Your body produces a fluid that protects the vagina from bacterial and fungal invasions. The fluid is produced in cervical glands and has a natural acidity that strengthens the resistance of the mucosa to fungal attacks and bacterial infections. This fluid is emitted from your body, and this is referred to as discharge. It is a natural phenomenon and does not indicate that something is wrong. All women experience vaginal discharge, but the frequency and abundance of the discharge may vary between individuals. More abundant discharge is fairly common during ovulation or before a period.
A natural body fluid
You cannot get rid of vaginal discharge completely since it is a natural phenomenon. However, if the discharge is more abundant than normal or changes in appearance, you should be on your guard. If the discharge changes colour, it may be due to natural causes such as pregnancy and menopause, and is not an indication of disease. During pregnancy, many women experience abundant discharge more often than usual, and during menopause the discharge may be thicker and purulent.
Diseases and issues
Diseases and infections that affect discharge include:
- Bacterial vaginosis is a bacterial imbalance in the vagina causing malodorous discharge. The disease changes the smell and the appearance of the discharge. It gets a fishy smell and generally occurs when you are having your period or after sex. Bacterial vaginosis is harmless and easy to treat.
- Vaginal thrush. Common symptoms are changes in colour, and the discharge becomes whitish and grainy. Intense itchiness in the genital area is common. There are non-prescription medications available for treatment.
- Pelvic inflammatory diseases or salpingitis may affect the smell and look of the discharge. Typical symptoms include more abundant discharge, malodorous and stringy discharge. Other common symptoms are tummy-ache and fever. Salpingitis can be due to various reasons. Symptoms occur most commonly when a copper IUD has been inserted, or following an abortion, miscarriage or delivery. Infections of this kind are treated with antibiotics.
- Trichomoniasis. This is a sexually transmitted infection and spreads via intercourse. Typical symptoms include malodorous, yellow or greenish discharge that contain tiny bubbles and may be mixed with blood. Other common symptoms include a burning sensation in the vagina. If you suspect trichomoniasis you should consult a doctor. The infection is in most cases treated with antibiotics.
If abnormal discharge is due to one of these diseases, the problem can only be solved by treating the disease itself. You can do this by filling out a web form as an online examination done by an