What are the causes of abnormal vaginal discharge?

What are the causes of abnormal vaginal discharge?Why Do Girls Cream? 8 Types of White Discharge_ichhori.com


Vaginal discharge is essential to the reproductive system. The secretions carry bacteria away from the vagina to maintain normal flora and pH levels, thereby preventing infections. It is normal for the vagina to secrete a discharge, which can vary in colour, smell, and consistency. Menopause, pregnancy, vaginal infection, and stress are all possible causes of unusual vaginal discharge.


What causes abnormal discharge?

Cervical mucus is a vaginal discharge produced by the cervical glands that vary throughout the menstrual cycle. The discharge is stretchy and clear around ovulation. Following ovulation, the discharge may turn white, thick, and creamy.
It is normal for discharge to fluctuate throughout a cycle. However, if the colour, smell, or consistency differs from normal, it could be a sign of an infection.
Normal discharge is frequently white in colour. It has no odour and is completely safe. In contrast, abnormal discharge can be brown, green, yellow, or bloody. It could also be accompanied by a foul odour, which could indicate a bacterial infection. Although changes in colour can be normal in some cases if they are not accompanied by these symptoms. Brown bloody discharge, for example, is normal before or after a period.
Abnormal vaginal discharge may also indicate pelvic inflammatory disease, sexually transmitted infections such as chlamydia or gonorrhoea, diabetes, or vaginal atrophy.
Douching can also cause changes in normal vaginal discharge.


How does a health care provider diagnose abnormal discharge?

When vaginal discharge is unusual and accompanied by symptoms such as abdominal pain, fever, and fatigue, it is critical to see a doctor.


A physical examination as well as a pelvic exam may be performed by the health care provider. They may also ask you some questions about your symptoms, such as:

  • When did you first notice that the discharge was out of the ordinary?
  • What is the colour of the discharge?
  • Is there an odour in the discharge?

Is there any other discomfort, burning, or itching around or in the vagina?

In addition, the health care provider may inquire about sexual activity and menstrual cycle history.
If the health care provider is unable to diagnose the cause right away, they may suggest additional testing. A Pap test may be performed by taking a sample of cells and discharge from the cervix.
The discharge may also be examined under a microscope by the health care provider. They may prescribe medication or other treatment options once the cause of the abnormal discharge has been determined.


How is abnormal discharge treated?

The treatment for abnormal discharge is determined by the underlying cause. For example, if a yeast infection is the cause of abnormal vaginal discharge, the health care provider may prescribe an antifungal medication. Antibiotics can be prescribed if the cause is a bacterial infection.

To aid in infection prevention:

  • Douching should be avoided because it may disrupt the normal vaginal pH level, resulting in an imbalance in vaginal discharge and making the vagina less protected. Instead, keep the vagina clean by washing it with warm water on a regular basis.
  • Sex should be done safely (use condoms).


Types of normal white vaginal discharge

White vaginal discharge can have a variety of characteristics. During the menstrual cycle, the colour and consistency of vaginal discharge change.


The discharge is stretchy, clear, and similar to egg whites a few days before ovulation. This is due to the high levels of oestrogen present at the time.


You may notice creamy white discharge during the second half of the menstrual cycle, following ovulation. During this time, normal vaginal discharge is typically white, creamy, milky, or cloudy, and can be thick. It is likely that the discharge is normal as long as it is odourless and does not cause any symptoms such as itching or burning, painful urination, or painful sex.


During the early stages of pregnancy, some women experience similar discharge.


What causes heavy white discharge?
Excessive vaginal discharge may be a normal part of the menstrual cycle, such as during ovulation, or it may be a symptom of a more serious condition. Excessive discharge can occur for a variety of reasons, including:

  •  Ovulation – The volume of vaginal discharge often increases just before ovulation. It may transition from a creamy appearance to one that is more stretchy, clear, and similar to egg whites. This discharge is normal as long as there is no strong odour and no unpleasant symptoms accompany it.
  • Pregnancy – Vaginal discharge may increase in volume and consistency during the early stages of pregnancy, but it should not change colour or smell.
  • Sexually transmitted infections(STIs) can alter vaginal discharge. One of the potential symptoms of gonorrhoea or chlamydia, for example, is vaginal discharge that is green or yellow in colour and may be accompanied by a strong foul odour.
  • Stress- Excessive stress can cause changes in the body, resulting in more discharge than usual. Stress, whether emotional or psychological, can alter vaginal discharge due to hormonal changes that alter the normal production of vaginal mucus.

5 potential causes of abnormal discharge

Genital yeast infection   

Candidiasis (genital yeast infection) is a type of fungal infection characterised by white cottage cheese-like vaginal discharge, itching, and burning sensations.
It is normal to have some yeast in the vagina. However, there are some circumstances that can increase the likelihood of the yeast multiplying too quickly.
These include:

  • Taking birth control pills
  • Stress
  • Pregnancy
  • Diabetes
  • Taking medications such as antibiotics


Sexually transmitted infections

Chlamydia and gonorrhoea can cause discharge to be a different colour (usually yellow or green) and to smell bad. Painful urination, pelvic pain, and painful sex are some of the other symptoms.

Atrophic vaginitis

Atrophic vaginitis is characterised by vaginal wall thinning, which results in inflammation, abnormal vaginal discharge, vaginal dryness, and genital itching. This condition occurs when oestrogen levels drop significantly, which can happen before or after menopause.



Vulvovaginitis is a vaginal and/or vulval inflammation. It is also known as vaginitis or vulvitis.
A yeast infection, sexually transmitted infections, or parasites can all cause vulvovaginitis. A foul-smelling abnormal vaginal discharge, itching, irritation, and inflammation around the vaginal area are all symptoms.


Bacterial vaginosis

Bacterial vaginosis is a bacterial infection caused by a disruption in the normal balance of vaginal bacteria. It may not cause any symptoms in some cases. There may be an increase in vaginal discharge with a strong fishy odour.


Final remarks

Vaginal discharge is a normal part of the body's function and varies throughout the menstrual cycle. Vaginal discharge can vary after ovulation, during pregnancy, and during sexual arousal. If you notice any unusual changes in your vaginal discharge, especially if they are accompanied by other symptoms like itching, burning, or pain, it could be an indication of an infection or another health problem. If you have any of these symptoms, make an appointment with your doctor.
Depending on the stage of the menstrual cycle, there are various types of vaginal discharge. If vaginal discharge is abnormal due to a medical condition, the symptoms will vary depending on the cause. Make an appointment with a health care provider to receive an accurate diagnosis and treatment.
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