VAGINAL DISCHARGE: THE FOUR MOST COMMON CAUSES

 

As promised last week , a blog on vaginal discharge:

 

Check out last week’s blog if you missed it :VAGINAL HEALTH WHAT’S NORMAL AND WHAT’S NOT

 

Some form of vaginal discharge or secretion is normal.

 

 

 1.NORMAL

 

This comes from both the vagina itself, as well as from the cervix (mouth of the uterus) .

These 2 well hidden areas of our anatomy are very rich in glands. Their job it is to make mucus and vaginal fluids.

The amount they produce will vary. During certain times of the menstrual cycle, it will be more and other times less. For example, at mid – cycle when ovulation is about to happen, it gets more  – with a consistency of something that resembles a large amount of raw egg white.

The normal colour is see – through, like mucus , or a shade of white. It might even develop a slight yellow tinge if it sits around on underware all day.

A slight scent is normal. Every woman will have her own unique version of it. This will also change during the month.

 

A normal discharge should not irritate your skin or burn.

 

Brown discharge usually means that there is some blood mixed in it. When exposed to air, especially as it gets older, it will change colour to become a darker version of itself.

 

 

 

2.BACTERIAL VAGINOSIS

 

This is by far the commonest infection found in the vagina. It is not a sexually transmitted disease.

 

It occurs when the normal acidic pH of the vagina is out of balance. The bacteria causing this infection produce chemical compounds  called amines. Very much like perfumes. Except that have a distinct odor that smells fishy.

Sufferers usually complain of feeling very wet. Almost like they have leaked urine!

The discharge is usually white or grey white and does not cause any itching.

 

Bacterial vaginosis is more likely to happen when these situations co-exist .

 

·      Recent antibiotic usage

·      Multiple sexual partners or a new sexual partner

·      When women have sex with other women

·      Douching

·      Too much alcohol

 

Once diagnosed correctly, this infection is easy to treat.

Oral preparations or vaginal gels that contain metronidazole as an active ingredient usually work.

The chances that the infection comes back is high. Some studies quote a risk as high as 70%. Treatment is more effective and longer lasting if combined with vaginal probiotics containing lactobacilli.

 

If left untreated, complications may set in:

 

·      Preterm birth and low birth weight

·      Higher rate of infection after other gynaecological procedures like Hysterectomy or D & C

·      Higher risk of developing HIV or other sexually transmitted diseases like herpes, chlamydia, or gonorrhea.

If you already have HIV it increases the odds of passing it on to your partner.

 

 

 

3. CANDIDA OR THRUSH

 

 Most  often, discharges are misdiagnosed as thrush.

So if you are not sure, DO NOT SELF DIAGNOSE LADIES.

Rather book that doctor’s appointment.

 

Get a professional opinion.

 

Thrush is caused by overgrowth of a fungus. Usually the culprit is Candida Albicans. Other, more unusual species of fungi can also be the cause. These tend to be more resistant to conventional treatment.

 

The discharge with thrush is usually thick and white – like curdled milk or cottage cheese.

Note the constant reference to food…. Medical doctors are a strange bunch of people.

It is itchy and creates burning. Surrounding skin can be red and inflamed. Sometimes small cuts appear on the area.

 

Again, anything that is linked to a pH change can cause this. Antibiotics and overuse of bath products are common associations.

The fungus likes a warm , moist environment- so ladies – get out of that wet swimming gear and gym clothes….. quickly.

 

Recurrent thrush can be a problem too. If this happens, examine your diet, cut out sugars and refined carbohydrates and consider taking oral probiotics too.

It is usually not sexually transmitted, but when infections occur persistently, partners may also need to be treated.

 

 

4.TRICHOMONAS

 

One of the more uncommon causes of vaginal discharge.

This is caused by a tiny parasite.

 

It is sexually transmitted. Usually direct sexual contact is necessary.

 

Discharge is green or yellow, frothy, and irritating to the skin of the genital area. Passing urine may be painful.

 

Occasionally in a patient with no outward symptoms, trichomonas can be picked up on a routine pap smear. Sometimes a swab is necessary for diagnosis. The parasite is usually visible under the microscope. Blood tests cannot detect this infection.

 

Treatment consists of antibiotics prescribed by your doctor. Usually this will be enough for successful treatment. 

 

 

Vaginal discharge can be very distressing if you don’t understand what is causing it!

  The aim of the blog is to give you just an introduction. Seek help when you need .

OTHER BLOGS YOU MAY LIKE:

VAGINAL HEALTH-WHAT’s NORMAL AND WHATS NOT

FEMALE VIAGRA?

TO VACCINATE OR NOT TO VACCINATE:THE CERVICAL CANCER VACCINE






Comments are closed here.

No Comments