Growing up, young ladies were told vaginal discharge was a result of their periods approaching. We are not here to debate the relationship between vaginal discharge and the menstrual cycle but rather to tell you everything you need to know about it.
What is Vaginal Discharge?
Vaginal discharge is a fluid that contributes to the cleanliness and infection-free state of the vagina. Although, depending on your age and where you are in your menstrual cycle, its colour, texture, and quantity can vary.
However, specific alterations may indicate a more serious health issue. These include notable alterations in consistency as well as changes in colour or odour.
Causes of vaginal discharge
Vaginal discharge is a normal biological process brought on by natural fluctuations in oestrogen levels. Ovulation, sexual stimulation, birth control pills, and pregnancy, among other things, can increase discharge.
Changes in the bacterial balance of the vagina can affect the colour, smell, and texture of vaginal discharge. This is because vaginal infections are more common when more dangerous germs are present.
Here are a few vaginal infections that can change the colour of your vaginal discharge;
A yeast infection occurs when yeast development in the vagina increases and generates a thick and white discharge. This discharge usually is odourless. Yeast infection has symptoms like itching, irritation around the vagina, and soreness during intercourse or while urinating.
This bacterial infection causes a change in the vaginal discharge colour. Bacterial vaginosis results in increased vaginal discharge with a strong, unpleasant, and occasionally fishy odour. Discharge may appear grey, thin, and watery as well. In rare circumstances, the infection does not cause any symptoms. Although bacterial vaginosis is not spread through sexual contact, you are more likely to develop it if you are sexually active. The infection may also increase your chances of developing a sexually transmitted infection (STI).
Trichomoniasis is a parasitic infection. It is typically transmitted through sexual contact, but it can also be contracted by sharing towels or bathing suits.
Most people affected with this infection experience no symptoms, but those who do will frequently notice a yellow, green, or foamy discharge with a foul odour. Common symptoms include pain, irritation, and itching around the vagina and when urinating or having sex.
This STI can cause thick vaginal discharge with a strong odour, especially after sex. Sores and blisters around the genitals can emerge, as can bleeding between periods and a burning sensation when urinating.
However, no or moderate symptoms are more common. If you do develop symptoms, you may have recurrent outbreaks throughout your life.
Sexual intercourse spreads the human papillomavirus infection, which can lead to cervical cancer. While no symptoms are present, this type of cancer might cause crimson, brown, or watery discharge with an unpleasant odour, atypical bleeding between periods or after sex, pain while peeing, or an increased desire to urinate.
Brown or bloody discharge can indicate endometrial cancer, fibroids, or other growths in rare situations.
Gonorrhoea and Chlamydia
S.T.I.s such as gonorrhoea and chlamydia can cause abnormal discharge by infecting the cervix. It is usually yellow, greenish, or hazy in appearance.
Colours and types of vaginal discharge
There are different colours of vaginal discharge with specific reasons for them. Here are the standard vaginal discharge colours;
Red – The most prevalent cause of the red vaginal discharge is menstrual bleeding. Menstrual bleeding occurs every 28 days, while the usual range is between 21 and 35 days. Menstruation usually lasts 3-5 days. Anyone who has bleeding between menstrual periods should consult a doctor.
Though there are numerous benign reasons for menstrual bleeding, it can occasionally indicate a serious problem. If you have been through menopause and have not had a period in at least a year, you should contact a doctor if you’re experiencing vaginal bleeding. It can occasionally be an indication of endometrial cancer.
Grey – This can be a symptom of a bacterial infection called bacterial vaginosis. Once your vaginal discharge changes to grey, it indicates seeing a doctor.
Clear – The majority of vaginal discharge is usually clear or white. It could be slick or the consistency of egg whites. However, having clear vaginal discharge can result from hormonal imbalance, pregnancy, or ovulation, and might not indicate any issue.
Yellow-green – A very faint yellow tinge in the discharge may not indicate a concern. This is especially likely if the colour change is only due to a change in food or dietary supplements. A darker tint of yellow, yellowish-green, or green discharge usually indicates a bacterial or sexually transmitted infection.
Consult a doctor right once if your vaginal discharge is thick or clumpy or if it has a foul odour.
Pink – Pink discharge is most usually associated with spotting before a period. It can, however, be an indication of implantation bleeding in early pregnancy. Some people experience light spotting after ovulation, which might result in pink discharge.
White – The colour white can range from cream to pale yellow. White discharge is most likely an indication of good lubrication if a person has no other symptoms. If the white discharge has a strong odour, it may suggest an infection. A person should consult a doctor. A yeast infection can cause itching or irritation and is frequently associated with white, thick, strong-smelling discharge.
Vaginal discharge treatment varies because each infection has a unique therapy. Most vaginal infections are not dangerous and can be treated with prescription medication. If your symptoms are not treated, they may worsen or put you at risk for future complications.
Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) are more difficult to treat and spread easily. Hence book a consultation today with us on Doctall and speak to a doctor.