Types of vaginal discharge

Vaginal discharge is normal and changes during your menstrual cycle. Abnormal vaginal discharge differs in color, consistency, odor, or quantity compared to your regular release. Vaginal discharge is normal and many women get it. It is mucus or fluid that keeps the vagina moist and clean and protects it from infection.

Vaginal discharge usually is not anything to worry about if it is white or clear, does not have a strong or unpleasant odor, is thick and sticky, or is slippery and moist It is possible to get a vaginal discharge at any age.

The quantity of discharge varies. You generally get heavier discharge when pregnant, if you are sexually active or when you are using birth control. It is often slippery and moist for a couple of days between your periods when you ovulate.

Abnormal vaginal discharge may be a symptom of a bacterial imbalance, an illness or an STI, or in rare cases, cervical cancer. To maintain your vagina healthy, avoid douching, and use protection during sexual activity.

Your vagina includes an ecosystem consisting of a particular balance of bacteria, pH, and moisture. This equilibrium is sensitive to changes, from inside and out of your body, and it will not always take much to throw it "off."

It is normal to notice unique kinds of vaginal fluid during your menstrual cycle--it changes cyclically along with your hormones in appearance, consistency, and volume. Vaginal fluid also changes when you are aroused and during and after pregnancy. But significant or abrupt changes in the odor, color, or consistency of your liquid may mean something else is happening, like a disease that needs treatment.

See: Prevent Menstrual Migraines & Hormonal Headaches

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Abnormal vaginal discharge

Tracking irregular or abnormal vaginal fluid provides a list of symptoms that are useful to give to a health care provider.  Information such as when the changes started and other things that may be associated (like unprotected sex or beginning a new birth control method). It's important to get familiar with your own unique "normal" vaginal discharge--in terms of odor, color, and changes during the cycle.

Before ovulation (the release of the egg), there's a good deal of mucous produced up to 30 times greater than the following ovulation. It's also more watery and elastic during this stage of your cycle. You might choose to wear panty liners throughout that time. The things to worry about include whether the discharge has a yellow or green color, is clumpy, or has a foul odor. If you are concerned, see a physician.

See: Baking soda for UTI.

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Different Kinds of Discharge

There can be many types of vaginal discharge:

White: Thick, white discharge is expected at the beginning and end of your cycle. Normal white discharge isn't accompanied by itching. If itching is present, the thick white discharge may indicate a yeast infection.

Clear and Stretchy: This is "fertile" mucous and means you're ovulating.

Clear and Watery: This happens at different times of your cycle and may be especially heavy after exercising.

Green or yellow: This May indicate an infection, especially if it's thick or clumpy like cottage cheese or has a foul odor.

Brown: May occur right after intervals and is just "cleaning out" your vagina. Old blood appears brown.

Spotting blood discharge: This may occur when you're ovulating/mid-cycle. Sometimes early in pregnancy, you might have a brown discharge at the time your period would normally come.

If you have spotted at the time of your typical period rather than your usual quantity of flow, and you've had sex without using birth control, then you should check a pregnancy test.

See: A case of pain on vagina - vaginismus- with white discharge

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What is considered normal discharge?

The following are  considered "normal" vaginal discharge in the most general terms:

- Vaginal discharge quantity

Most people will notice their release increases during the first phase of the cycle, together with the most release produced from the days before and including ovulation. The fluid volume then decreases in the day or two after ovulation, which usually lasts till the end of the cycle. You will probably also notice your vagina produces more fluid when you are aroused.

- Vaginal discharge odor

Regular discharge can be odorless or have a smell, but it is usually mild and not disagreeable. It may combine with some urine or blood around the time of menstruation, which may influence how it smells in your panties. Getting to know your normal smell is the most important for identifying when something changes.

Vaginal discharge consistency and color

Your discharge will change together with your body's production of cervical fluid. It tends to be dry/sticky at the start of the cycle, or you might notice no discharge whatsoever. It will become creamy and invisibly at the mid-to-late follicular phase (the first phase of the process). Before and around ovulation, it is very likely to become stretchy, wet, translucent egg white. Soon after ovulation, it usually changes back to dry/sticky. Read more about these modifications here. Fluid can appear white or slightly yellow and paste-like in your underwear once it dries.

