How to Differentiate Between Normal and Abnormal Vaginal Discharges
Having vaginal discharge is an everyday happening in women. Unfortunately, not every woman can distinguish between abnormal and normal virginal discharge and when the discharge is a worrying sign of an infection. On a typical day, vaginal discharge helps clean your vagina, lubricating it and freeing it from infections and other harmful bacteria. Your normal vaginal discharge should be milky white and odorless. Unfortunately, medications, health conditions, and feminine hygiene products might affect your vagina’s pH, affecting the health of your vaginal discharge. If you are having trouble with vaginal discharge or any other issues related to women’s health in Boca Raton, there is help at MyDoc Women’s Health Specialists.
How do you distinguish between normal and abnormal discharge?
A sudden change in your discharge is an indication that something is not right. For instance, changes in smell, amount, color, and texture of your discharge are worrying signs. You should also worry when you have other symptoms like a burning sensation in or around your vagina, itchiness, and irritation. The type of discharge you have and your accompanying symptoms can help your doctor suggest possible treatment. For instance:
- A milky white odorless without other symptoms is an indication your discharge is normal.
- A thick, white, and cheese-like discharge with soreness, burning, vaginal itching, and pain signifies a yeast infection. Besides your symptoms, you may also experience pain during sexual intercourse or when urinating. Therefore, ensure you contact your gynecologist for an evaluation and treatment.
- A white, grey, or yellow discharge with a fish-like odor, swelling and itching are not normal. Such discharge is a sign that you might be having bacterial vaginosis.
- A thick yellow or green foul-odor discharge is an indication that you might be having trichomoniasis and therefore, you should not ignore it.
- A brown or bloody discharge with symptoms like vaginal bleeding or pelvic pain requires immediate medical attention. The discharge might be an indication that something severe is begging to occur.
- A cloudy, yellow, painful discharge that accompanies pelvic pain might signify that you might have gonorrhea.
What are the signs that your vaginal discharge is abnormal?
Distinguishing normal discharge from an abnormal discharge can help you know when you are healthy and when you should contact your gynecologist for an evaluation. Vaginal discharge without any symptoms is a sign that you are okay. However, you should consult your gynecologist when you start experiencing signs like:
- Painful intercourse
- Painful urination
- Thick vaginal discharge
- Soreness, swellings, or blisters in your vulva
- A bad odor that lasts longer
- Bloody discharge when you are not on your periods
- Change in consistency or amount
Treatment for abnormal vaginal discharge is not particular. Your doctor may recommend an option depending on your underlying cause. For instance, a yeast infection might resolve with over-the-counter medication. However, ensure you consult your doctor before self-treating any infection.
Paying close attention to your vaginal discharge may help you know what normal discharge is and what might indicate the presence of infection. Issues like itching, pain, and irritation when you suspect your discharge is worrying are not normal and require professional attention. Schedule an appointment with your gynecologist whenever you have an abnormal vaginal discharge.