Vagina is an elastic, muscular canal lined with nerves, and soft and flexible lining that provides lubrication and sensation. It connects the uterus and cervix to the outside of body, allowing for menstruation, intercourse and child birth. It is a delicate organ which is prone to injury and infections.
Complications related to urination, menstruation and sexual intercourse, all affect the vaginal health. Here are few questions associated with vaginal problems that are commonly experienced but rarely discussed.
What is vaginal discharge?
Vaginal discharge is a fluid made by glands in the vagina and cervix. It contains a mix of vaginal secretions and cervical mucus. Normally vaginal discharge starts after a girl gets her first menstrual period. It naturally keeps vagina clean and provides lubrication during sexual intercourse.
Is vaginal discharge normal?
Vaginal discharge is most often normal. The amount, odour and colour (clear to milky white-ish), can vary depending on the time of menstrual cycle. E.g. - More discharge during the time of ovulation. However, there are certain types of discharge that can indicate an infection and especially if associated with vaginal itching or burning one could be having infection or other condition. Abnormal discharge may be yellow or green, chunky in consistency or foul smelling.
What is vaginitis?
Vaginitis is an inflammation of the vagina. It can cause uncomfortable symptoms like discharge, itching and burning sensation.
What causes abnormal discharge?
Any change in vagina’s normal bacteria can affect the smell, colour and consistency of discharge. Few common causes that can upset normal balance are (A) Antibiotics and steroid uses. (B) Bacterial infections. (C) Yeast infections. (D) Sexually transmitted diseases. (E) Diabetes. (F) Douches and scented soaps. (G) Thinning and drying out of the vaginal walls during menopause, etc.
Normal vaginal discharge does not need to be prevented. Taking some precautions can sometimes prevent abnormal discharge.