Causes and Control of Vaginal Discharge

Vaginal discharge is a touchy subject for many women, but knowing what to look out for and recognising a change in normal discharge could keep you on the right side of a healthy vagina. It’s important to remember that vaginal discharge, if clear or white is a healthy bodily function. It is one of the ways the body cleanses and

protects the sensitive environment of the vagina. The normal colour of vaginal discharge is either clear or white.

The texture may vary depending on where about you are in your ovulation cycle. But any change in colour, together with certain other symptoms, is generally indicative of an infection and requires medical attention. The main culprits for upsetting the delicate internal bacteria balance in the vagina include: Antibiotic use, Contraceptive medications, Douching, Diabetes, Pregnancy, Stress, Wearing underwear that is too tight or synthetic

Your first clue that something is amiss down below could be an increase in the amount and texture of discharge, a slight odour or a colour change. Although white is generally the normal colour of discharge, especially around the time of your period, if it’s accompanied by itching and resembles cottage cheese in lumpy texture, this may signal a yeast infection and warrants treatment.

Clear discharge is the normal form of discharge you want; it’s clear and watery and is perfectly normal. It can occur at any time, although may be particularly prevalent after exercise. If it’s clear but a bit sticky/stretchy and resembles mucous it merely suggests you are ovulating and is nothing to be concerned about.

If brown color of discharge occurs during your period it is normal, even if it contains a bit of blood, and if it occurs at the end of your period it may just be residual menstrual blood. However, if you have a more bloody, spotty discharge between your periods this may indicate pregnancy. In very rare instances it can indicate cervical cancer, so if you are concerned it’s best to get a medical check-up.

A discharge which is thick in texture and has a greenish or yellowish-tinge to it is not a sign of a healthy vagina, especially if it has a bad odour too. Often this turns out to be the infection trichomoniasis, which is a sexually transmitted infection (STI).

A healthy vagina does not require a lot of effort, but has great rewards. In order to protect the vagina and prevent the risk of infection, stick to the following guidelines: Keep it clean and dry. Wear cotton underwear. Never douche – this removes natural vaginal bacteria. Always practice safe sex. Eat a healthy diet, especially when taking antibiotics and increase your intake of yogurt with live and active cultures. Avoid feminine hygiene products in the genital area. Use pads and not tampons. Keep your blood sugar levels under good control if you have diabetes.

Wipe from front to back after a bowel movement. Pat yourself dry after passing urine. Use unscented, uncoloured, double-layered toilet paper. Wash your genital area once a day with plain water or use a mild, unperfumed soap to wash the genital area. Rinse well with a hand-held shower head and dry the area thoroughly with a soft towel or a cool air hairdryer before getting dressed. Don’t use bubble baths, vaginal deodorants or talc, or douches. If you are overweight, get into shape, as being overweight might cause repeated yeast infections.


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