Vaginal discharge is also known as Leucorrhea. The flow of leucorrhea can be smooth or lumpy and sticky. This is a normal phenomenon that affects all women but may increase or decrease with age and when travelling. Vaginal discharge is the body’s way of removing dead cell and toxic material from the vaginal tract. It requires medical attention only when it changes colour and becomes darker or when the flow increases to a point where it cannot be stopped even when using a sanitary napkin.
There are a number of reasons why this flow may become excessive. These include:
Leucorrhea can be prevented by keeping the genital area clean and dry, wearing cotton underwear, avoiding the use of cosmetics on the genital area and having safe intercourse. Drinking plenty of water will also help flush toxins from the body and control the flow of vaginal discharge.
If left untreated, this condition can spread to the uterus, fallopian tubes and cervix and can trigger pelvic inflammatory disease. In the case of post-menopausal women excessive vaginal discharge can also be considered a symptom of cervical cancer and hence must be analysed as soon as possible. However, this condition can be easily treated at home. Avoid eating sugar, hot and spicy food and alcohol to treat discharge. Eating curd can also help treat vaginal discharge as it contains lactic acid that cools the body. Also, avoid stress and strain as this can increase the discharge. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a gynaecologist.