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    Expert TalkExpert Talk: Types Of Vaginal Discharge— What's Normal & What's Not, According...

    Expert Talk: Types Of Vaginal Discharge— What’s Normal & What’s Not, According To A Gynaecologist & Obstetrician

    Vaginal discharge is normal and, in most cases, does not warrant any extra concern. But sometimes, abnormal vaginal discharge may indicate an overlying medical health condition. That is why knowing what vaginal discharge is and how to tell whether it is normal or abnormal can be helpful for women to understand if they need to visit a doctor for any future tests and diagnoses.  

    In collaboration with The Channel 46, Dr Manjiri Mehta, Consultant Gynaecologist & Obstetrician, Hiranandani Hospital, explains what vaginal discharge is, its different types, the symptoms of abnormal vaginal discharge, and when you should see a doctor. 

    What Is Vaginal Discharge?

    Vaginal discharges are produced by the glands located in the vagina and cervix of the woman’s body. These glands generate small amounts of fluids called vaginal secretions that help to cleanse old cell linings in the vagina.

    First, let us understand what vaginal discharge is. Vaginal discharges are produced by the glands located in the vagina and cervix of the woman’s body. These glands generate small amounts of fluids called vaginal secretions that help to cleanse old cell linings in the vagina. In other words, this is a very natural process and is critical in helping the female body maintain the overall health and cleanliness of the vagina. 

    Different Types Of Vaginal Discharges

    Average discharge is typically sticky, stretchable, and transparent like spit, although it can increase during ovulation and become a little thicker in the second half of the cycle.

    Vaginal discharge is not the same for every woman and varies for each person. While some women have vaginal discharges every day, the frequency of vaginal discharges is not that frequent in others. Average discharge is typically sticky, stretchable, and transparent like spit, although it can increase during ovulation and become a little thicker in the second half of the cycle. This can make it difficult for any woman to recognise normal and abnormal discharge. 

    Signs & Symptoms Of Abnormal Vaginal Discharge

    Abnormal vaginal discharges are associated with infections that can result in foul-smelling, yellowish, greenish, or greyish discharges along with symptoms like itching, feelings of rawness, soreness and burning in and around the vagina area. This may or may not be associated with symptoms of urinary infection like burning or pain while passing urine. Some types of discharges that a woman should get checked by an expert include the following:

    • Thick and white discharge which may resemble cottage cheese can be an indication of vaginal yeast infection
    • White, yellow, or grey discharge may be an indication of bacterial vaginosis
    • Yellow or green, thick, or chunky may be an indication of trichomoniasis
    • Brown or bloody discharge may be a sign of irregular menstruation or some other health condition
    • Cloudy, yellow discharge may be a sign of gonorrhoea

    When To See A Doctor

    As every woman is different and experiences a different menstrual/reproductive cycle, it is best to consult an expert if you feel that vaginal discharges from the body signal a more significant health issue. This is especially true if the vaginal discharges are abnormal and happen regularly. Also, remember that if you suffer from other medical comorbidities, including diabetes, vaginal discharges can be an essential indicator of a severe health condition. 

    If you notice the above abnormal vaginal discharges, you must consult an expert, as it may be the first indicator of sexually transmitted diseases. Often, if these infections are neglected and not brought to a doctor’s attention, it can affect a woman’s reproductive health (including their uterus and fallopian tubes), which may have long-term effects on future fertility. 

    Key Takeaways

    • Vaginal discharge is a very natural process and is critical in helping the female body maintain the overall health and cleanliness of the vagina. 
    • Average discharge is typically sticky, stretchable, and transparent like spit, although it can increase during ovulation and become a little thicker in the second half of the cycle. This can make it difficult for any woman to recognise normal and abnormal discharge. 
    • Abnormal vaginal discharge is likely to indicate the presence of an underlying medical condition.
    • It is best to consult an expert if you feel that vaginal discharges from the body signal a more significant health issue. This is especially true if the vaginal discharges are abnormal and happen regularly.
    • If you suffer from other medical comorbidities, including diabetes, vaginal discharges can be an essential indicator of a severe health condition. 

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