The vagina is a fascinating organ of the female body. It is possible we may never fully understand how complicated the reproductive system of a woman is. Nevertheless, we shall keep trying.
The vagina is very much like a self-cleaning oven. It mixes its concoctions and balances the various fungi and bacteria in there to create the perfect PH. All this cleaning is done with the use of vaginal discharge.
What is a Vaginal Discharge?
Vaginal discharge is the fluid that is produced by the vagina to lubricate and clean it. Every woman has felt or seen her release on her panty or panty liner. In fact, it is advisable for you to pay close attention to your discharge because it is usually a good indicator if everything is right or wrong.
More specifically, vaginal discharge is produced by glands situated in the cervix and vagina. As you have probably noticed, this fluid is usually odorless and varies in consistency and appearance. The primary purpose of vaginal discharge is to get rid of any dirt, dead bacteria, and cells while maintaining the delicate PH balance in the vagina. Primarily, the vagina is teaming with fungi and bacteria. These fungi and bacteria play a crucial role in the reproductive cycle by maintaining ideal conditions for sperms to survive.
Types of Vaginal Discharge
You will experience different types of vaginal discharges depending on where you are in your cycle. For instance, when you are safe (the days between ovulation and the onset of a new cycle), your discharge is likely to be whitish, paste-like, and odorless. During ovulation, your release turns light and mucus-like. This consistency is essential for the sperms to swim comfortably.
There are instances when your discharge may turn into various other colors like greenish, yellowish, greyish, and brownish among others. Each of these cases is an indication of something out of the norm. They are not the signs that you are in trouble, but just a kind of transition discharges (the discharge experienced as the body transitions from one reproductive cycle to the other). However, if you smell something out of the ordinary, there is cause for concern. It is the standard issue that all proper discharge should be odorless. If you discover a less than appealing smell coming from your vagina, it is time to visit the gynecologist.
We have talked about some of the types of discharge listed above. As for the ones we haven’t, stay tuned, we shall. In this article, we will tackle the thick white discharge, the various types, and indications.
Thick, White Cheesy Discharge
The thick white cheesy discharge is a familiar kind of release. You will likely notice that the discharge is higher in volume and may or may not have a mild smell. This is an indicator of Yeast Infection or Vaginal Candida.
When you think of yeast, you might probably picture frothing. As we mentioned earlier, even a healthy vagina has a degree of fungi. Over-active and overgrown fungi cause a yeast infection. The excess fungi produce a dip in the PH balance of the vagina. It is a widespread infection that affects 80% of all women.
Apart from the cheesy, curdled-milk discharge, you may experience an irritating itch in the vagina, swelling, and redness on the vulva, and a burning sensation or pain during urination and intercourse. Candida can be quite embarrassing in the way it forces you to scratch your nether regions. If you experience these symptoms, you need to visit a healthcare provider to get tested. The doctor will likely prescribe pills or cream.
Several factors cause a yeast infection. Top on the list is the spike of estrogen before and after your monthlies. Another common cause is the introduction of chemicals into your lady parts. Do not wash your vagina with scented soaps or apply anything cosmetic in a bid to smell good. Always wear cotton panties that are preferably hand-washed and dried under direct sunlight. A tendency to abuse anti-biotics can also affect the PH of your snatch resulting in a yeast infection. It is essential that your partner is treated for yeast infection at the same time as you to avoid re-contracting it from them. Ensure you keep your vagina clean by washing it with clean, pure water and nothing else.Finally, practice safe sex especially if you have more than one partner.
Milky White Discharge
This kind of discharge is perfectly reasonable. It is the discharge that we content with for most of our monthly cycle. The milky white discharge changes slightly depending on what is going on in our bodies. Let us see the different instances when the milky white discharge changes.
During ovulation, you will notice that your paste-like white discharge turns colorless and stringy. This is a sure sign that you are ovulating. If you were looking to have a baby, this is the perfect time to begin trying.
After ovulation and before the start of the next cycle, you will notice that your discharge reverts to the paste-like creamy consistency. This is usually an indicator that all is well with the world.
If you happen to conceive, pregnancy comes with a lot of hormonal changes. Your discharge will increase significantly. This is because the body is trying to keep the vagina free of germs and also working on creating a mucus plug to seal the cervix. The pregnancy discharge is thick and stringy.
When you become sexually aroused, a gland located at the top of your vulva produce discharge for lubrication during intercourse. This coupled with the sperm and pre-cum from your partner will make for a good volume of discharge after intercourse.
It is essential to reiterate as long as your discharge does not have a funky smell, there is no cause for alarm. Your body is likely just going over another hormonal hurdle.
Grey-White or Greening-Yellow Discharge with a Fishy Smell
The reason we have included this particular discharge in the list of thick white releases is that it has a wide range of colors. It is sometimes an off-white discharge or greyish-white or greenish-yellow. The one consistent characteristic in this discharge is the foul fishy odor.
Often, the cause of this kind of discharge has been a common ailment called Bacterial Vaginosis. A large percentage of people have at some point in their lives contracted this disease. The majority of people who contract this disease have no symptoms. You will likely know by the white-grey fishy smelling discharge. Rarely do patients experience other symptoms like a burning sensation during urination and itching or irritation around the opening of the vagina. Though you can contract Bacterial Vaginosis sexually, it is not recognized as a sexually transmitted disease.
Scientists have been unable to diagnose the exact cause of this disease. The standing diagnosis is that it is caused by a bacterial imbalance in the vagina. You are, therefore, advised to avoid douching, using chemicals like bath soaps or gels into the vagina, using vaginal deodorants or washing your panties with strong detergents.
Instead, wash your vagina with pure, clean water with no soap and hand-wash and sun-dry your panties. Always use protection if you have a new sexual partner or multiple sexual partners.
Our bodies are constantly throwing curve balls. That is why it is essential to keep a close look on the workings of your body to ensure you are taking good care of it.