Vaginal discharge is a normal activity carried out by the reproductive system of a woman to keep it healthy. Vagina and cervix consist of many glands and these glands generate fluid. The vaginal discharge is also a home to dead cells and bacteria, which may otherwise cause vaginal infection if not removed by the discharge. Therefore, discharge from the vaginal area acts as a cleansing process by removing all the unwanted and pathogenic bacteria.
What is vaginal discharge is all about?
It is quite normal for the quantity and color of the vaginal discharge to vary in different phases of a woman’s life. The quality may increase during the menstrual cycle, compared to the rest of the days. The same is the case with the color. It can be transparent to milky white. When a woman is pregnant, is breastfeeding, or is sexually aroused, the amount of vaginal discharge increases. The odor of the vaginal discharge, too, tends to vary. However, a foul odor is a sign that your hygiene of private parts needs to be taken care of. The odor differs in pregnant women too. Whenever there is a sudden or striking change in the odor, amount, or color of the discharge, medical intervention is required. It is a clear sign of an infection and this is especially true if itching and burning sensation in the private parts accompany changes in appearance or odor.
When is it considered abnormal?
There can be multiple reasons behind abnormal vaginal discharge. One of the common reasons is the change of pH or bacterial balance. Women with diabetes are affected by abnormal vaginal discharge. Use of antibiotics, steroids, and birth control pill can also cause abnormal discharge. Cervical cancer, pelvic infection after surgery, inflammatory diseases in the pelvis, trichomoniasis, vaginal atrophy, irritation in the vaginal area, and yeast infections are some of the other causes of abnormal discharge. The use of douches and other scented products in the vaginal area, too, can trigger excessive or abnormal discharge.
What should you do?
If you suffer from abnormal vaginal discharge, visiting your doctor is the first thing you need to do. Your doctor may ask you several questions to figure out the actual reason and accordingly advise treatment. For instance, if you are suffering from a yeast infection, antifungal medications are prescribed. If it is because of lack of hygiene, you will be prescribed antibiotics and the doctor will also share tips to maintain proper vaginal hygiene. To keep the vagina healthy and prevent abnormal discharge due to reasons that are under human control, one can do the following: