Vaginal discharge every day is quite normal for many women. Vaginal discharge that is typically normal for one woman may not be normal for another. Quantity, quality, and frequency of vaginal discharge differ between women. While some women may have a lot of vaginal discharge, others may not have any discharge at all. The phases of a woman’s reproductive life and stages of a menstrual period also have an impact on the flow of vaginal discharge. Such varied factors make it difficult for a woman to know what or how her vaginal discharge is considered normal. The best gynaecologist in Chennai suggests that, for every woman to recognise a normal vaginal discharge, it is important to pay attention and observe the kind of discharge every day.
What is vaginal discharge ?
Vaginal discharge is a constant presence in menstruating women. The amount of oestrogen in the body affects the amount of vaginal discharge produced. It usually starts early on before the first period starts in adolescence. During pregnancy, more vaginal discharge is produced than usual. With age and menopause, the body may produce less or no vaginal discharge because the body is no longer ovulating and oestrogen levels taper. Hence, women in perimenopause, menopause, or post-menopause stages may experience vaginal dryness.
Vaginal discharge is usually noticeable at the exit of the vagina. Fluid constantly produced by the glands inside the uterus, vagina, and cervix are expelled as vaginal discharge. The fluid is a mixture of cells, liquid, and bacteria. The fluid flows out of the vagina each day, clearing old cells that formed the vaginal lining. This fluid plays a role in helping to cleanse the vagina and promote the growth of ‘good bacteria. This is a completely natural process to keep the vagina healthy, clean and to protect the intimate area from infection.
Functions of vaginal discharge
Vaginal discharge serves vital housekeeping functions of the female reproductive system. An important function is in keeping the vagina healthy, by expelling dead skin cells from the lining. Vaginal fluid flowing down the vaginal tract, carrying away harmful bacteria and debris along with the discharge. This cleansing action helps to protect the vaginal and urinary tract against infections. The vagina is an entire ecosystem where the good bacteria balance the acidity and help maintain a normal pH. The vaginal mucus provides lubrication to the vaginal tissues and prevents dryness of the vagina.
Normal vaginal discharge is healthy
Generally, an average woman produces a certain amount of white or clear discharge every day. The texture ranges from thin to thick and slippery to creamy, color that varies from clear to white or off-white, and smell that is odorless as the everyday discharge is considered healthy. Having healthy vaginal discharge depends on a number of factors, that include:
What is normal vaginal discharge ?
In general, having vaginal discharge every day is considered normal if it is thin, sticky, and elastic that is clear or milky or thick, and gooey with a subtle scent that is not unpleasant or foul-smelling. The normal changes in color or thickness of vaginal discharge every day are associated with the process of ovulation and oestrogen levels in the body. Discharge that is heavy, clear, or slippery during ovulation, becomes less, thicker, and whiter after the egg is released. High oestrogen levels can lead to increased vaginal discharge which is normal in the following situations:
Dark red or brown discharge in the days after the menstrual period is also normal as the blood continues to exit the uterus. It is normal to have vaginal discharge within these ranges. Recognition of the normalcy of the vaginal secretions is important in order to be reassured that the secretions are normal and so that diagnostic and therapeutic attention is focussed on associated conditions if may be present.
When is vaginal discharge not normal ?
A major change in discharge or accompanied by other symptoms would be the indication for addressing the concern and avail the right diagnosis and most suitable treatment. Following signs and symptoms of vaginal discharge is not normal and should be evaluated by the best gynaecologist in Chennai:
– Itching around the areas of vulva, vaginal opening or labia
– Redness, burning, soreness or swelling of the skin in the vulvar region
– Discharge that is foamy or greenish-yellow in colour
– Discharge with foul odour
– Vaginal discharge with blood streaks
– Vaginal pain with intercourse or urination
– Abdominal or pelvic pain
Reasons for abnormal vaginal discharge
Identifying abnormal vaginal discharge
Identifying the cause of an abnormal discharge is based on characteristics of the discharge, the woman’s age, other symptoms, and simple tests that provide quick results. Symptoms, medical history, and physical examination findings often suggest a cause of the discharge and the tests that may need to be done.
Common questions to ask about the discharge are:
Identifying major changes in answers to the above questions or developing other symptoms or concerns, is the time to seek medical help for abnormal vaginal discharge from the best gynecologist in Chennai.