V@ginal discharge is a common symptom in women and is most often completely normal and a sign that the v@gina is functioning properly. Your v@gina has a naturally acidic pH in order to protect you against infection. A healthy v@gina regularly secretes discharge that in turn carries away dead cells and bacteria from your body. However, it’s important to note that v@ginal discharge can, in certain cases, be a symptom of infection or disease. Being able to discern normal from abnormal v@ginal discharge is key to maintaining good v@ginal health.
Understand the function of v@ginal discharge
The v@gina has a specialized lining, which contains glands that excrete small amounts of fluid every day. The purpose of regular, daily v@ginal discharge is to collect old, sloughed cells and possible pathogens or “foreign bodies”, and to expel them from the v@gina. In addition, this discharge encourages a healthy balance of bacteria and yeast which protects against infection.
1.In other words, most v@ginal discharge is good for you. Discharge is a natural way that your body protects itself.
2.Women will have a normal discharge every 80 minutes during sleep. This is a normal physiologic function (men as well have an erection every 80 minutes during sleep).
Understand what normal v@ginal discharge looks like.
Normal v@ginal discharge is usually clear or milky-white and may have a mild, if any, odor. It can be watery or thick and mucus-y, but the consistency should be relatively smooth and lump free most of the time.
In premenopausal women, it is normal to have about 1 teaspoon of white or clear v@ginal discharge every day. However, the amount and characteristics of v@ginal discharge can vary from one woman to another.
Don’t worry about
Your discharge is your body’s natural way of protecting itself. Douching is advisable only on rare occasions.
If you don’t like the feeling of wetness on your underwear and clothing, consider wearing a panty-liner in your underwear. These can be purchased at grocery stores, drug stores and pharmacies, and convenience stores. You can also make your own pantyliners out of fabrics you have around the house, or bought from a craft store, if you want a cheaper and more natural solution.
Examine the color and texture of your v@ginal discharge.
If it looks different from the v@ginal discharge you usually secrete, then there is a chance that it is abnormal and a symptom of an infection or change in the v@ginal environment. A good rule of thumb is that if the discharge isn’t clear or white, then you may have a problem. The most common symptoms of a pathology include:
1.White, thick, lumpy discharge that is itchy.
2.Green and foamy discharge.
3.Grayish, yellowish, brownish or greenish discharge.
5.Discharge accompanied by pain, itchiness or burning, bleeding, etc.
6.Discharge that it is heavier or thicker than usual.
Evaluate the v@ginal discharge.
Having examined the discharge, now assess which of the conditions that can cause abnormal discharge may apply to you. If your discharge does not fall in the ‘normal’ range of colors and textures, it may be a result of one of the following:
Bacterial v@ginosis: This is the most common cause of abnormal discharge in women of childbearing age. Bacterial vaginosis is a mild v@ginal infection caused by “bad” bacteria. Essentially there are “good” and bad types of bacteria and the good types help to regulate the growth of the bad types. In cases of bacterial vaginosis this balance is upset and there are too many bad bacteria. Symptoms include grayish-yellow, slippery, and fishy-smelling discharge as well as itching or burning in the v@gina. Most discharges with odor are due to bacterial vaginosis.
v@ginal candidiasis (yeast infection): If your discharge is white but thick and lumpy (think cottage cheese), it could be a sign of a yeast infection. In addition to the change in texture and color, you may also notice itching and burning sensations. Yeast infections do not usually produce a strong scent. These infections are the second most common type of v@ginal infection among women. They are particularly likely to occur after a regimen of antibiotics, in patients with diabetes or immunocompromised patients.
Trichomoniasis: Discharge that is slightly green in hue and ‘frothy’ in texture is typically a symptom of trichomoniasis. Trichomoniasis is an infection with trichomonas, a single-cell parasite which is passed between $exual partners. This infection, the third most common infection that can affect your v@ginal discharge, can also cause v@ginal itching or pain.
STIs ($exually Transmitted Infections): The common STIs chlamydia and gonorrhea can sometimes have the sole symptom of increased v@ginal discharge. The characteristics of this discharge can vary, but it is often discolored (i.e. gray, yellow, green), thick, and foul-smelling. Women may also notice pain during $exual activity, as well as spotting or brown discharge afterward. Bacterial vaginosis, Candidiasis, and Trichomoniasis can also be spread
v@ginal or cervical cancer: Keep in mind that cancer of the v@gina or cervix is a very rare cause of abnormal discharge.
Let the doctor know of any conditions or actions that may be relevant.
For example, if you think you may be pregnant or recently had unprotected $ex (i.e., $ex without a c0nd0m), you should let your doctor know.