Well, to your surprise what if I say that vaginal discharges are healthy and in fact, pretty normal! Yes, you heard me right.
Vaginal discharges are healthy. It is a fluid made by glands inside the vagina and cervix. The discharge carries away the dead cells and bacteria from the vagina and helps to keep the vagina free of infection. Vaginal discharge is in fact, a natural cleanser for your reproductive system. It also has a role in providing lubrication during sexual intercourse, thereby preventing dryness. Thus, in most instances, vaginal discharges are perfectly normal.
However, in case, if your vaginal discharge has a different smell, color or consistency than your usual discharge, and when it is superimposed with burning and itching sensation, then probably it is due to some sort of infection or other condition.
Reasons for abnormal vaginal discharge:
Bacterial, fungal or parasitic infections can often attack the vaginal mucosa due to change in their PH. this will induce more of discharge along with burning sensation itching on the vagina
Birth control pills:
Birth control pills will make changes in the hormone levels, and so it may induce or even sometimes reduce the vaginal discharge
Cervical or endometrial Polyps:
Some of these polyps are very vascular and may present as copious discharge which could have no smell and no irritation
Very common but often not diagnosed. Your gynecologist may have to do a speculum examination for the same. Very easily treatable by the simple outpatient procedure. However, you need to follow certain strict instructions from you gynecologist post-procedure
Cervical / uterine / fallopian tube Cancer:
Dysplastic growth of the cervical or vaginal cells, sometimes even uterine and fallopian tube early cancers can cause increased mucus secretion.
Sexually transmitted diseases:
In case, if you are infected with the sexually transmitted disease, then there are chances for increased vaginal discharge. Most are curable so please connect with the right health care personnel
Pelvic inflammatory disease:
It is the inflammation of the complete reproductive organ and your vagina tend to secrete more discharge to combat the inflammation
Inflammation of the vagina in most instances happens due to infection. The vaginal secretion will be more at this time to wash-off infection
Too much of fragranced soaps or perfume:
If your soap or perfume has a rich fragrance, then that might irritate your vaginal mucosa and induce more secretion
Chronic systemic disease like diabetes can induce more vaginal discharge. In case, if you feel your discharge is unusual, it is better to check with your doctor, for early diagnosis and treatment.
Treatment for the vaginal discharge:
Depending on your problems, the treatment varies. Your doctor might prescribe an antibiotic, or antifungal, or anti-protozoan medications according to the kind of infection.
However, from your end, it is always better to
- Maintain personal hygiene.
- Wash your genital tract with mildly scented soap regularly or just warm water.
- Only use 100% cotton underwear that is well fitted and aerated.
- Wash your hands with soap whenever you use public washrooms.
These will help to balance your vaginal PH and keep the genital tract healthy.
Special Thanks to Dr. Parag Patil (MD – Obstetrics & Gynaecology, Diploma in Gynaecology & Obstetrics, MBBS, Infertility Specialist, Sexologist) for the expert advice.