HomeHealthCareVagina discharges: What are the causes, symptoms, and treatment

Vagina discharges: What are the causes, symptoms, and treatment

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Vagina discharges: What are the causes, symptoms, and treatment?

Healthy vaginal discharge is usual and natural. This secretion lubricates and keeps the vagina healthy. Normal discharge has a distinct smell and is clear, white, off-white, or pale yellow. The quantity of healthy discharge varies with the menstrual cycle and ranges from clear to milky white.

Any discharge that is chunky and has an unusually offensive smell should be examined by a healthcare professional.

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This article will go over the symptoms, causes, and treatments for normal and abnormal vaginal discharge, as well as when you should see your doctor.

Normal and abnormal vaginal discharges


Fluid produced by glands in and around the vagina is known as vaginal discharge. It lubricates the vagina and keeps it clean. 

Healthy discharge is clear, white, or pale yellow and does not smell unpleasant. It might be crimson during your period since blood is mixed with it.

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It frequently becomes brown at the end of your period when old blood is eliminated. Each woman experiences consistency and quantity differently depending on her monthly cycle.

Normal vaginal discharges

  • Bulky, thick white.
  • Pus (an opaque, white-yellow fluid that sometimes comes with pelvic discomfort).
  • Green, white-gray, gray, or a strong yellow.
  • exceedingly frothy or watery.
  • sour or “fishy” smell.

What causes vaginal discharge?

Vaginal discharge is frequently common, healthy, and typical.

However, certain discharges are irregular and should be investigated by a doctor.

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What Causes the Normal and Healthy Variations is vaginal discharges

With hormonal changes, sexual stimulation, and pregnancy, there are naturally occurring variations in thickness, quantity, and color.

These differences are usual.

Discharge is clearer and stretchier around ovulation, which occurs between days 12 and 14 of your cycle. In order to facilitate lubrication, sexual stimulation increases the amount of discharge.

This happens often throughout pregnancy, albeit the discharge is still thin, white, and milky.

What are the reasons for an abnormal discharge?

The following Infections may result in abnormal vagina discharges

Yeast infection

This may result in a thick, white discharge like cottage cheese.

Bacterial vaginosis (BV)

The discharge has a fishy odor and is gray or yellow in color. Additionally, it may result in bleeding after sex.

Sexually transmitted infection (STI)

The discharge may be foamy with a fishy odor, or it may be green, yellow, or pus. Chlamydia, gonorrhea, and trichomoniasis are examples of common STIs.

Non-infectious reasons for vaginal discharges

  • Foreign things that have stuck around, such as condoms or tampons
  • Breast cancer.
  • Douching.

The following medications increase your chance of getting yeast infections

  • Antibiotics like Cipro (ciprofloxacin) and Amoxil (amoxicillin) have the ability to destroy the beneficial bacteria that are found in the vagina.
  • Yeast is often kept in check by this beneficial bacterium, preventing problems from developing. 
  • Steroids like Deltasone (prednisone) reduce the capacity of the immune system to combat infections.
  • The immune system is weakened by chemotherapy drugs like Taxol (paclitaxel) and Adriamycin (doxorubicin).

Treatment for Vaginal Discharge

Treatment for abnormal discharge depends on its root cause.

If you have yeast infections, OTC antifungal drugs like Monistat are frequently used to treat mild yeast infections (miconazole).

Consult your doctor if you’ve never had a yeast infection or if your symptoms are severe.

Your doctor could suggest Diflucan, an oral or topical antifungal (fluconazole).


If it’s an infection, antibiotics are frequently used to treat bacterial vaginosis or an STI.
Your doctor will either remove the foreign object themselves or refer you to a specialist.

Do we have ways to test to identify the cause of vaginal discharge?

The at-home test kits listed below might be used to spot discharge changes:

An ovulation test kit is a smart alternative.

If you experience increasing clear and stretchy discharge in the middle of your cycle and think it may be related to ovulation, this is a suitable alternative.


Pregnancy test: An OTC pregnancy test is a smart first step if you have seen a rise in your white discharge and think you could be pregnant.


pH test strips: You could have a yeast infection if you feel redness, swelling, itching, or burning along with a normal or slightly low pH (acid-base balance).

A high pH might be a sign of trichomoniasis or bacterial vaginosis.

STI testing kit, Women who are sexually active and have discharge that is green, gray, bright yellow, foamy, or offensive-smelling can use this. Make an appointment with your doctor if you experience these symptoms or get a positive test result.

When to Consult a Medical Professional


Schedule a consultation with your healthcare practitioner if any of the following discharge modifications apply:

  • Greenish, white-gray, bright-yellow, or gray Pus
  • Rough texture
  • Fishy or unpleasant odor
  • Unpleasant-smelling discharge that is either watery or bubbling

Additionally, see your medical professional for

  • urethral or vaginal pain.
  • an increase in vaginal swelling, redness, itching, or a white coating.
  • Pain in the belly or between the hips that aren’t related to menstrual cramping.
  • a sore or rash on the vagina.
  • missed menstrual period.
  • Symptoms that get worse after menstruation or sex.
  • bleeding following sexual activity.
  • Fever.

Summary

Vaginal discharge happens to all women. It lubricates the vagina and keeps it clean. Clear, white, off-white, or pale yellow discharge that is healthy does not smell unpleasant.

Infection is typically indicated when the hue changes to green, bright yellow, or gray. A substance with an abnormal consistency is chunky, pus-filled, foamy, or excessively watery. An infection is often indicated by a bad smell.

Several drugs, including antibiotics and chemotherapy, raise the possibility of developing yeast infections. The quantity of healthy discharge can be changed by other drugs, such as those that impact female reproductive hormones.

The cause of the abnormal discharge is determined and treated. Antifungals are used to treat yeast infections, whereas antibiotics are used to treat bacterial infections.

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