Vaginal Discharge What is not normal

VAGINAL DISCHARGE: WHAT IS NOT NORMAL

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Vaginal Discharge is a  normal  thing to happen in all females because of hormonal changes leading to secretions from the glands  in the cervix and vagina. It is not that a female is completely dry all the time. However, one is often confused with  what is normal and what  is abnormal, and when is the time to  visit  a  Gynaecologist.

What is the checklist for Normal and Abnormal :

Colour – Normal discharge is clear, whitish but  if it is yellowish , blood tinged it  is abnormal

Quantity- The  amount of discharge may vary from every woman  and  it  also varies from different phase of the menstrual  cycle. The discharge increases  premenstrually, postmenstrually and also in the ovulation phase. In pregnant women and women on Oral Contraceptives , the discharge may increase.

Smell – A healthy vaginal discharge will not have a odour.

Wetness- Slight wetness  is okay to feel  but if it increases too much, then it is  aproblem

When to  worry –

-if  there is  sudden increase in the quantity of discharge, frequent change of  undergarments is needed

  • if the colour of discharge changes from white to yellow, green, reddish
  • there is bad odour

-there is associated itching

  • your partner also starts developing symptoms

Why does abnormal discharge happen
#1 Watery, white discharge with itchiness: A cottage cheese like discharge with slight smell indicates fungal infection or thrush.
#2 Green, yellow, frothy discharge: A parasite causes a common STI known as trichomoniasis in which the discharge is yellow or green, in large amounts, and is frothy with an unpleasant fishy odour. A course of antibiotics can clear the infection.
#3 Grey or white fish-smelling discharge: A strong fish odour, especially after sex accompanied by a grey-coloured discharge is a sign of bacterial vaginosis (BV). It is common, a result of imbalance in normal vaginal bacterial population, and is not sexually transmitted. It may go away on its own or may require a dose of antibiotics.
#4 Discharge with pain or bleeding: Abnormal discharge accompanied with pain during urination or sex or bleeding could be a Chlamydia or gonorrhoea infection (STIs). Left untreated, these can travel upwards can cause PID.
#5 Abnormal discharge with blisters around genitals: This is a sign of genital herpes, which is treated with antivirals that stop the virus from multiplying further.

How to prevent abnormal vaginal discharge

The most basic thing  to prevent discharge and vaginal infection is to keep yourself absolutely  dry. Fungal infections are most likely to happen in damp places. Make sure you are wearing dry undergarments all the time. Practice safe protected sex, which  helps in preventing Sexually Transmitted Diseases. Do not douche or use any  vaginal washes unless recommended by the doctor as it alters the ph of the vagina and leads to virginities.

AUTHOR

Dr. Amita Shah

All stories by: Dr. Amita Shah
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