Vaginal Discharge: Causes, Types, Diagnosis, and Treatment

May 31, 2023

Vaginal Discharge: Causes, Types, Diagnosis, and Treatment

There are many different kinds of fluids in our body that generally work for the safety of the system from infections and diseases. They also help in making bodily functions smoother like moving hormones throughout the body or keeping the lungs moist to capture oxygen molecules. Therefore, most common fluid discharges from the body are natural like the mucous from our noses. A similar kind of viscous fluid is also discharged from the vagina in women. This vaginal discharge is a regular thing which the body does to moisturise and cleanses the vaginal canal. However, some women experience this vaginal discharge at unexpected times with colours that raise concern.

Vaginal discharges are generally nothing to worry about if they’re happening only once or twice at most for the whole day. Unless the discharge has a colour other than translucent white it is just the regular vaginal discharge that is released by the mucous cell membrane inside the vaginal walls. So, the only disturbance that you need to look after is any sort of discomfort or pain that you’re experiencing along with the discharge. Here’s all you need to know about vaginal discharge:

What causes a vaginal discharge?

Vaginal discharge is a kind of off-white fluid that is released by the vagina. This fluid is secreted by the mucosal walls inside the vagina, uterus, and on the cervix. This discharge generally contains the dead cells, water and good bacteria that fight off infectious pathogens. This discharge happens with all women once they have passed puberty. It is just to lubricate and moisturise the vagina for better intercourse and to keep it from drying up.

All females have a discharge which varies from woman to woman. Some women get a lot of discharge while others have very little. The difference between viscosity and amount is always dependent on the amount of hydration that a woman takes. Apart from the normal discharge, if your vaginal discharge changes colour, texture or smell over a few days and seems to be more than usual, it might be signs of an infection.

The vagina will discharge fluids frequently only when there is an infection or there is a foreign material stuck in the vulva or the vagina. The vagina thus gets dry and signals the mucosal cells to release fluids that can wash off the infectious pathogens or foreign materials. If the conditions or change in colour persists for more than once, it is better to reach out to a medical professional. Here are you ques to be ready for a medical examination from a gynaecologist-

  • A sudden increase the amount of vaginal discharge
  • An unexpected colour of the discharge
  • Foul smell from the vulva after discharge
  • A thicker more solidified discharge
  • Irritation, itching, or pain in around the vagina

    What do different types of vaginal discharges mean?

    If there is any other colour in your discharge than an off-white or translucence, there might be an issue with your system. Here’s what different types of colours in your discharge might mean:

    Yellow, grey or green- a yellowish green or greyish discharge from the vagina points to a sexually transmitted infection (STI) or bacterial infection like a UTI.

    Brown or red- brown or red coloured discharge is usually related to issues with menstruation. Such colour is also possible because of pregnancy as implantation bleeding. If you’re getting a reddish tinge in the discharge, it might be better to check for pregnancy. However, if you’re sure that you’re not pregnant and you don’t even have your period yet, it is better to check with a gynaecologist. For women who are not sexually active, it is possible that the reddish discharge has been caused by irregular periods. You’d want to try out a herbal solution for irregular periods.

    Off-white or clear- the normal discharge from the vagina is a highly viscous fluid that is either clear or slightly off-white. However, if your discharge is white and has a foul smell along with irritation and itching in the vulva, it can be because of a fungal yeast infection.

    All of the conditions in which the vaginal discharge changes texture, colour, or amount will need to be examined by a trained healthcare expert who has knowledge of the matter. While all the vaginal discharges are not something to worry about, if things are getting uncomfortable it is better to consult a doctor. Diagnosis of any kind of infection can be done by noting down the exact colour and texture of the vaginal discharge. In case things don’t make sense, you can always go for advice at the doctor’s clinic.

    How to keep the vagina clean and fresh for normal discharge?

    Keeping your vagina clean and maintaining personal hygiene is the only way to keep your vaginal discharge under control and without foul smell. You can use a mild soap and water to rinse off your vagina. However, a speciality intimate hygiene wash would work better at maintaining a natural smell and cleanliness. The natural biome of the vagina always supports the good bacteria in the vagina that keep the vulva acidic to prevent infections from other bacteria and fungus. Here are a few practices to keep your vagina healthy and fresh-

    • Don’t use pressurised water inside your vagina to wash it
    • Avoid soaps, wipes, and bath gels with synthetic fragrances
    • Don’t wear tight underwears, leotards, swimming suits or sweaty clothes for a long time
    • Always wipe yourself from your vagina towards the rectum and not the other way after using the toilet, it keeps the germs from your rectum away from your vagina

      There are treatments available for causes of white discharge. They target the bacterial and fungal infections so that your vagina doesn’t have to wash off any contaminants. There are also treatments for irregular periods and female hormonal conditions like PCOD (polycystic ovarian disorder). You can also use Namyaa’s Shwetkanika Tablets, an all herbal solution for excess white discharge. Its herbs like Ashoka, Daruharidra, Guduchi, Lodhra, etc. work effectively to relieve the causes of excess white discharge.

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