Abnormal Vaginal Discharge
What is Abnormal Vaginal Discharge ?
This is the discharge that happens when the vagina’s microbial community gets out of balance. This usually occurs when there is a decrease in the amount of ‘good’ microbes and an increase in “bad” microbes.
It is recommended that the patient visit the doctor if they see the following changes in their vaginal discharges:
- Consistency : Fluid becomes unusually thinner, or thicker and more textured
- Color : Grayish, greenish, yellowish, brownish
- Volume : Significant and unexpected in volume, often with other symptoms
- Smell : Fishy, metallic or just different
Abnormal vaginal discharge can occur due to the following infections:
- Bacterial Vaginosis : This is a bacterial infection that usually produces a thin and grayish - white fluid discharge that is accompanied by a foul, fishy smell.
- Trichomonas : A protozoal infection that produces a frothy, yellow-green vaginal discharge that has a strong odor. Some of the symptoms associated with this infection include:
- Discomfort during intercourse and urination
- Irritation and itching of the female genital area
- Gonorrhea : A sexually transmitted infection that often does not produce any symptom in nearly half of the infected women. However, some patients may exhibit symptoms such as
- A burning sensation while urinating
- Frequent urination
- A yellowish vaginal discharge
- Redness and swelling of the genitals
- A burning or itching of the vaginal area
- Chlamydia infection : This infection may not produce symptoms in many patients. The others might experience increased vaginal discharge as well as the symptoms of a urinary tract infection if the urethra is involved.
- Vaginal yeast infection : Yeast is found in the vagina normally but in certain conditions it can multiply and produce symptoms .This often happens with the use of Oral contraceptive pills, prolonged use of antibiotics, diabetes, stress etc. Symptoms include thick, white fluid discharge from vagina which is normally odorless. Some of the Vaginal yeast infection symptoms may include burning, soreness, and pain during urination or sexual intercourse. Vaginal yeast infection Treatments would keep the disease and its symptoms at bay.
- For Non-sexually transmitted infections
- Bacterial vaginosis (BV) : The doctor might prescribe antibiotics like metronidazole or clindamycin. These come in the form of pessaries, gel or cream, which can either be inserted into the vagina directly or as tablets that can be taken orally.
- Thrush (candida) : For this, the doctor might treat with pessaries or creams that contain the following ingredients:
- Rarer causes
- Cervical polyp : this can be treated by removing it, which is usually performed by a specialist medical professional.
- Cervical ectropion : This can be treated by burning with a cautery under local anaesthetic (cauterisation), usually performed by a specialist medical professional.
Some of the recommended preventive measures that can help abnormal vaginal discharges are:
- Try to avoid douching as much as possible as it destroys the good bacteria that helps prevent vaginal infections.
- Practice good hygiene and wear breathable cotton underwear .
- Practice safe sex by using a condom, limiting the number of sexual partners, and getting tested regularly for STIs.
- Use unscented soaps, tampons, and pads as scented or strong products may disrupt the natural balance of bacteria in the vagina, leading to an increase in the risk of infection.
Aikya Fertility & Research Centre
#166, First Floor,
9th Cross, near Indira Gandhi Circle,
1st Phase, J. P. Nagar,
Bengaluru, Karnataka 560078, India
Phone:+91096069 09299 /
Authored By Dr. Sunil Eshwar
Medical disclaimer: For information purposes only