How to know if my vaginal discharge is abnormal?

Gytree Team
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How to know if my vaginal discharge is abnormal? What actions to take ?

Verified by Dr. Vaishali Sakpal Rane (MBBS, DGO Obstetrics and Gynaecology, DNB Obstetrics and Gynaecology)

An essential self cleaning job is performed by vaginal discharge in the female reproductive system. Dead cells and bacteria are carried away by the fluid released from the vagina and secretions by the cervical glands. This aids in preventing infection and keeping the vagina clean. 

Most of the time, vaginal discharge is normal. Depending on where you are in your monthly cycle, the volume, odour, and colour (which can range from clear to a milky white-ish) can all change. You'll have more discharge while you're ovulating, breastfeeding, or sexually excited, for example. If you've neglected your personal hygiene or are pregnant, it can smell differently.

Any alteration in the usual bacteria balance in the vagina might impact the smell, colour, or texture of the vaginal discharge. Here are a few examples of things that might throw the balance off: 

  • Use of antibiotics or steroids 
  • An illness caused by bacteria called bacterial vaginosis is more prevalent in pregnant women and women who have several sexual partners. 
  • Pills for birth control 
  • Cancer of the cervix 
  • Sexually transmitted diseases including Chlamydia and gonorrhoea
  • Diabetes 
  • Bubble bath, perfumed soaps or lotions 
  • After-surgery pelvic infection 
  • Inflammation of the cervix (PID) 
  • Trichomoniasis is a parasite infection that is usually caught during unprotected intercourse. 
  • Vaginal atrophy is the weakening and drying of the vaginal walls that occurs after menopause. 
  • Vaginitis is an inflammation in or around the vaginal area. 
  • Infections caused by yeast

What causes the condition will determine how you are treated. Yeast infections, for example, are often treated with antifungal drugs put into the vagina in the form of a cream or gel or some medications. Bacterial vaginosis is treated with antibiotic pills or creams. Trichomoniasis is frequently treated with metronidazole (Flagyl) or tinidazole (Tindamax). But remember that one should never self medicate and consult a doctor for any issue.

Here are some ways to prevent vaginal infections that could result in abnormal discharge: 

  • Wash the vulva ( not the vagina) with normal water and a mild, non scented soap to keep it clean. You should never put soap or even water straight into the vagina. 
  • Never use douche, scented soaps, or feminine hygiene products. Avoid feminine products like intimate sprays as well. 
  • To stop bacteria from entering the vagina and developing an infection, always wipe from front to back after using the restroom. 
  • Wear 100% cotton underwear and avoid wearing apparel that is too tight.
Bacterial vaginosis Vaginal discharge