Many women may think that experiencing vaginal discharge means that something is wrong. Vaginal discharge is actually quite common and healthy even. It acts as a cleaning mechanism for the female reproductive system. The discharge actually cleans the vagina of dead cells and bacteria.
The amount of vaginal discharge a woman experiences depends on certain aspects such as ovulation, sexual arousal, breast feeding, and pregnancy. Some vaginal discharge may have an odor while some may not. Although vaginal discharge can be very normal in women, there is a slight chance that it could mean there is a problem.
An infection, such as a urinary tract infection or bacterial infection, can cause vaginal discharge to seem ‘different’ or abnormal. Women who are familiar with their body may notice that the discharge is colored or has an odor. This usually means an infection is present in the body.
The best way to diagnose what could be wrong is by visiting a doctor. This is important because the infection could be something much different than you expected. When a woman experiences a UTI, she will feel itching and burning in her vaginal area and also may experience pain while urinating. With a bacterial infection of some sort, a woman may experience a white, gray or yellow discharge with a fishy odor. These need to be treated with antibiotics and generally go away speedily.
Doctors can diagnose abnormal vaginal discharge by asking you a series of questions accompanied with tests in some cases. They may ask questions such as “When did you notice the discharge? Does the discharge have an odor? Do you have any other symptoms?” Your answers can give the doctor a diagnosis and treatment plan for your abnormal discharge. One common infection that many women have encountered is a yeast infection. A yeast infection brings about a thick, white discharge that can be compared to cottage cheese. Along with the discharge, there may be itching and burning in the vaginal area. This is an example of an abnormal discharge and can be treated quite easily.
Almost every woman will experience discharge of some sort in their life and most discharges are considered normal. It is important to be familiar with your body and know what your normal discharge is like. During ovulation, discharge is normally thick and odorless which is healthy and very normal. Although most vaginal discharge is healthy, becoming familiar with how your body reacts will make you more aware when something could be wrong. Abnormal vaginal discharge could mean an infection, an STD, pregnancy, cervical cancer, and other health problems such as diabetes. Try to become familiar with the symptoms of these health problems.
If you want to reduce your chances of abnormal discharge and health problems, there are steps you can take. Make sure to keep yourself clean and wash your vaginal area daily with gentle soap and warm water. Try to avoid douches, feminine sprays, and bubble baths. Make sure that you always wipe front to back to prevent bacteria from causing an infection. Taking care of yourself and knowing what healthy discharge is what will greatly reduce the chances of you experiencing the not so normal vaginal discharge and other related health problems in the future.