White discharge

White discharge
White discharge is a normal physiological discharge and while it can make you conscious and uncomfortable at times also, it is significant for you to know that it might be abnormal at times. This post is to help you in understanding various scenarios and taking a closer look to determine if it is normal or is it the time to see your doctor.

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So if you think that it is not most comfortable of conversations then keep this in mind that discharge is something which all of us experience frequently. Let us take a quick look at causes of white vaginal discharge followed by FAQ’s and tips to manage it.

  1. Ovulation & Cleaning: The days when you are ovulating, the secretion of white discharge is high but it decreases significantly after your menstrual cycle. During this period the body conducts routine cleaning to keep vagina clean and moisturised which results in discharge ultimately and thus is a good indication!
    White discharge - Ovulation and Cleaning
  2. Infections: If your discharge is thick as cottage cheese and causing itchiness, swelling or rashes around your genitals then it points out towards infections. This might also lead to pain during sexual intercourse and can prove to be highly critical if not addressed timely and carefully. Weak immune system, untreated diabetes along with pregnancy and antibiotic use can be major reasons of this infection.
    White discharge - Infections
  3. Vaginosis: Healthy vagina requires balanced mix of both bacteria and yeast and if due to use of any products which contain preservatives and are infectious, the growth of bacteria gets out of control then it can lead to bacterial vaginosis. If it is in initial stage then it may simply go away because it is mild but if left untreated then it can lead to serious complications as well.
    White discharge - Vaginosis
  4. Periods & Pregnancy: Also mentioned in further posts, body does a routine cleaning of vagina before beginning of menstruation cycle and hence the discharge sort of increase at the beginning of periods. This milky white vaginal discharge can increase significantly (we can actually say that it multiplies) during pregnancy.
    White discharge - Periods and Pregnancy
  5. Irregularity in periods: Hormonal imbalance can certainly lead to irregularity in periods. Along with this there are hosts of other lifestyle factors which can simply join the league. If this white discharge starts to turn a little brown or bloody then it gives an indication of irregular periods and should be highlighted immediately to a doctor at the earliest.
    White discharge - Irregularity in periods
  6. STD infections: Trichomoniasis and Gonorrhea are two of the other sexually transmitted diseases which have a symptom of white vaginal discharge. This discharge is smelly and itchy and also leads to burning sensation down there! Both of these are easily curable if are brought to the attention of your doctor immediately. The infection is caused due to unprotected sex and can easily spread to other membranes of the body if not treated. They might go unnoticed especially in women, but white creamy discharge from penis and vagina might be due to this! It can lead to swelling, burning and everything which is simply not ordinary.
    White discharge - STD infections

Below are few Frequently Asked Questions which can help in throwing more light on the causes of white vaginal discharge and can help you in interpreting it normally and meaningfully.

Is white discharge normal?

The odour and hue of this white discharge can vary from person to person. In the normal scenario, white discharge represents the fluid made by glands inside the vagina and cervix and contains dead cells and bacteria which keeps vagina clean and away from infection. The volume can also vary if you are ovulating, breastfeeding or sexually aroused. So we can term that it is absolutely normal unless it is accompanied by itching or burning.

Is white discharge a sign of pregnancy?

White discharge also points towards pregnancy. The odour of it might be different! Also, it is visibly noticeable and thick and milky too! If the discharge is slightly green or yellowish then it can be a symptom of vaginal yeast infection which generally happens during pregnancy. So if it is very thick and milky and contains little smell then there is nothing frightening about it. It is pretty common and harmless too.

The reason of increase in this mucus discharge is because of increasing and varying estrogen levels which increase the blood flow to the pelvic area of the body. Also, as the pregnancy months increase, its volume keeps on burgeoning. All you have to ensure that if it is foul smelling then it needs to be addressed. But you can’t say that white discharge is a confirmed sign of pregnancy as it occurs in variety of other instances and circumstances and thus we can’t treat it as ‘tell-tale sign of pregnancy.’

What is it when you have white discharge?

Generally this white creamy discharge varies during menstrual cycle. So it is very common if you experience it at the beginning and at end of your menstrual cycle. If it is normal then it is not itchy or burning. If it is clear and stretchy then it is also called ‘fertile’ mucus which simply means that you are ovulating.

If it is little brown then it might be because of old blood and occurs during the later stage of periods. Yellowish or greenish colour is a signal of yeast infection and needs to be addressed immediately. If it is clear and watery then that can vary at different times, for instance it can be heavy during exercising! So it signifies the signs of heading towards periods, pregnancy or you are down with infection or stress.

Do you get white discharge before your period?

Do you get white discharge before your period?

You can call it an early indication that you are going to step into those days of the month! It is perfectly normal to have thick discharge before your menstrual cycle begin. It is a reflection of the normal cleansing process of vagina and signifies ovulation. Thus it is very normal to experience it before and at the later stage of periods. Since it is odourless and clear, nothing to be frightened about it!

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What is milky white discharge with odour?

If the level of bacteria and dead cells varies then it can affect texture, smell and odour of the discharge. Odour is not a good signal for discharge and can lead to burning sensation too. It can also point out towards pregnancy or is certainly a clear indication of infection which can be sexually transmitted or internal. Also, some of the sexually transmitted diseases like gonorrhoea can also cause serious problems up in the tubes.

Therefore if this white discharge from vagina contains fishy and foul odour then it should be checked out immediately. These sorts of vaginal infections can happen to women of all ages. They can or cannot be sexually active and thus it is not possible to figure out one reason of this odour in white creamy discharge.

What is white vaginal discharge with no odour?

Undergoing puberty and experiencing thick white discharge without any odour is very normal. You can simply take it up as a liquid which cleans and moistens the vagina and is necessary for the fertilizing process also. If it is cloudy white and has no or slight odour then it is completely normal and worriless too.

How can I manage my vaginal discharge if it is excessive? Or
what sort of preventive measures should I take during these days?

Vaginal discharge can be normal and manageable too but at times it might be uncomfortable and irritated especially during pregnancy when body is already undergoing lot of changes. Here are some of the tips through which you can cope with them and can upset the balance.

  1. Make pad and panty liners your best friend during these days as they can help in soaking uo the moisture very well.
    White discharge - Make pad and panty liners your best friend during these days
  2. Refrain from using any sorts of scented wipes, perfumed bubble baths or vaginal deodorants as they can lead to spread of infection.
    White discharge - Refrain from using any sorts of scented wipes
  3. Try to keep outer area of your genitals clean and dry as it can help in preventing spread of unpleasant odours which can otherwise go along with vaginal discharge especially during pregnancy.
    White discharge - Try to keep outer area of your genitals clean and dry
  4. Say No-No to tampons or douche! This is because they can contribute in introducing new germs to the vagina and can also lead to increased vaginal infections. Hence, you should stay away from them!
    White discharge - Say No-No to tampons or douche!
  5. Excessive use of antibiotics and steroids to keep stress away also contributes in unbalancing the structure of fluid discharge.
    White discharge - Excessive use of antibiotics and steroids to keep stress away also contributes in unbalancing the structure of fluid discharge
  6. Birth control pills, having unprotected sex and having sex with multiple partners can also lead to irregular and excessive fluid discharge.
    White discharge - Birth control pills

So you need to take note of these points to ensure that your discharge is healthy and normal. Pain, itching, discomfort, sores and rashes need to be consulted on urgent basis with health care provider.

Anything which seems to be abnormal and raise an alarm for you needs to be consulted with your doctor. There is nothing to shy about it as little oversight can prove to be harmful. So you need to be diligent about your personal hygiene at all the times.

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