Is Vaginal Discharge Normal or Not?
In every GCUP team, open QnA session, there are always questions about vaginal discharge.
“Ss vaginal discharge normal or not?”
“I have vaginal discharge every day, why?”
And there are many other questions about vaginal discharge ..
Therefore, today we will explain about vaginal discharge in detail!
DEFINITION OF VAGINAL DISCHARGE
Vaginal discharge is normal and common for every woman, because vaginal discharge is the body’s natural way of cleaning the vagina and keeping it healthy.
Vaginal discharge also functions as a natural vaginal lubricant to protect it from infection and irritation.
HOW DO WE KNOW OUR VAGINAL DISCHARGE IS NORMAL
The characteristics of normal vaginal discharge include a small amount, liquid, clear, odorless, and does not cause itching.
Natural vaginal discharge can occur due to hormonal changes during the menstrual cycle, stress, pregnancy, contraceptives, and sexual activity.
HOW DO WE KNOW OUR VAGINAL DISCHARGE IS ABNORMAL
This abnormal vaginal discharge is smelly, itchy, and there are quite a lot of it. The cause can be due to an infectious process, allergies, foreign bodies, or tumors in the reproductive tract.
CAUSE OF VAGINAL DISCHARGE
Vaginal discharge can be caused by normal body processes or by infection.
Normal vaginal discharge can be caused by hormonal changes, sexual stimulation, stress and breastfeeding mothers.
While the cause of abnormal vaginal discharge is most often caused by 3 microorganisms, namely:
- Candida fungus (candidiasis)
- Bacteria (bacterial vaginosis and chlamidiasis)
- Protozoa (trichomoniasis)
This vaginal infection can be caused by a lack of cleanliness in the vaginal area, an imbalance of bacteria in the vagina (either due to drugs or hormones), and sexual intercourse.
There are also several factors that make a woman prone to vaginal infections and cause vaginal discharge, including:
- Take birth control pills and corticosteroid drugs.
- Suffering from diabetes.
- Having unprotected sexual intercourse and changing partners frequently.
- Decreased immune system, such as HIV disease.
- There is irritation in or around the vagina.
- The thinning of the vaginal walls due to menopause.
- Too often clean the female area with water spray.
- Using soap or lotion that contains perfume or fragrance.
DIAGNOSIS OF VAGINAL DISCHARGE
Abnormal vaginal discharge can have various colors, here is the explanation:
- The liquid is brown or accompanied by blood spots. This vaginal discharge is caused by irregular menstrual cycles. Although rare, this condition can also be a sign of uterine or cervical cancer.
- The liquid is green or yellow and frothy. This vaginal discharge is caused by trichomoniasis.
- The liquid is gray or yellow in color. This vaginal discharge can be caused by gonorrhea.
- The liquid is white and thick. This vaginal discharge is caused by a yeast infection in the vagina.
- White, gray, or yellow discharge with a fishy odor. This vaginal discharge is caused by bacterial vaginosis.
- The liquid is Pink. Leucorrhoea that occurs after childbirth.
SYMPTOMS OF VAGINAL DISCHARGE
Normal vaginal discharge will cause symptoms such as:
- Does not smell strong
- Colorless (clear) or normal color (normal white color)
- Whitish texture depends on the menstrual cycle
While abnormal vaginal discharge will cause symptoms such as:
- Has a strong odor, such as a fishy or foul odor.
- A thick, foamy, or lumpy texture like cottage cheese.
- The liquid is gray, greenish, yellowish in color.
- The discharge from the vagina is accompanied by blood.
- They are very large in quantity and sticky, so they easily stick to underwear
- Whitish lump like cheese
- Pain to itching in the vaginal area
- Pain when urinating
If you experience the above signs along with other accompanying symptoms,
for example vaginal itching or feeling hot and sore when urinating or having sex, please immediately consult a doctor!
TREATMENT OF VAGINAL DISCHARGE
The key to dealing with vaginal discharge is to maintain the cleanliness and health of your vagina at all times. A clean vagina is able to maintain a balance of good bacteria in the vagina to prevent the risk of infection.
However, if the vaginal discharge you are experiencing is severe enough, the doctor will give you medicine according to the cause of your vaginal discharge
- Vaginal discharge due to candida fungus
- The doctor will give you an antifungal drug in the form of a gel that is inserted into the vagina, or an antifungal tablet that is taken orally.
- Vaginal discharge due to bacterial vaginosis
- The drug is an antibiotic type metronidazole or clindamycin, either given vaginally or orally. Serves to eliminate bacteria.
- Chlamydia due to discharge
- Can be treated with one-time antibiotic azithromycin or doxycycline for 7 days. This can eliminate the bacteria that cause vaginal discharge.
- Vaginal discharge due to trichominiasis
- The doctor will give you the drug metronidazole. In chlamydia and trichomonas, sexual partners should be treated as well.
HOW TO PREVENT VAGINAL DISCHARGE
To avoid abnormal discharge from the vagina, here are some preventive steps you can take:
- Wash your hands before and after touching the vaginal area.
- After urinating, always wash your vagina from front to back to prevent bacteria from entering your vagina and causing infection.
- Make sure the vagina is wet enough before you have sexual intercourse to prevent irritation and infection.
- Use unscented detergent to wash clothes. Also, make sure you rinse the clothes until they are completely clean.
- Use cotton underwear that absorbs sweat and avoid tight clothing.
- Avoid using scented wipes, scented soaps, or powders in the vagina as they can irritate the skin and disrupt the natural bacterial balance in the vagina.