Every woman can have vaginal discharge throughout her life. What is normal, in fact, is that it does, because discharge is not necessarily a sign of illness, and may represent a series of changes in our body, including episodes that happen every month, such as ovulation.
Even so, there is no woman who is not anxious to notice an unusual vaginal discharge , is there? To help you understand when it’s time to see a gynecologist or not, I wrote this article sharing the most important information on this topic!
In this content, I will talk about the most important information that every woman should know about vaginal discharge . See the topics in this article below:
- What can cause vaginal discharge?
- What does color say about your vaginal discharge?
- Treatment for vaginal discharge
By reading this text, you will have greater knowledge to understand when a vaginal discharge may indicate some type of risk to your health, as well as when there is no reason to worry. Good reading!
What can cause vaginal discharge?
A vaginal discharge is nothing more than the secretion of fluids from the vagina, which can be caused by quite different reasons. Normally it originates in the vaginal canal and becomes visible only when it descends to your vulva, becoming apparent in the panties or absorbent. For this reason, it is possible that your body may be producing fluids without you even realizing it.
There is a normal vaginal discharge , also known as physiological, that does not originate in any disease. It consists of dead cells from the vagina, bacteria from the vaginal flora and mucus secretion. The daily discharge volume can reach 4mL and the goal is to keep your vagina clean and lubricated, facilitating both the penetration of the penis during the sixth and the prevention of vaginal infections .
Estrogen is the hormone responsible for stimulating the so-called physiological discharge, so it is normal for pregnant women to have a greater volume of this discharge. Near ovulation there is also a greater amount of this type of secretion, as well as for women who use estrogen-based contraceptives.
Vaginal discharge, however, can also be symptoms of some gynecological disease, such as the following:
- Candidiasis: vaginal infection that can occur even in women without sexual activity, being caused by a fungus present in our vagina. The discharge released by it is whitish and has an odor similar to cottage cheese.
- Gonorrhea or Chlamydia: these sexually transmitted diseases also have vaginal discharge as one of their symptoms. Because they cause inflammation in the cervix, their discharge is yellow with a purulent appearance.
- Trichomoniasis: another STD that causes vaginal discharge, in this case yellow-green and with a very unpleasant odor.
- Bacterial vaginosis: this is the main cause for women to have abnormal vaginal discharge. It happens by the development of different bad bacteria, like Gardnerella. The discharge is grayish and has the odor of rotten fish.
There is also the possibility of the appearance of vaginal discharge due to allergies, arrival of menopause , HPV, cervical cancer, vaginal herpes or the presence of an object inside the body, such as a tampon or a “lost” condom.
To avoid any type of vaginal discharge , there are some behaviors that should be avoided, totally related to their main causes:
- Lack of intimate hygiene;
- Sexual intercourse without using a condom ;
- Excessive use of intimate soaps or baby wipes;
- Use of daily protector every day;
- Very tight clothes that do not facilitate ventilation;
- Bikini wet for many hours;
- Panties of synthetic fabrics;
- Low immunity or frequent use of antibiotics;
- Intimate epilation frequently.
Vaginal discharge can simply be the lubrication of your body, even so, it is worth paying attention to behaviors that can facilitate the development of fungi and bacteria in your body.
What does color say about your vaginal discharge?
Since vaginal discharge can be good or bad, you need to always be aware of its appearance, as it can indicate symptoms of vaginitis or colpitis (inflammation of the vagina).
The physiological vaginal discharge , which is not caused by any disease, is white or transparent, milky in appearance and has no odor. It is worth remembering that it is not accompanied by any other symptoms that may indicate an infection, such as itching, irritation, the appearance of wounds and burning.
Now, when vaginal discharge is not physiological, it can be an indication of some gynecological disease, caused by bacteria or fungus, or even by some allergy, such as the spermicide of condoms. The easiest way to identify this risk to your body is to keep an eye on the color of your discharge:
- Brown discharge: its color suggests the presence of clotted blood, which can be caused by reasons such as foreign body in the vagina, remnants of menstruation, trauma, ectopic pregnancy or embryo implantation in the first days of pregnancy.
- Yellow discharge: the yellowish color usually indicates the presence of an inflammation, caused by an infection.
- White discharge: physiological discharge is the most likely cause if there is a discharge in this color. Be aware, however, if there is a presence of bad odor or gray color, which may indicate candidiasis , among other infections.