April 12, 2017

Is some white discharge from the vagina normal?


I am a 22 year old unmarried girl. I keep myself clean and wash my private parts regularly while bathing. Sometimes I notice a whitish sticky discharge from my private parts. It does not pain or itch. I am very worried. Please advise.

Reader's Query
Response:

Some vaginal secretions are normally present which are meant to lubricate the vaginal walls. It’s absolutely normal for your vagina or cervix to produce these clear or white secretions.

.Furthermore, the type and amount of discharge varies throughout your menstrual cycle.  It majorly depends on the hormones that you are secreting during that period. Say, for instance when you are ovulating (when your ovary releases an egg during mid-cycle), the discharge may be a little thicker and stretchy, like raw egg-white. The discharge is also slightly more for a few days before the onset of your period.  The amount secreted also varies from person to person; so never compare your symptoms with that of another woman. There could also be an increase in vaginal discharge when you are sexually excited, like when you are reading a romantic novel or watching a sleazy movie and that is perfectly fine.

If you are experiencing a white discharge from the vagina accompanied by itching and foul smell you need to consult your doctor.



Changes in the amount of these secretions, say even if it seems to be a bit more than usual is also considered fine as long as it does not emit foul odor, is itchy or painful.  Remember that a healthy discharge neither has a strong smell or colour, nor is there any itching and soreness around the vagina.  In your case, most probably there is nothing to be worried about.  But still if you are concerned do visit your gynecologist to allay your fears.  But if you have any other associated features, you should see your doctor immediately.

It’s also good to go for regular cervical screening every now and then to rule out any abnormal changes in cervix, more so in the age group of 25-64 as per the NHS website.

Vaginal hygiene
It’s a good thing that you are very particular about vaginal hygiene and take care to wash your private parts regularly. But remember to do it the right way. Avoid washing the insides of your vagina with perfumed soaps, shower gels, antiseptic liquids etc.  It can affect the healthy balance of bacteria in the vagina and disturb pH levels. 

Use mild, un-perfumed soaps only to wash the area around your vagina – the outer visible parts or the vulva as it is called. Never ever try to clean the insides with soaps, gels or any kind of liquids and avoid using vaginal douches.  And always pat dry the outside area dry with a clean tissue / towel, especially before wearing your undergarments.  Some women use pH-balanced vaginal washes. If you plan to use such washes, do so only after consulting your gyneac.



After you urinate, if you do wash the vagina with plain water, do remember to wipe it from front to the back with a clean tissue or wipe. Doing it from back to front might give you a urinary tract infection (UTI). Same rule must be followed after you pass the stools. The fecal matter might get lodged in your urinary tract or vagina if you wipe from back to the front causing various infections.



Do not toss your undergarments in the washing machine along with other dirty clothes. Always hand- wash your undergarments and sun- dry them. Never ever wear damp panties as that can cause infection.  Use cotton underwear as it lets your skin “breathe” and absorbs sweat. Avoid wearing undergarments made of synthetic material. It’s also a good idea not to wear panties at night.  You can also consider using a panty liner such as this or this during the days you have slightly more discharge.  (Also read Home Remedies for leucorrhea / white discharge) Especially in this hot summer it’s better to change your undergarments twice a day.

As far as your pubic hair is concerned, it is better to keep it short and trimmed for better hygiene. It’s not necessary to remove it completely either by shaving or waxing as that can lead to ingrown hairs, open pores, skin lesions, boils etc.

So ladies, how do you deal with the occasional white discharge? Do you observe vaginal hygiene? What advice would you like to offer to the reader who asked this query?  Please do share in the comments.


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4 comments:

  1. The only time you should worry about discharge is if it is greenish or bright yellow (signs of infection) or if it is thick/clumpy and smells bad.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Reema4:19 PM

    white or lotiony/ creamy discharge is perfectly normal ! depending on where you are in your cycle,, Im a week from my period and have the same thing. its just a secretion that your body makes.. like spit or sweat ,, or anything else. around the time that you ovulate ( a couple of weeks before your period) you will notice a clear and stretchy vaginal discharge.

    If you notice a foul odor, or have redness or lots and lots of itching, you could have a yeast or vaginal infection. its pretty normal for your vagina to itch a little on occasion.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Preeti4:24 PM

    Signs of yeast infections:
    White, cottage cheese-like discharge
    Swelling and pain around the vulva
    Intense itching

    ReplyDelete
  4. Dr Swati4:25 PM

    Signs of bacterial vaginosis:
    A white, gray or yellowish vaginal discharge
    A fishy odor that is strongest after sex or after washing with soap
    Itching or burning
    Slight redness and swelling of the vagina or vulva

    ReplyDelete

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