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Vaginal Discharge: Treatment, Procedure, Cost and Side Effects

Last Updated: Dec 05, 2023

What is the treatment?

Vaginal discharge is known to serve as a viable housekeeping function in the reproductive house of a woman. Inside the glands located in the cervix and the vagina is a fluid which carries away the bacteria and dead cells. This prevents infection by keeping the vagina clean. Most of the time, vaginal discharge is considered perfectly normal. The amount of the discharge varies, as can hue (the colour ranges from transparent to milky-white) and odor, depending on the menstrual cycle timings. For example, if you are sexually aroused, breastfeeding, or ovulating, there will be more discharge. The smell may vary if you are not concerned about your personal hygiene and have been diligent regarding it or pregnant. None of these different changes is a cause for alarm. However, if the consistency, odor, or colour seems slightly unusual, especially if accompanied by vaginal burning sensation or itching, it is safe to assume that the cause is an infection or some other condition.

The treatment of your condition depends upon the cause of the problem. For example, infection caused by yeast is generally treated with antifungal medications inserted into the vagina in gel or cream form. On the other hand, bacterial vaginosis is treated with creams or antibiotic pills. Trichomoniasis treated is done by the drugs named tinidazole (Tindamax) and metronidazole (Flagyl).

How is the treatment done?

Women who are experiencing the symptoms of vaginal infection due to which the discharge is somewhat irregular or abnormal, they require proper treatment. There are various established benefits of treating non-pregnant women which are to relieve the signs and symptoms of infection. There is another factor too that is potentially beneficial after receiving the treatment. The risk of developing sexually transmitted diseases like gonorrhea and trachomatis gets reduced.

Tinidazole treatment involves the patients and their sex partners to be given either identical placebos or a single 2-gram doze of tinidazole. This treatment requires a follow up examination later. Other treatment methods include metronidazole taken at 500 mg/day orally twice a day for a week, metronidazole gel (5 g) applied intravaginally for 5 days, and clindamycin cream (5 g) applied intravaginally at bedtime for a week. Cindamuycin cream is oil-based which weakens the diaphgrams and latex condoms for 5 days after its use. Alcohol consumption should be negated for the next 24 hours of the treatment. Health care providers are supposed to consider the possible side effects, patient reference and other coinfections while selecting a particular regimen. Women should be strictly refrained from indulging in sexual intercourse and from the consistent usage of condoms during the regimen of treatment. Relapse risk increasing with douching. No data supports douching for relief of symptoms or treatment.

Who is eligible for the treatment? (When is the treatment done?)

Eligibility criteria of age is between 18 to 45. Those who are facing the indications of vaginal rash, itching, burning sensation, or difference in the consistency, smell or colour of vaginal discharge are eligible for receiving the treatment.

Who is not eligible for the treatment?

A woman who has recently given birth to a baby is not eligible for the treatment of vaginal discharge through medications as she needs to breast-feed her baby. Girls who are under the age of 18 are not eligible for the treatment either.


Are there any side effects?

The side effects of the medications for the treatment of vaginal discharge include vaginal rash or itching, a bitter taste in your mouth, dizziness, headache, diarrhea, constipation, loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, indigestion, weariness, and many more.

What are the post-treatment guidelines?

Keep following the instructions of your health care provider and visit the gynecologist in case of any significant change in the odor, color or consistency of your vaginal discharge (only in case of its recurrence). Be sure to take care of yourself by maintaining your personal hygiene. This can be done by keeping the vagina clean by washing it with warm water and a mild soap. Also, wear a clean 100% cotton underpants everyday and avoid wearing overly tight clothing to prevent the infection. Avoid the usage of scented soaps, feminine sprays, or douches. After you go to the bathroom make sure to wipe your vagina properly from front to back to avoid yeast infection.

How long does it take to recover?

It may take 4 days to a week for the medications to respond to the yeast infection in the vagina. Sexually transmitted diseases usually respond to the treatment within a week. If the infection spreads and reaches the pelvic area beyond the vaginal area, there is a possibility that the treatment will be longer than just a week.

What is the price of the treatment in India?

The price of medications for the treatment of vaginal discharge ranges between Rs. 20 to Rs. 100.

Are the results of the treatment permanent?

The conditions leading to vaginal discharge usually respond to the treatment within a few days. The hormonal treatment response in atrophic vaginitis may take a few weeks as the vaginal layer requires time to strengthen. Infections are known to reoccur occasionally. Your doctor will determine a treatment which is more effective and suggest you various ways to treat yourself at home and also to potentially eliminate the causes and symptoms of infection.

What are the alternatives to the treatment?

The alternative treatment methods available for vaginal discharge are apple cider vinegar (drinking two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar mixed with water treats leucorrhea), fenugreek seeds (soak one teaspoon of it in water overnight, mix it with honey and have it the next morning in an empty stomach), and indian gooseberry (mix one teaspoon of Indian gooseberry powder with honey to make a thick paste, then have it in an empty stomach every morning. Continue this treatment for a week and see the results for yourself.

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Written ByDr. Sunita Singh MBBS,MS Obstetrics & GynaecologyGynaecology
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