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They Got It Too – 6 Stories About Cottage Cheese Vaginal Discharge

Written by Elizabeth Buescher, Gynecologist

Have you been experiencing cottage cheese discharge likely? If yes, one of the most common problems causing it is vaginal yeast infection, a type of infection that develops as a result of upsetting the balance between good bacteria (such as lactobacilli) and yeast (Candida bodies) living in your vagina’s bacterial flora. However, many women experience abnormal-looking discharge that’s just as normal and healthy as their usual watery discharge that occurs around the middle of the menstrual cycle.

If you have had yeast infection in the past and your symptoms are seemingly similar, your best bet would be seeing your doctor and undergoing a complete vaginal examination to identify the exact cause of the cottage cheese vaginal discharge. As tempting as it may seem, self-diagnosis tends to be inaccurate in most instances, resulting in taking the wrong medication that may worsen your issue. Check out these questions we’ve received from women dealing with the exact same problem like you.

1. I have been having a lot of cottage cheese like discharge over the past few days. It’s yellow, very thick and makes my vagina feel rather dry instead of wet, as my normal discharge does. However, there is no itch and no odor, which makes me think it’s not yeast infection after all. I haven’t been sexually active for longer than two years, so it definitely isn’t an STI. I can’t recall doing anything out of the ordinary that may have caused the change in discharge! What do you think may be causing it? My period is just a few days away and I’m afraid it may arrive later due to this yellow cottage cheese discharge!

AllDischarge.com Expert Answers:

Assuming that it’s not yeast infection just because you don’t experience other symptoms such as itching or bad odor isn’t smart to do. Without examining you and looking at your discharge under a microscope, it’s hard to say what this discharge may be caused by.

As you probably know already, yeast infection occurs due to a number of reasons, and the most common ones include antibiotic or steroid use, lifestyle changes, sexual contact with an infected partner, poor eating habits and a weak immune system. Usually, the infection manifests through increased amounts of thick white cottage cheese discharge, itching, and a foul odor coming from the vagina. Some women also have vulvitis (inflammation of the external female anatomy, known as vulva). So even if there’s no itch or smell, it doesn’t mean that you don’t have yeast infection. It may be a milder this time, thus the absence of other secondary symptoms.

Another possibility would be bacterial vaginosis. It causes cottage cheese like discharge with odor, but no itching or other such symptoms. However, BV is much milder than yeast infection, and usually goes away on its own without requiring any treatment. It’s good to see your doctor about the discharge anyway for an accurate diagnosis of the actual problem.

One thing that popped into my mind when I read your last sentence was that your progesterone levels must be quite high at this time of your menstrual cycle since your period is just a few days away. Around the time of your ovulation, estrogen levels increase while progesterone levels decrease, thus causing a lot of clear watery discharge to come out. But as the date your period is due approaches, estrogen levels decrease and progesterone levels increase, making your cervical mucus become chunky, white, and very cottage cheese like. This also happens after your period stops.

Your best bet would be calling your doctor, making an appointment and having this weird discharge examined. If it’s not caused by an infection, then it’s probably due to increased levels of progesterone.

2. I am the mother of two and currently pregnant with my third. For the last couple of days, I noticed some thick, weird-looking discharge that smells pretty bad, somehow yeasty like beer or bread. I haven’t been on antibiotics or anything, and my doctor says that everything’s normal. There’s no itch, no smell, nothing else except for this very annoying discharge. Should I ask for a second opinion? Maybe the first examination was not accurate after all. Thank you for your support!

AllDischarge.com Expert Answers:

You should certainly ask for a second opinion if you think the cottage cheese like discharge you’re dealing with is not normal. That can make you feel much better since you’ll know whether or not your pregnancy is progressing correctly.

Abnormal discharge during pregnancy is very common, and most women deal with yeast infection at one point or another. It’s good that you’ve noticed it on time and went to your doctor for an evaluation. If the second one turns out negative as well, then you’re probably healthy. However, you may want to take a couple of other tests for other infections such as BV. This one, in particular, can cause abnormal discharge with smell but no other symptoms.

