Most women in their reproductive age can have white vaginal discharge which can be of major concern. But the good news is that most cases of white vaginal discharge are just normal physiological leukorrhea. Leukorrhea is thin, odorless, clear or white milky discharge released from the vagina. In most cases leukorrhea is normal and there is nothing to worry about. But when it is associated with foul smell it is the sign of infection.
What Causes Leukorrhea?
Leukorrhea is commonly caused by increase in hormonal level, particularly estrogen that causes excessive secretion from cervical glands. These secretion help flush out the bacteria or other organism in the vaginal areas to keep you healthy. In addition to hormonal changes infection is another causative factor for leukorrhea. Infection can be sexually transmitted infection or opportunist infection with in your body. The amount and characteristics of vaginal discharge may vary with individuals and can be divided into physiologic or the pathologic discharge.
Normal Physiologic Vaginal discharge
Normal discharge is usually mild, milky or white and doesn’t have smell. It is also not associated with itching or any other symptoms. Normal physiological discharge may be seen in the following conditions:
Normal Physiological cause of Vaginal Discharge
Abnormal pathologic vaginal discharge
If the vaginal discharge is thick, cottage-cheese like white, green or yellowish, unpleasant strong smelling, and accompanied by redness, burning or itching, you may have a vaginal infection. Most common cause of abnormal vaginal discharge is yeast infection (candidiasis) and the other are sexually transmitted infections. If you suspect any abnormal discharge it is wise to visit your doctor so she can accurately diagnose the case and manage accordingly. These are several causes of abnormal pathological vaginal discharge, some of which are listed below:
Abnormal pathological causes of vaginal Discharge
Herpes simplex virus
Non Infectious causes
Traditional herbal medicines
Management of Abnormal Vaginal Discharge
Whatever the cause of vaginal discharge, it is very important to get advice from the doctor rather than self-diagnosis. You doctor will examine and rule out if it is normal or abnormal. If it is abnormal he/she may do some vaginal examination to see if the cervix is affected or it’s just the vagina and will treat accordingly.
In order to prevent future infections there are certain measure you should follow:
Maintain good hygiene down there
Keep yourself dry down there
Wear breathable, loose fitting, cotton underwear
Avoid douching, scented feminine products, and perfumed bubble baths
When you go to the bathroom, always wipe from front to back
Practice safe sex and use protection to avoid sexually transmitted diseases