
A crystal clear and thin vaginal discharge is absolutely normal; it can happen at any point of the month, especially after a heavy workout. It makes sure that you have a healthy vagina.
- Clear And Stretchy
When the vaginal discharge is clear but feels a bit stretchy and rather than watery, this time, it is mucous type discharge. The indication means that you are more likely ovulating, and it is considered a normal vaginal discharge.
- Brown Or Bloody
Brown or bloody colored vaginal discharge is quite normal, particularly when it happens during or right after your periods. A late vaginal discharge during the end of your menstrual cycle can have brown color than red. You might also incident a small quantity of bloody discharge during your periods known as spotting.
If spotting happens in your menstrual cycle’s regular time and you have lately had sexual intercourse without protection, it indicates that you are pregnant. However, if you are experiencing spotting in the early stage of pregnancy, then it may be the sign of miscarriage, so you need to discuss it with your doctor and take the right treatment for yourself.
Moreover, in some rare cases, brown or bloody discharge can indicate cervical cancer or endometrial. It may be due to other problems, also such as abnormal growths or fibroids. It is the main reason for getting your yearly pap smear and pelvic exam. Moreover, your gynecologist will examine your vagina and check for cervical malfunctioning during the whole procedure.
It kind of vaginal discharge can also be the reason for human papillomavirus, which is mainly spread through unprotected sexual intercourse. The women may experience brown and bloody discharge, along with a weird odor. Luckily it can be detected through the help of HPV testing and if you have HPV, then take the right treatment for your vaginal problem.
- Yellow Or Green
A green or yellow discharge happens when the discharge is chunky, thick, and come with an unpleasant odor; it kind of discharge is not normal. It may be an indication of trichomoniasis infection. Generally, it is commonly spread via unprotected sexual intercourse.
If you notice it, you need to talk with your health professionals and find out what you can do to fix it. However, it type of infection can be caused due to unprotected sex or sharing your bathing clothes or towels. The common symptoms that you will experience are pain, inflammation, itching, and foul odor during vaginal discharge, which is not normal. It will help if you see a doctor immediately after when you notice these symptoms.
Causes Of Vaginal Discharge
As discussed above, the normal vaginal discharge is a natural bodily process that helps the lining of your vagina’s old cells by cleaning it and protecting it from any bacterial infection. Moreover, it is quite normal to have more often vaginal discharge due to heavy exercises, ovulation, sexual arousal, consuming birth control contraceptive, and emotional stress can also lead to discharge. However, an unusual discharge is mainly due to bacterial infection present in the vagina.
- Bacterial Vaginosis
Bacterial vaginosis is one of the common bacterial infection as it is caused by more often vaginal discharge, which has a foul, strong, and fishy odor can be the sign of it infection. However, in some cases, it does not show any symptoms.
It kind of disease can happen to those women who have multiple sex partners or receive oral sex a lot. If you notice these symptoms, then consider checking up the doctor to find a solution for it issue and save yourself from it harmful disease.
It is another vaginal infection caused by a single-celled organism or a protozoan. However, the disease spread through sexual contact, but it can also spread through sharing bathing suits or towels. You will notice a green or yellow vaginal discharge that contains a foul smell, and you experience pain, itching, and inflammation during vaginal discharge are some experience of the trichomoniasis infection. However, some women do not feel any of the above symptoms.
- Yeast Infection
A yeast infection is mainly caused by a fungal infection, which produces white, cheese-like cottage vaginal discharge along with itching and burning sensations. Yeast’s presence is quite normal in the vagina, but its continued growth can multiply and make the situation out of control. The following thing may increase the chances of yeast infection :
- Stress can manipulate hormones in the vagina that can help the growth of yeast
- If a person has diabetes, then there are likely higher chances of getting it infection in your vagina
- If the women are consuming birth control pills that can alert their hormonal balance in the body and increase the chances of yeast infection in the vagina.
- Experiencing unusual vaginal discharge after unprotected sexual intercourse can result in pregnancy, increasing the probability of yeast infection.
