- by Motherhood Hospital
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- Dec 19 2017
What causes excessive vaginal Discharge?- Dr. Anjana Ramesh.
It is totally normal to have vaginal discharge, a sort of whitish fluid, but it is important to know that is it normal or in excess. According to studies women generally produce anywhere from 1 to 4 ml of vaginal discharge in 24 hours.
Vaginal discharge serves an important housekeeping function in the female reproductive system. Fluid made by glands inside the vagina and cervix carries away dead cells and bacteria. This keeps the vagina clean and helps prevent infection.
There will be more discharge if you are ovulating, breastfeeding, or are sexually aroused.
Any change in the vagina’s balance of normal bacteria can affect the smell, colour, or discharge texture. There are a few of the things that can upset the balance:
- Antibiotic or steroid use
- Bacterial infection
- Birth control pills
- Cervical cancer
- Chlamydia or gonorrhoea
- Douches scented soaps or lotions
- Pelvic infection after surgery
- Pelvic inflammatory disease
- Vaginal atrophy
- Irritation in an around the vagina
- Yeast infections
Types of Vaginal Discharge
There are several types of vaginal discharge, based on their colour and consistency. If the discharge is accompanied by itching and has a thick, cottage cheese-like consistency, it is not normal and needs treatment. It may be a sign of a yeast infection.
Clear and watery
It is perfectly normal and can occur at any time of the month.
Clear and stretchy
When discharge is clear but stretchy and mucous-like, rather than water like, it indicates that you are likely ovulating.
Brown or bloody
This type of discharge is usually normal, especially when it occurs during or right after the menstrual cycle.
A bit of white discharge, especially at the beginning or end of your menstrual cycle, is normal.
Yellow or green
If it’s thick, chunky, or accompanied by a bad smell, is not normal. This type of discharge may be a sign of the infection trichomoniasis, which is commonly spread through sexual intercourse.
The doctor will ask several questions about a smell, colour, pain, itching and burning in vagina. The doctor will take a sample of discharge or do a Pap test to collect cells from your cervix for further examination.
Treatment depends on the cause of the problem. Yeast infections are treated with antifungal medications inserted into the vagina in cream or gel form.
Bacterial vaginosis is treated with antibiotic pills or creams. Trichomoniasis is usually treated with the drug metronidazole or tinidazole.
- Keep the vagina clean by washing regularly with a gentle, mild soap and warm water.
- Never use scented soaps and feminine products or douche. Also, avoid feminine sprays and bubble baths.
- After going to the bathroom, always wipe from front to back to prevent bacteria from getting into the vagina and causing an infection.
- Wear 100% cotton underpants, and avoid overly tight clothing.
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