Vaginal discharge has confused our generations and made our young girls confused towards what vaginal discharge is, due to what they have read in the internet and what some doctors, nurses, have told them.
Their minds are filled with questions such as; is vaginal discharge a sign of an infection? Or is vaginal discharge an infection itself? In this article l will be telling us briefly what vaginal discharge is all about.
What is vaginal Discharge?
Vaginal discharges are secretions which are produced by the glands of the vaginal wall and cervix that drain from the vaginal orifice or opening. The fluid carries dead cells and bacteria out of the body, and vaginal discharge helps keep the vagina clean and prevent infections.
We should also note that vaginal discharge can occur on it’s own and also it can occur with itching i.e. most times when it is occurring abnormally. Girls often think that when its accompanied with itching then one can say she has infection , but nevertheless it is not so.
Some of the factors that can cause normal vaginal discharge;
Ovulation: during ovulation (i.e. the release of egg from your ovary in the middle of menstrual cycle) the vagina is more likely to discharge fluids.
Sexual excitement: during sexual intercourse the gland of the vaginal walls tends to secrete fluids which helps in lubricating the vagina to prevent dryness, and makes it easy for penetration during coitus.
Pregnancy: there is more discharge from the vaginal wall during pregnancy.
These normal type of vaginal discharge can be classified as Non-Infectious Vaginal Discharge, this category of vaginal discharge can also be influenced by factors; such as chemical irritation; like detergents used for washing of underwear’s, some bathing soaps, use of intra uterine device and the use of some oral contraceptive.
Different types of infections may cause an abnormal discharge in the vagina. An abnormal discharge means abnormal color (brown, green, etc), and odor.
Some of these factors can possibly cause an abnormal discharge;
Sexually transmitted infections (STIs); such as Chlamydia, Gonorrhea, trichomoniasis etc. of which I will be talking about some of these infections and how they can cause vaginal discharge in the next part of the article.
Non-Sexually transmitted infection; an example of these infection is the bacteria vaginosis which is a normal bacteria that live in the vagina that overgrows and causes a gray vaginal discharge and fishy odor. Bacteria vaginosis is usually not spread by sexual contact.
Vaginal yeast infection; which is usually caused by a fungus called Candida albicans.
If your discharge changes-for example in smell, color, or texture – it might be a sign of infection.
Discharge. Possible cause
Smells fishy. Bacterial Vaginosis
Thick and white. Thrush
Green, Yellow or frothy. Trichomoniasis
Yellow With pelvic pain
or bleeding. Chlamydia or Gonorrhea
With blisters or sores. Genital herpes
NOTE: Normal vaginal discharge is clear, odorless and does not come with pelvic pain
How is abnormal discharge treated?
How you are treated will depend on what’s causing the problem. For example, yeast infections are usually treated with antifungal medications inserted into the vagina or taking as oral medications. Bacterial vaginosis which is one of the cause of abnormal discharge can also be treated with antibiotic medications.Trichomoniasis is usually treated with the drug metronidazole or Tinidazole
Tips for preventing vaginal infections
👉 Always Keep the vagina clean especially immediately after sex.
👉 wash regularly with a gentle, mild soap and warm water.
👉 Never use scented soaps and feminine products or douche.
👉 Also avoid feminine sprays and bubble bath.
👉 After going to the bathroom, always wipe from front to back to prevent bacteria from getting into the vagina and causing an infection.
👉 Wear 100% cotton underpants, and avoid overly tight clothing.