- If the women are consuming antibiotics for more than ten days, then they are the possibility of yeast infection to happen in their vagina.
- Gonorrhea And Chlamydia
These infections are transferred through sexual intercourse that can cause abnormal vaginal discharge. Gonorrhea and Chlamydia make the vaginal discharge look yellowish, cloudy, or greenish. Moreover, you may not experience any foul odor, but it type of infection requires the doctor’s immediate attention. Make sure when you notice any symptoms of vaginal discharge after having unprotected sexual intercourse, then it is right for you to discuss it with your doctor and take treatment.
- Pelvic Inflammatory Disease(PID)
It is another sexually transferred disease mainly due to unprotected sex. The pelvic inflammatory disease spreads in the whole vagina, along with other reproductive organs. If you notice heavy foul-odor vaginal discharge, then you need to talk with a doctor and take several measures to stop it from spreading in other organs.
- Human Papillomavirus (HPV) Or Cervical Cancer
The infection of human papillomavirus can easily spread through sexual intercourse and can cause cervical cancer. However, the host may not experience any symptoms, as it type of cervical cancer can have brown, bloody, or watery vaginal discharge with a weird odor. It type of cancer can easily get detected with the use of several tests, such as HPV testing and pap smears. Do make sure you get a trial of HPV if you experience any symptoms.
To prevent it infection from happening, make sure your sex partner wears protections before initiating your sexual intercourse. Because the main reason for its spreading is sexual contact. However, if you notice any symptoms like itching, soreness, and pain while discharging, it is normal for you. It would be best if you had medical attention immediately. So it would help if you see a doctor and take treatment accordingly.
When To Seek Medical Help
If you experience any unusual vaginal discharge along with some weird symptoms, it is suggested that you see a doctor as quickly as possible. One can undergo the symptoms and have to look if they are experiencing any abnormal vaginal discharge, such as:
- If you are having a fever and experiencing abnormal vaginal discharge, then you need to seek help
- If you are having pain in your abdomen alongside strange discharge
- Somehow you lose weight and has weird vaginal discharge
- If you are getting tired quickly after discharge
- If you notice more often urinations
If you are concerned about your vaginal discharge, whether it is normal or not, set your appointment with a doctor and undergo some tests to find the issue and accordingly take the treatment. Moreover, you must take several measures if you notice any symptoms regarding abnormal vaginal discharge. Sometimes the person does not experience the symptoms; it will help if you see a doctor and undergo a suitable treatment to treat your problem.
What To Expect At A Doctor’s Appointment
When you fix your appointment with a doctor for unusual vaginal discharge, you will undergo a physical exam that must include a pelvic exam. Moreover, the doctor will ask you several questions regarding your menstrual cycle, symptoms, and sexually active life. It will help the doctor to analyze the situation and find the problem. Generally, an infection can be detected through the pelvic or physical exam in most cases.
However, if the doctor cannot recognize the problem quickly, they may require you to have some tests. The doctor may take some samples of lining in your cervix to check for cervical or HPV cancer. Moreover, your vaginal discharge may be examined under a microscope to find out any infectious agent. Once the doctor told you about the cause of the discharge, you will receive suitable treatment. You should make sure the doctor takes the test correctly and gives you the desired treatment.
Home Care For Vaginal Discharge
To prevent any abnormal discharge caused by bacterial infections, you need to practice good hygiene and wear cotton underwear to improve airflow. Moreover, you need to avoid using douches, as these can make your vaginal discharge more painful as it removes useful bacteria present in the vagina.
It will help if you practice protected sexual intercourse to prevent the chance of any sexually transmitted diseases such as gonorrhea, Chlamydia, pelvic inflammatory disease, and human papillomavirus.
To prevent yeast infection while taking antibiotics, eating yogurt contains active and live cultures. If you think that you have a yeast infection, you can treat yourself using a yeast infection suppository or creamy available over the counter.
Above mentioned is everything you need to know about the vaginal discharge; if you think we have left something about specific details, let us know in the comment section.