What is vaginal discharge?
It is your body’s way of keeping your vagina clean and prevent you from the risk of infections. It also keeps your vagina naturally moist.
Life is fantastic and you are reaching for the skies. Amidst all the fun and enjoyment, you are downcast by an unusual discharge down there — enough reason to dampen your spirits. That’s vaginal discharge, a common occurrence that all women go through at some point in their lives.
Vaginal discharge is a natural bodily function in which your body expels unwanted cells and impurities in the form of fluids. It is released by the glands present in the cervix and vagina. Simply put, it is your body’s way of keeping your vagina clean and prevent you from the risk of infections. It also keeps your vagina naturally moist.
The colour, texture, and amount of fluid discharged from your body can vary during different times of the month. Nevertheless, this flow can vary drastically too from woman to woman. It's better to have all the information about vaginal discharge so that you can prepare accordingly.
Here’s a quick refresher on vaginal discharge and its importance in the health of your reproductive system.
If you sense something unusual about your discharge, don't feel shy to consult your doctor
What triggers abnormal vaginal discharge?
It is entirely normal to experience vaginal discharge, especially during and around your period. Sometimes, you may find that the discharge is more than just a natural excretion of the unwanted fluid. This is triggered by an imbalance in the vaginal bacteria. It affects the smell, colour, and texture of the fluid.
This balance can be put off by the following factors:
- Use of steroids
- Regular use of birth control pills
- Yeast infection
- Sexually transmitted disease
- Pelvic infection
- Bubble bath or douche
While most of the factors are harmless, if you feel something unusual, we recommend consulting your doctor for a better prognosis.
Types of vaginal discharge
It is essential to understand the different types of vaginal discharge. This will help you categorize normal discharge and alert you on when to be concerned about any underlying conditions.
• White dischargeWhite discharge is commonly noticed at the end and the beginning of your menstrual cycle. It is completely normal, provided that the discharge is not thick or causing itching.
• Clear vaginal dischargeClear vaginal discharge can occur at any time of the month. It is usually very watery and can be spotted after immense physical exercise or strenuous activity.
• Brownish bloody vaginal dischargeBrownish and dark bloody discharge is expected before and after your menstrual period. However, this kind of discharge is a common sign of pregnancy if you have indulged in unprotected sex. In certain rare cases, it can be a sign of cervical cancer.
• Yellow or green vaginal dischargeIn most cases, yellow or greenish hued vaginal discharge is not normal. When thick and chunky, it can be a sign of a more significant issue such as a sexually transmitted disease (STD). If you do notice this type of discharge, you should bring it to the notice of your doctor immediately.
When should you worry about vaginal discharge?
Several signs make for easy indicators when figuring out any abnormality with vaginal discharge. Look out for symptoms like:
- Unpleasant odour
- Change in colour – greenish or grey or brown
- Abnormal texture like thickened white liquid
- Incessant spotting and vaginal bleeding
- Pain and discomfort in the vagina during discharge
Treatment of abnormal vaginal discharge
Abnormal vaginal discharge is a cause for concern, and the symptoms must not be ignored. It is often an effect of a severe health condition that must be treated at the earliest. Visit your doctor, who will review your symptoms and evaluate the possibility of any underlying issue.
The doctor will conduct a physical exam and prescribe vaginal pH tests. In the case of a yeast infection, the doctor will treat you with antifungal creams and pills. Conditions like bacterial vaginosis and STDs will be treated with antibiotics in addition to other treatment methods.
In case of a serious condition, your doctor will prescribe the right treatment methods and you will be back to normal in no time.
Managing vaginal discharge
Vaginal discharge cannot be controlled. However, it can be effectively managed to minimize discomfort. Practice good hygiene and always keep your vagina and surrounding areas clean. Use high-quality cotton underwear and wear a pantyliner to keep the discharge from staining your clothes. Always offers a wide range of quality feminine hygiene products like sanitary pads, tampons and panty liners. You may choose ALWAYS pantyliners that are designed to quickly absorb the discharge and keep you dry. Avoid using douches and practice safe sex to stay away from STDs.
It is best to always keep an eye out for any unusual occurrences down there. Visit your doctor regularly to rule out any possible infections, especially if you are sexually active.