Fellowship in IUI, MS - Obstetrics and Gynaecology, MBBS
6 Common causes of abnormal vaginal discharge
There are certain glands in the vaginal walls and uterine cervix of a woman, which cleanse the vagina by producing a small amount of fluid. This clear or milky white coloured vaginal discharge is normal for a healthy woman if it doesn’t smell unpleasant. But if you observe that the colour, consistency, odour or amount of your vaginal discharge differs from usual, it may indicate an infection or a disease.
Here are 6 common factors behind abnormal vaginal discharge.
1. Bacterial vaginosis
Bacterial vaginosis is a medical condition characterised by agray discharge, which has a lingering fish-like odour. Moreover, if you experience irritation and burning sensation in the vagina, which is increased by intercourse, it’s a strong indication of bacterial vaginosis.
2. Yeast Infection
It often happens that your vaginal area’s natural bacterial balance is disturbed due to certain factors such as use of antibiotics, decreased immunity, stress, uncontrolled diabetes or consumption of excessive sugary foods. This results in yeast overgrowth in the vagina, known as simply yeast infection or candidiasis. It’s characterised by a thick and whitish-grey discharge from the vagina.
Caused by the bacteria Neisseria Gonorrhoea, this sexually transmitted disease (STD) is an infection, which causes vaginal discharge of an intense odour. Other symptoms of this disease include feeling of pain while urinating, chills, fever and irregular discharge of menstrual fluids. If left untreated, gonorrhoea can transform into a pelvic inflammatory disease and can even lead to infertility.
4. Genital Herpes
Genital herpes, a sexually transmitted disease (STD) that leads to formation of small watery blisters on the vaginal area, and causes irritation, itching and pain while having intercourse or urinating, may also be the cause of a vaginal discharge of watery texture.
5. Atrophic Vaginitis
After menopause, there’s a considerable decrease in oestrogen levels of the body along with the occurrence of changes in tissues of the vaginal cavity. This medical condition, known as atrophic vaginitis, can lead to a watery vaginal discharge, which can sometimes get bloody. Some other symptoms of this disease are vaginal inflammation and thinning or atrophy of tissues.
6. Infected IUD
In some situations, it may happen that the intrauterine device (IUD- a form of contraceptive) inserted in the body of a woman can get infected. This results in a purulent discharge (pus) from the vagina. Getting the IUD removed as soon as possible is the best thing to be done in this situation.