Vaginal Discharge - Decoding Its Colours
Many women worry about vaginal discharge to the extent that they visit their doctor. But should you be alarmed by vaginal discharge?
A white discharge indicates a healthy vagina, but if the colour, consistency, and quantity change, it could mean health issues.Here's more detail on vaginal discharge and what it can reveal about a person's health.
Vaginal Discharge Explained
Typically, vaginal discharge is a clear, white, or off-white fluid secreted from tiny glands in the vagina and cervix. It clears old cells and debris to maintain a clean and infection-free vagina. The white discharge is a natural process that also lubricates the vagina.
Depending on the age and where a person is in their menstrual cycle , the colour, consistency, and amount of vaginal discharge vary. Strange changes such as smelly vaginal discharge or different colour types of vaginal discharge can be an indication of disease or infection.
Significant characteristics of vaginal discharge include:
Vaginal discharge can be anything from watery and gummy to thick and pasty. However, a fungal infection in the vaginal area might be present if you have a chunky and foamy discharge accompanied by itching.
There is little to no odour in a healthy white discharge. A foul or fishy odour could indicate infection.
Everybody has a different amount of vaginal discharge. Ovulation, pregnancy, and the use of birth control pills are some factors that can impact the discharge. A sudden change in the quantity could indicate a problem.
The discharge should be clear or white. A dark yellow, brown, green, or grey discharge could signify an infection or another problem.
Vaginal Discharge Before, During and After Periods
The colour, consistency, and amount of vaginal discharge may alter over the course of your menstrual cycle.
During Menses (1 to 5 days):
The vaginal discharge is typically red and contains blood during the cycle because of the shedding of the uterus lining.
After Periods (6 to 14 days):
The mucus will turn hazy, white, or yellow after a period. Vaginal discharge will be less frequent and stickier.
During Ovulation (14 to 25 days):
The mucus thickens and turns slick during ovulation, much like egg whites.
Before Periods (25 to 28 days):
The vaginal fluid becomes lighter and may appear slightly yellow before menstruation.
The Ultimate Colour Guide to Vaginal Discharge
|Cherry red to rusty brown||A healthy menstrual flow is identified by colours ranging from cherry red to rusty brown during the menstrual cycle. However, if you experience redness throughout the month, it may signify a cervical infection or another underlying medical condition.|
|Creamy to milky white||Healthy vaginal discharge ranges from creamy to milky white. If the texture changes and the odour intensify, it may be because of a yeast infection.|
|Pale yellow to neon green||A very light-yellow colour is generally considered normal. However, a dark yellow to green discharge frequently could be a sign of a sexually transmitted disease.|
|Blush To Deep Pink||Before period, pink discharge is most frequently present with spotting. However, in the initial stages of pregnancy, it may also indicate implantation bleeding. If the sex produces irritation or a tear in the cervix or vagina, the discharge after sexual activity may also be pink.|
|Clear||It is typical to have a clear mucus that resembles egg white in consistency. It indicates a healthy reproductive cycle.|
|Storm or exhaust grey||A grey vaginal discharge is a sign of a bacterial infection called Bacterial Vaginosis (BV).|
Most of the time, changes in vaginal dischargeare caused by infections or hormone imbalances. If a person experiences irregular vaginal discharge or other symptoms that might point to a problem with their reproductive system, they should consult a doctor.
What Is Bacterial Vaginosis (BV)?
Bacterial vaginosis is a vaginal infection caused by the ovvaergrowth of bacteria in the vagina and cervix. It is the most frequent reason for abnormal vaginal discharge, and it can also produce vaginal discomfort and a fishy odour.
Women who are sexually active or fall between the ages of 15 and 44 are most frequently affected. You might be more likely to get BV if you:
- Have a new sexual partner
- Are pregnant
- Have multiple sexual partners
- Have an intrauterine device (IUD)
- Don’t use condoms
Symptoms of Bacterial Vaginosis
BV develops when one bacterial species grows excessively in the vagina, leading to an imbalance. Bacterial vaginosis usually shows less to no symptoms in the majority of women. But if they do, women may complain about:
- A thin grey to greenish vaginal discharge
- Discharge may smell fishy, especially after sex
- Itchy or sore vagina
- Burning sensation when peeing
Sometimes, bacterial vaginosis will go away on its own. However, no treatment increases the risk of severe BV-related health problems, such as HIV, early delivery during pregnancy, and STDs like gonorrhoea or chlamydia.
Is it time to Seek Professional Help?
Speak with a professional right away if you are concerned about your vaginal discharge. It is especially true if there has been an abrupt change in colour, smell, amount, or texture.
Additional signs to look out for include:
- Vaginal irritation
- Bleeding between cycles, after vaginal sex, or after menopause
- Pain during urination
- Fatigue or fever
- Pain in the lower abdomen or during sexual intercourse
- Increased urination
Home Remedies for Vaginal Discharge
Home remedies can be used to cure vaginal discharge. However, you should visit your doctor if the discharge persists even after three days of home treatment.
Washing your genital area with water infused with guava leaves twice or thrice daily is known to irradicate the problem of a creamy, cottage cheese-like discharge or a yellowish, greenish discharge with an unpleasant smell.
Consuming boiled water infused with fenugreek seeds can help with the white discharge. Boil 500 ml of water with the fenugreek seeds until the water reduces by half. After it cools, consume this water.
Tea Tree Oil:
The oil is well known for its ability to combat fungus. To get rid of any yeast or fungal infections, massage your vaginal area with tea tree oil mixed with a carrier oil, ideally coconut oil.
Yoghurt is a natural probiotic because it has healthy bacteria. Consuming yoghurt can help the body replenish good bacteria.
One of the most often utilised items in Indian houses is tulsi. Blend some tulsi with some water or milk and some honey. To get rid of the issue, consume this beverage twice daily.
Like tea tree oil, coconut oil is known to fight against fungal infections. Apply or consume raw organic coconut oil daily to relieve excessive vaginal discharge or infection symptoms.
Vaginal discharge is normal and helps maintain vaginal health and cleanliness. But it may alter throughout the menstrual cycle. An abrupt change in colour, odour, texture, or quantity could indicate an underlying medical issue. In such a case, speak with a medical professional immediately to receive appropriate care.