Every woman experiences abnormal discharge at one point or another in her lifetime. Most of the time, the discharge is caused either by yeast infection or bacterial vaginosis or by more serious conditions such as sexually transmitted diseases. The first thing to do if you have abnormal vaginal discharge is trying to identify the cause by taking note of the pathology of the fluid, as well as other physical symptoms you are experiencing alongside it. The guide below teaches you everything you need to know about abnormal discharge.
1. White Abnormal Discharge
When you have constant discharge that’s whitish in color, there is a very good chance that you have yeast infection. This infection happens when the balance between good bacteria and yeast in your vagina’s bacterial flora is disrupted, causing an overgrowth of yeast (usually Candida albicans). The result is white, chunky discharge, itching, swelling and redness of the vagina, burning when urinating, and also painful intercourse. The amount of discharge is typically larger than normally, and you may experience increased vaginal discomfort due to the consistent feeling of wetness, itching, and burning.
Sometimes, the discharge may be slightly yellow, most notably if you haven’t been very diligent about your personal hygiene. During pregnancy, hormonal changes taking place in your body may lead to upsetting the balance between good bacteria and yeast, resulting in yeast infection. If you are currently pregnant and experience abnormal discharge, seek medical assistance immediately for treatment and a complete vaginal examination.
2. Yellow Abnormal Discharge
Some women experience constant yellow vaginal discharge as part of their vagina’s self-cleansing system. But if you experience itching, swelling or other symptoms that may appear very similar to a yeast infection, you are probably suffering from bacterial vaginosis instead. This type of infection is significantly milder than yeast infection and usually goes away on its own in a few days. It is caused when the balance between good and bad bacteria in the vaginal flora is disrupted. Common symptoms include cloudy to yellow discharge and a strong fishy odor coming from the vagina. The smell tends to be significantly more noticeable after intercourse.
Another possible cause of yellow discharge is the presence of a foreign object inside of the vaginal canal – i.e. a forgotten tampon. In addition to changing the vagina’s environment, foreign objects that are not removed on time may fester after a period of about one or two weeks, resulting in abnormal discharge that tends to be yellowish in color.
If you have recently engaged in unprotected sexual intercourse with a new partner, you may have contracted a sexually transmitted disease such as gonorrhea, trichomoniasis or Chlamydia, which also cause symptoms including abnormal discharge that’s yellowish in color, thick and very creamy, looking very similar to cottage cheese. They also cause itching, redness and swelling of the vagina, along with bad odor, burning during urination, and painful intercourse. You may also experience spotting between periods, blood-streaked discharge or pink mucus (small amounts of blood mixed with discharge).