Is vaginal discharge normal ?
Every woman has some vaginal discharge. This discharge or secretion is clear or slightly milky. It normally does not stain the panties. If it does, then it is an abnormal discharge.
When does a Woman have increase have an in normal vaginal discharge?
An increase in vaginal dischar is often noticed
- during ovulation – midway between periods
- with some oral contraceptives
- may occur during pregnancy
Does a normal vaginal discharge serve any function?
Yes, it keeps the vagina in a moist condition thus protecting the vagina from infection.
Does a normal vaginal discharge have some odour?
A normal discharge has some faint odour.
In women and men, the genital areas have a faint scent. This is quite normal. There is no need for any special treatment other than daily washing with soap and water.
Is vaginal douching necessary?
Douching is generally not necessary unless recommended by a clinician. The vagina, like other parts of the body has the ability to cleanse itself. Douching with chemicals or even mild solutions can change the normal flora and normal protective environment of the vagina.
When is a vaginal discharge abnormal?
A vaginal discharge is abnormal when it is linked with:
- uncomfortable or painful intercourse
- unpleasant odour
- abdominal pain
Do I need to see a doctor if I have abnormal discharge?
Yes. Abnormal discharge may not always be a sign of a vaginal infection. In order to find out the actual cause of discharge, you should consult a doctor.
What are the common vaginal infections?
They are fungal infections; Trichomonas; and non-specific infections.
Fungal Infections (also called Thrush, Monilia, Fungus or Candida)
The fungal organisms are often present in the vagina in harmless quantity without causing any symptoms. Sometimes they can multiply. When this happens, there is uncomfortable thick white discharge, irritation of the vulva (the lips of the vagina) and itching.
Trichomonas organisms produce itching and vaginal discharge (which can be yellowish green or greyish in colour). In some women, it may cause a burning sensation during urination. There is also an unpleasant odour.
Trichomonas is generally passed from one person to another through sexual contact.
Non-specific infections can cause itching, vaginalal discharge and burning sensation during urination.
What is the treatment for vaginal infections?
Treatment usually consist of
* Application of creams on the affected parts outside the vagina
* Insertion of pessaries into the vagina
* Taking of tablets orally
Are there ways to prevent or reduce vaginal infections?
Yes. There are.
* Bacteria are usually found in the outer vagina and anal areas. In order to prevent infection, care should be taken to wash, rinse and dry these areas throughly espe-cially after urination and bowel movement and during menstruation.
* Nylon panties, pantyhose and tight jeans may restrict air circulation in the vagina and surrounding areas. It is advisable to wear clean cotton underwear as this may reduce the chances of infection by allowing air to circulate.
* Wiping backwards, away from the vaginal opening, after a bowel movement prevents bacteria from getting into the vaginal area.
* Change tampons as often on the last day of the period as was practised on the first day.
* Bath oils, bubble bath and Temi nine hygiene’ spray may cause swelling and irritation on the vaginal area. Mild soap and water are the best cleaners.
* The use of condoms may provide some protection.
For further information or enquiries, always speak to your doctor.
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