Abnormal Vaginal Discharge

Pelvis | Gynecology | Abnormal Vaginal Discharge (Symptom)


Vaginal discharge is term given to biological fluids contained within or expelled from the vagina. The vaginal secretion, which flows out of the vagina every day helps to maintain the vagina healthy and clean. However, it becomes abnormal vaginal discharge when the amount and appearance of discharge changes.

While most discharge is normal and can reflect the various stages of a woman cycle, some discharge can be a result of an infection, such as a sexually transmitted disease. Any change in the balance of normal bacteria in the vagina can affect the smell, colour, or texture of the discharge. An increase in the amount of vaginal discharge, an abnormal odour or consistency of the fluid, or pain, itching, or burning that accompanies vaginal discharge can all be signs of infection or other more serious disorders.


Some of the causes that can upset the balance of normal bacteria in the vagina are: antibiotic or steroid use, bacterial vaginosis, which is a bacterial infection more common in pregnant women or women who have multiple sexual partners, birth control pills, cervical cancer, chlamydia or gonorrhoea, which are sexually transmitted infections, diabetes , douches, scented soaps or lotions, bubble bath, pelvic infection after surgery, pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), trichomoniasis, which is a parasitic infection typically caused by having unprotected sex, vaginal atrophy, which is thinning and drying out of the vaginal walls during menopause, vaginitis, which is irritation in or around the vagina, yeast infections.

Diagnosis and Treatment

Diagnostic tests for abnormal vaginal discharge may be performed including: cultures of your cervix, examination of vaginal discharge under the microscope, a Pap smear. Treatment depends on the underlying condition. Suppositories or creams may be ordered and antibiotics may be prescribed. Medications taken by mouth may be needed to treat certain fungus or trichomoniasis infections. Your sexual partner may also need treatment.


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