Vaginal Discharge - Symptoms, Causes, Color, Treatment

Vaginal Discharge

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Vaginal Discharge

Vaginal Discharge is composed of fluid and cells. The fluid usually varies from being white and sticky to clear and watery. It flows out of the vaginal canal, helps eliminate the old cells, protects the reproductive system from infection, and keeps it healthy and clean. The amount, colour, volume, and consistency of discharge vary from woman to woman, depending on whether she is in her monthly cycle.

  • 1 to 5 days:      Red or bloody discharge due to loss of uterine lining.
  • 6 to 14 days:    Comparatively less discharge with white, yellow, cloudy or sticky mucus as the period ends.
  • 14 to 25 days:  After the ovulation period, the mucus is thin, slippery, and discharge is cloudy, yellow, or white.
  • 25 to 28 days:  Mucus is softer than before, and the discharge is less until the next menstrual cycle.

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Causes

  • Medication: Use of antibiotics or steroids and pills for birth control may result in vaginal infections.
  • Infections: Infections like Bacterial vaginosis, sexually transmitted infections such as chlamydia or gonorrhoea, and pelvis inflammation (PID) result in foul-smelling and inconsistent vaginal discharge.
  • Use of Scented Sprays and Soaps: These may result in vaginal infection and abnormal vaginal discharge.
  • Retained Tampon or Pad: Forgotten pad and tampon may result in vaginal infection along with vaginal discharge.

Signs & Symptoms

Signs of Abnormal Vaginal Discharge are: -

  • An increased amount of discharge
  • Itching, pain, burning, and irritation
  • Thick and foul-smelling discharge
  • Dark or white stains on underwear

Symptoms of Vaginal Infection are: -

  • Yeast Infection: White, cottage cheese-like discharge along with pain and swelling in the vulva. You might experience intense itching and painful sexual intercourse.
  • Bacterial Vaginosis: White, grey, or yellowish discharge with a fishy odour along with itching, swelling, and burning sensation in the vagina and vulva.
  • Trichomoniasis: Watery, yellowish, or greenish discharge with an unpleasant odour. You might experience pain and itching while urinating, which usually happens after your period.

What is the diagnosis of vaginal discharge?

Pelvic exam: To check for abnormalities in the tissue and organs of the vaginal and cervix.
pH test: To detect how acidic the discharge is.
Lab test: To see if there is a yeast, bacterial, or trichomonas infection.
Reviewing the medical history and STD test: To test gonorrhoea, chlamydia, trichomonas, and other organisms that might be the source of the discharge.

What is the diagnosis of vaginal discharge?

  • Pelvic Exam: To check for abnormalities in the tissue and organs of the vaginal and cervix.
  • pH Test: To detect how acidic the discharge is.
  • Lab Test: To see if there is a yeast, bacterial, or trichomonas infection.
  • Reviewing the Medical History and STD Test: To test gonorrhoea, chlamydia, trichomonas, and other organisms that might be the source of the discharge.

FAQs for Vaginal Discharge

What is vaginal discharge?

The fluid that consists of dead cells and comes out of your vaginal or birth canal is vaginal discharge.
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Is it usual to have a vaginal discharge?

Vaginal discharge occurs in all women at some point in their lives. Vaginal discharge is usually white or thin and transparent, with no odour.
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When does the vaginal discharge indicate that something is wrong?

If your vaginal discharge looks like any of the following, it's abnormal. • A little heavier or thicker than usual • Clumpy and white (like cottage cheese) • Grey, green, yellow, or somewhat crimson • It has a fishy odour • Itching, burning, a rash, or pain in your vulva
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What causes an abnormal vaginal discharge?

The following are the most prevalent causes of atypical vaginal discharge: • Yeast infections or sexually transmitted illnesses like gonorrhoea and chlamydia can cause an infection in your vaginal area. • Creams, powders, soaps, or other products that come into contact with your vulva and irritate it. • If you're past menopause, having a narrow, dry vaginal canal might be a problem. The following are some of the causes of vaginal discharge in children: • Any leftover stool in the vaginal area and improper cleaning may result in an infection. • Chemicals in soaps and bubble baths. • A toy or a piece of toilet paper caught in the vaginal canal. • Abuse of a sexual nature.
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When should I make an appointment with a doctor?

If you experience vaginal discharge and any following warning indications, see a doctor right once. • Irritation, itching and redness around vagina and urethra. • Cheesy, thick, yellowish or greenish discharge. • Pungent vaginal odour. • Spotting and bleeding without periods.
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Updated on : 28 March 2023

Reviewer

Dr. Monika Dubey

Dr. Monika Dubey

MBBS, MS Obstetrics & Gynaecology

21 Years Experience

A specialist in Obstetrics and Gynaecology with a rich experience of over 21 years is currently working in HealthFort Clinic. She has expertise in Hymenoplasty, Vaginoplasty, Vaginal Tightening, Labiaplasty, MTP (Medical Termination...View More

Author

Charu Srivastava

Charu Srivastava

BSc. Biotechnology I MDU and MSc in Medical Biochemistry (HIMSR, Jamia Hamdard)

2 Years Experience

Skilled in SEO and passionate about creating informative and engaging medical content. Her proofreading and content writing for medical websites is impressive. She creates informative and engaging content that educ...View More

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