Vaginal discharge- Is it an indication of Vaginal Infection?

By | July 3, 2012

WHAT EXACTLY IS VAGINAL DISCHARGE?

Vaginal discharge is a fluid, clear- white or off-white fluid which comes out from our vagina. Its stain can often be spotted on the underwear or the toilet paper (when wiping after you urinate). Glands in our vagina and cervix are responsible for the fluid production. This discharge is also referred to as “mucus”, “vaginal fluid”, cervical mucus”,  or “vaginal secretions”.

WHAT IS VAGINAL DISCHARGE A SIGN OF?

Vaginal discharge is a sign that the vagina is healthy! Vagina is basically a self cleansing organ and the discharge from the vagina is its way of keeping itself healthy and clean. It expels out old cells and keeps itself lubricated and free from infection.

During an average normal menstrual cycle the amount, texture, color and scent of discharge or mucus produced by the vaginal will vary depending upon the hormone levels of our body.

DO ALL WOMEN HAVE DISCHARGE?

Yes in varying quantities- some women have a little discharge occasionally, while others may experience heavy, significant discharge almost every day. Similarly the discharge may be thick and greater in volume when we ovulate. When women are sexually aroused the discharge will be more since the vagina is a self lubricating organ.
However it is crucial for women to understand that there are some changes in vaginal discharge which are clear indications of a vaginal infection.

POSSIBLE SIGNS OF VAGINAL INFECTION

Most of us normally get used to our normal discharge and can easily identify when it is out of the ordinary. Normally the following are indications of a possible vaginal infection.
Change in vagina smell- it the vaginal odor turns bad or strong or fishy
Change in Color: gray, green or yellow or gray
Change in Texture: becomes clumpy, extra thick, foamy or cottage cheese like
Other signs include vaginal pain, itching, swelling, burning or soreness

WHAT TRIGGERS CHANGES IN VAGINA DISCHARGE?

Common reasons for changes in the appearance or consistency of vaginal discharge include:

Menstrual cycle
Stress- mental and physical
Pregnancy
Antibiotics prescribed for any other ailment that you may be suffering from, UTI , or pill
Breast feeding
Ovulation and
Diet

At the end of the day simply by knowing and understanding your body – and being able to distinguish between what is “normal” and “abnormal” you can yourself figure out whether your vaginal discharge is something to be worried about.

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