Different types of vaginal discharge and tips to keep vagina clean and healthy

Vaginal discharge is the most common and regular occurrence. However, there are several types of discharge that could indicate an infection.  If you are noticing unusual symptoms or vaginal discharge color, then you must take a note of it and immediately consult a gynecologist.

Vaginal discharge is a usual body function. It is a way through which vagina cleans itself.  It is fine to experience heavy discharge after exercising, ovulating, sexual arousal or during emotional stress. However, if you are experiencing unusual discharge accompanied with foul smell, it could be an indication of serious medical condition.  Below mentioned is a list of different kinds of vaginal discharge. Know which is your kind and what does it mean.

White– A bit of white discharge is a normal occurrence. If you see white vaginal discharge at the beginning or end of the menstrual cycle, then it is normal. However, if the consistency of the discharge tends to be more on the thicker side i.e cottage cheese like, then know it is not normal. It could be a sign of yeast infection.

Clear- If your discharge is clear and stretchy (like a mucous), it could mean you are ovulating. This is again normal.  In this case, the consistency of the discharge is not watery but is mucous like.

Watery-A water discharge is perfectly normal and can happen any time of the month. This could be seen after heavy exercise, running or brisk walking.

Yellow or Green- If you are seeing yellow or green colored discharge, then it is matter of serious concern and you should not ignore it.  A yellow or green colored discharge when accompanied by a bad smell could be a sign of trichomoniasis infection. This infection is usually spread through sexual intercourse.

Traces of Blood– If you are seeing traces of blood, it could just mean you are getting ready for your period. But if you are bleeding in between, it could be a sign of serious problem.  It could mean an infection, polyps, pregnancy or ectopic pregnancy. Since there is a wide range of possibilities, it is crucial to see a doctor to know the exact cause.

Greenish Gray and Frothy- Greenish Gray or Frothy discharge could mean you have got bacterial vaginosis. It is caused by an imbalance of the microorganisms in the vagina. It can be treated easily with the anti-biotic or antibacterial gel.

Brown or Bloody- Brown or blood colored discharge is normal when it happens during or right after the period.  Discharge occurring at the end of your period can look brown instead of blood.   Blood discharge in between periods is also normal and is called spotting. However, spotting during an early phase of pregnancy could be a sign of miscarriage.  You must contact the doctor when you are seeing blood colored or brown discharge during the early phase of pregnancy.

Tips to Keep your Vagina Clean

  • Wash the vagina regularly with a gentle soap and water. This will remove the excess fluids and promote cleanliness.
  • Avoid using scented sprays or bubble baths on vaginal area. These things tend to irritate the vaginal and cause discomfort.
  • After going to bathroom, clean your vaginal from front to back to prevent bacterial infection.
  • Wear 100% cotton underpants as it absorbs moisture and let your body breathe.
  • Do not wear excessively tight-fitting clothes as they can increase the discomfort or infection.
  • You can also use pantyliners to get rid of the discharge keep off the clothes. When you use pantyliners, be careful that you change them often.
  • If you are experiencing excessive discharge, ensure you change the underwear frequently at least 2-3 times in a day. It will help you keep the bacteria away from the vagina and also reduce discomfort and smell.
  • You can also use baby wipes to wipe off the excessive discharge. Do not use wipes too far into the vagina but clean the outside vulva only. You must use unscented wipes that contain fewer chemicals.

When to Consult a Doctor?

As mentioned above, vaginal discharge is normal, but it some cases when it is accompanied by smell or unusual color, can be a sign of serious medical condition.  You should consult a doctor and get it checked.  Based on the symptoms or tests, know what your doctor recommends you. Below mentioned are several questions that you should consider asking your doctor.

  • Is it safe to have Sex?
  • Does my partnerneed treatment too?
  • When Can I expect relief?
  • What do the results mean?
  • For how long do I need to take the medicine?

The Verdict

In most of the cases, vaginal discharge is normal; however, you must immediately consult a doctor if you experience foul smell or unusual color of your discharge. It could be a sign of serious medical condition, which can be treated easily if you seek prompt medical advice.

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