NEWS & ARTICLES
Women all over the world at some point in their life experience vaginal discharge called Leukorrhea. It is white (or clear), thin (or thick), sticky and odorless. Leukorrhea results from the mucus secreted from the walls of the cervix and vagina. It is caused by the increase in levels of hormones. The presence of leukorrhea indicates that vagina is kept clean and is in healthy condition. Vaginal discharge is composed of mucus secreted from vagina and cervix along with old cells and normal bacterial flora of vagina.
Some women experience leukorrhea more frequently than others. Although, leukorrhea is common and considered normal to occur; however, many women find it scary and is uncomfortable. Further, women are embarrassed to discuss this condition with their peers and physician. Hence, leukorrhea becomes a challenge.
Vaginal discharge with change in the color, consistency and smell due to infections or diseases of the female reproductive system is called pathological type of leukorrhea. The discharge of yellow or green color with offensive odor is abnormal and alarming. In addition, it is often accompanied by itching, pain and swelling around labia. Pathological leukorrhea is caused by infections due to bacteria, fungi and other microorganisms. Female genitals are moist and covered for most of the time. Further, sweat in this area is common, which makes the female genitals more prone to infection and inflammation. Pathological leukorrhea requires immediate medical attention.
- Bacterial vaginosis
Bacterial vaginosis is a medical condition characterised by a grey discharge, which has a lingering fish-like odour. Moreover, if you experience irritation and burning sensation in the vagina, which is increased by intercourse, it’s a strong indication of bacterial vaginosis.
- Yeast Infection
It often happens that your vaginal area’s natural bacterial balance is disturbed due to certain factors such as use of antibiotics, decreased immunity, stress, uncontrolled diabetes or consumption of excessive sugary foods. This results in yeast overgrowth in the vagina, known as simply yeast infection or candidiasis. It’s characterised by a thick and whitish-grey discharge from the vagina.
Caused by the bacteria Neisseria Gonorrhoea, this sexually transmitted disease (STD) is an infection, which causes vaginal discharge of an intense odour. Other symptoms of this disease include feeling of pain while urinating, chills, fever and irregular discharge of menstrual fluids. If left untreated, gonorrhoea can transform into a pelvic inflammatory disease and can even lead to infertility.
- Genital Herpes
Genital herpes, a sexually transmitted disease (STD) that leads to formation of small watery blisters on the vaginal area, and causes irritation, itching and pain while having intercourse or urinating, may also be the cause of a vaginal discharge of watery texture.
- Atrophic Vaginitis
After menopause, there’s a considerable decrease in oestrogen levels of the body along with the occurrence of changes in tissues of the vaginal cavity. This medical condition, known as atrophic vaginitis, can lead to a watery vaginal discharge, which can sometimes get bloody. Some other symptoms of this disease are vaginal inflammation and thinning or atrophy of tissues.
- Infected IUD
In some situations, it may happen that the intrauterine device (IUD- a form of contraceptive) inserted in the body of a woman can get infected. This results in a purulent discharge (pus) from the vagina. Getting the IUD removed as soon as possible is the best thing to be done in this situation.
You should make an appointment to see our specialist if you have an abnormal vaginal discharge accompanied by any of the following:
- Feeling weak, fatigued, or under the weather
- Yellow or green vaginal discharge
- A fever
- Severe abdominal pain or steady pain lasting more than 2 hours
- Any visible signs of infection around the vagina or labia
- Intermittent, mild, lower abdominal pain
- Pain during or immediately after sexual intercourse
- Vaginal pain or painful rash
- Any sores or blisters in the vaginal area
- You should consult your health care provider, within one day, anytime you have symptoms or concerns relating to abnormal vaginal discharge.
- Especially if it is accompanied by a foul odor or has an abnormal color such as grey, green, or yellow. Anytime you experience a vaginal discharge during pregnancy you need to see your healthcare provider for diagnosis and treatment
Simple tests, which can be done in or near the examination room, can provide quick results that often enable doctors to identify the cause. Additional tests are done to confirm or, if needed, to identify the cause.
Unless the cause is obvious (such as a foreign object or an allergic reaction), doctors use a cotton swab to take a sample of the discharge from the vagina or cervix. They examine the sample under a microscope to check for the microorganisms that can cause yeast infections, bacterial vaginosis, and Trichomonasvaginitis. They usually also send a sample to the laboratory to test for gonorrhea and chlamydial infections (which are sexually transmitted).