Let’s talk about Vaginal Discharge

November 10, 2012

Every woman experiences vaginal discharge on a daily basis after reaching puberty, but how much do we really know about it? Most of us probably do not consider it important enough to spend our thoughts on it, while others may simply feel uncomfortable with dwelling on ‘unmentionable down there’. However, experts say that it is important for women to pay a closer attention to their vaginal discharge, as it may be indication of an infection or even other underlying problems.

Many thanks to Dr Kopila Rai for compiling this information for didibahini to share with our readers.

What is it?

Vaginal discharge is a natural bodily secretion, first brought on by change in hormones as woman’s body transitions from pre-adolescence to adolescence. It usually starts six months to a year prior to the first period and continues until menopause starts. It is composed of vulvar secretions and bacteria that help keep vagina healthy. The secretions come from glands like sebaceous, sweat, bartholin and skene.

Different types of discharge and what they mean

White: Thick-white discharge is common at the beginning and end of your cycle and is not accompanied by itching. If it itches then you may want to evaluate for yeast infection.

Clear and stretchy: This is ‘fertile’ mucous and it means you are ovulating.

Clear and watery: This occurs at different times of your cycle and can be particularly heavy after exercising.

Yellow or green: This may indicate an infection, especially if the consistency is thick or clumpy like cottage cheese or if it has foul odor.

Brown: You will usually have brown discharge right after periods and it means you are just ‘cleaning out’ your vagina. Sometimes, you will see brownish discharge during early stage of pregnancy as well.

Spotting blood:You may see this during early stage of pregnancy and sometimes also when you are ovulating, so it is not a matter of concern in most cases. However, if you are not pregnant and you had an unprotected sex, and you have spotting instead of your usual period, then you may want to take a pregnancy test.

Do you have vaginal discharge during pregnancy?

Yes. In fact it’s common to have more discharge than normal while you are pregnant, and it’s usually harmless. This is because more blood flows to the area around your vagina while you are pregnant.

What is NOT normal?

If suddenly the discharge differs in color, odor, or consistency, and also if the amount of discharge increases or decreases significantly. These may indicate an infection. Foul order or yellow/green color means infection. Please contact your doctor if any of these conditions occur.

What can you do to prevent vaginal infection?

  • Keep your genital area clean and dry.
  • Do not douche even if you are inclined to do so for the sake of keeping your vagina clean; it is not a recommended practice because it removes healthy bacteria lining from the vagina that are there to protect you from infection. It can also lead to infection in the uterus and fallopian tubes.
  • Eat yoghurt.
  • Use condoms to avoid catching or spreading STIs (Sexually Transmitted Infections).
  • Avoid using feminine hygiene sprays, fragrances, or powders in the genital area.
  • Opt for lose fitting pants and shorts. Wear cotton underwear. Avoid underwear made of silk or nylon, because these materials are not very absorbent and restrict air flow. This can increase sweating in the genital area, which can cause irritation.
  • Take extra care when using  tampons. Change frequently and avoid scented ones.

3 Responses to Let’s talk about Vaginal Discharge

  1. 86Mickey on August 23, 2017 at 7:56 PM

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  2. pooja lama on November 18, 2012 at 3:39 AM

    Its very informative , I hope it brings more awareness and good health to our didi bahinis.

  3. Dr. KML on November 11, 2012 at 11:19 AM

    Nice work Kopila.. Keep it up…

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