Vaginal Discharges: Different Causes and Types
Vaginal discharge can be a normal and regular occurrence. However, some types of discharge can indications of an infection. Abnormal discharge is usually caused by bacterial or yeast infection. As for the types, there are several that a woman can experience. The types are categorized based on their colours and consistency.
A whitish discharge, especially at the start or end of a menstrual cycle, is normal. However, if the discharge comes with itching and has a cottage cheese-like appearance, then it is not normal and requires medical attention. This discharge might be an indication of a yeast infection.
Clear and Watery
A clear and watery type of discharge is perfectly normal and this can occur at any time of the month. It might be especially heavy after exercising.
Clear and Stretchy
This discharge is clear but mucous-like instead of watery, it is an indication that you are likely ovulating. Thus, this is also a normal type of discharge.
Brown or Bloody
This type of discharge is usually normal, especially during or right after a menstrual cycle. Late discharge towards the end of your period can look more brown than red. You might also experience a small amount of bloody discharge in between your periods and this is called spotting. If spotting occurs during the normal time of your menstrual cycle and you had sexual intercourse without protection recently, this can be an indication of pregnancy. Spotting during an early phase of pregnancy might be a sign of a miscarriage, so be sure to discuss this with your doctor.
Yellow or Green
This type of discharge, especially when thick, chunky, or accompanied with a foul smell, is not normal. This might be a sign of the infection trichomoniasis which can be spread through sexual intercourse.
Causes of Vaginal Discharge
Having normal vaginal discharge is a sign of healthy bodily function. Having discharge is your body’s way of cleaning and protecting the vagina. It is also normal for discharge to increase with ovulation, exercise, use of birth control pills, sexual arousal as well as emotional stress. Abnormal vaginal discharge, however, might be caused by an infection.
The different causes of vaginal discharge are:
*Gonorrhea and Chlamydia
*Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID)
*Human Papillomavirus (HPV) or Cervical Cancer
If you are experiencing abnormal vaginal discharge, it is best to seek professional help at the soonest possible time. You may want to setup an appointment with Dr. Fay Weisberg if you have more questions regarding your vaginal discharge concerns.