If you use hormonal birth control, these normal patterns of vaginal discharge will stop as the hormonal cycling is ceased.

Indications of "irregular" or "abnormal" vaginal discharge

Watch for changes in:

Consistency: Fluid becomes remarkably thinner, or thicker and much more textured

Color: Discharge That's gray, yellow, green, or brown

Volume: Substantial and unexpected in volume

Smell: Fishy, metallic, or different

A normal vaginal discharge comprises approximately a teaspoon per day that's white or translucent, thick to thin, and odorless. The normal germs and fluids shape this the vaginal cells put off. The discharge can be noticeable at various times of the month based on childbirth, menstrual flow, sexual activity, and birth control. It's not unusual for the standard release to become dark, brown, or discolored a day or two after the menstrual period.

If you have an infection, itching, or discomfort signs, see your healthcare provider.

See: Homeopathy Treatment for White Discharge

See: Ayurvedic Treatment For UTI Urinary Tract Infection

What causes abnormal vaginal discharge?

Abnormal discharge can occur when the vagina's microbial community gets out of balance. This means there's a drop in the amount of "good" microbes and an increase in "bad" microbes (or an overgrowth of something that's usually only present in small amounts ). Such imbalances may result in conditions like bacterial vaginosis (BV - the most frequent cause of abnormal discharge) and yeast infections (vulvovaginal candidiasis).

Factors that may interrupt the vaginal ecosystem include:

-Hormonal birth control or IUDs

-Extended or intermittent bleeding or spotting

-Sexual activity, using a sexual partner.

-Menarche, menopause, or maternity

-Use of steroids or antibiotics

-Douching and cleansing practices

-Hormonal changes through the menstrual cycle

-Uncontrolled diabetes

-They generally have less vaginal Lactobacillus bacteria.

Abnormal discharge may also be caused by sexually transmitted diseases (STIs). The most common curable STI is trichomonas vaginalis, a parasite. Other common ones include chlamydia and gonorrhea. These STIs are often asymptomatic (have no apparent symptoms), which is the reason why routine STI testing is so critical.

Abnormal discharge can also be a symptom of something more serious, such as cervical cancer. Make certain to get your Pap tests at the recommended intervals.

See: Ayurvedic Treatment For Menstrual Cycle Pain & Cramps

Natural home remedies for white discharge odor

You can eliminate vaginal odor by following some easy and effective home remedies.

- Baking soda

You need a half cup of baking soda and add it to your bath and soak your lower body area in the water for around 20 to 30 minutes. You can also add baking soda to a glass of warm water and drink it. 

- Vinegar

Vinegar or apple cider vinegar is still another potent remedy to eliminate vaginal odor. Vinegar helps eliminate the toxins which cause the fishy vaginal odor. Simply add vinegar to your tub with water and let it soak in for 20 minutes. Until the foul odor discharge is treated, soak in vinegar water once daily. And drink the vinegar two times every day. It's loaded with antibacterial properties, which will help kill the odor-causing germs, and it's acidic in nature.

- Garlic

This can be regarded as the best remedy to get rid of vaginal odor. Have a cheesecloth, place the garlic clove in it and wrap it. Attach a string to the fabric, then insert it into your vagina, much like a tampon. Leave it overnight to eliminate that bloated vaginal odor.

- Pineapple

Yes, the powerful smell of pineapple will help to eliminate vaginal odor. You may include raw pineapple on your diet, and you can also drink a couple of glasses of lemon juice daily. Also Read - Yes, baking soda and yogurt can keep your vagina free from germs.

If your release changes - for instance, in smell, texture, or color -- may be a symptom of an infection. See a physician if your discharge you feel sore or itchy, you get pain when peeing, you bleed between periods or after sex affects color, smell, or feel, you create more discharge than normal

You can not prevent vaginal discharge. Panty liners can help with excessive or heavy discharge or if you're worried about any odor.

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