Make sure not to put anything in your vagina while pregnant, not even water, as it may remove good bacteria from the vagina’s bacterial flora, upsetting the balance and resulting in an infection. Be very mindful of your hygiene – while staying clean is important, you should never make use of hygiene products to wash your genitals. Use plain tap water to keep your intimate area fresh without causing changes in the vagina’s environment.

3. I recently got into a relationship with a guy I’ve known for a while, and we had sex for the first time just a couple of days ago. It was my first time, and he said it was his first time too. Yesterday I noticed that some sort of green cottage cheese discharge is coming out of my vagina. It’s very thick – I even tried rubbing it between my fingers, and it feels like butter to some degree. And it’s very stinky – I need to change my undies a few times a day to avoid it smelling through my clothes. Is this an infection? What causes cottage cheese discharge and why do I have it?

AllDischarge.com Expert Answers:

It sounds like an STI. Just because he said that he has never had sex before, this doesn’t necessarily mean that he really hasn’t. You’d be surprised if you knew how frequently guys trick girls into having sex with them claiming they’re “clear,” or it would be their first time. But leaving this aside, your symptoms are very similar to either trichomoniasis or gonorrhea, which usually cause your discharge to become greenish, thick and creamy, just like cottage cheese. An increased amount of discharge may be noticed as well.

Are you experiencing other symptoms such as itching, swelling or burning? Does the discharge smell bad? Does it make you uncomfortable? It’s important to describe all of your symptoms to your doctor for an accurate diagnosis. You should make an appointment as soon as possible to avoid the risks associated with not treating the STI on time. She will take a few samples of the discharge and put it under the microscope to see the pathogens causing it. Once the infection is accurately diagnosed, she will give you appropriate treatment to clear it and get the discharge back to its normal color, consistency and odor.

4. I’m a sexually inactive 30-something woman with a history of UTI. Recently I noticed pink cottage cheese discharge coming out of my vagina. It looks very weird and gross, and I feel like throwing up whenever I smell it. My vulva is burning, making me very uncomfortable. Sometimes I can’t even think because I’m in pain. My urine doesn’t look abnormal – it’s light yellow, so I’m pretty sure I’m getting all the liquids I need to stay hydrated, but it hurts when I pee. The discharge stains my panties and I actually need to wear liners to avoid smelling bad. Can this be addressed? I’ve never dealt with anything similar ever before.

AllDischarge.com Expert Answers:

This certainly isn’t normal. Pink discharge indicates the presence of blood along with your normal cervical mucus, and unless you’ve just got pregnant and have implantation bleeding, I find this occurrence very concerning. So the first thing to do would be seeing your doctor about this unusual discharge. It may be caused by a very serious condition such as uterine, cervical or ovarian cancer, so having it checked out by a professional will help identify the exact issue.

Bloody discharge usually happens when:

1) the fertilized egg attaches to your uterus, causing very light bleeding;

2) you are on the last day on your period – there is very little blood but more discharge, thus causing it to be pinkish;

3) as a normal part of your menstrual cycle – an occurrence known as spotting;

4) you give birth – pink discharge, also known as lochia, is the shedding of the uterine lining after delivery, and it happens in all women. But when none of these is the actual cause, something more serious may be going on, and the assistance of your gyn/obs is of utmost importance to identifying the issue.
Your symptoms are quite similar to yeast infection since your vagina is itchy and painful when you urinate, but there’s no pink discharge associated with this infection, so it’s not the case. Get the issue diagnosed as soon as possible to prevent complications.

5. I am on the last day of my period, and this morning I noticed some kind of brown cottage cheese discharge coming out of my vagina. It doesn’t look normal to me – it’s dark brown, dense (looks very much like uncooked egg whites), and smells just like my period normally does. I’m not itchy or something, and I’ve never had sex before, so I don’t think it’s an infection. Could you please advise me? Should I go to a doctor or will this weird discharge go away on its own?

AllDischarge.com Expert Answers:

Everything sounds perfectly normal, and I’d say that what you’re experiencing isn’t by any means out of the ordinary. Your discharge likely appears brownish due to being combined with blood remnants, which your vagina is normally expelling. Since your period will soon stop, the flow of blood isn’t as abundant, and the color isn’t as bright either. Also, you say that you aren’t experiencing any other symptoms like itching, so it’s very unlikely to have an infection, even a yeast infection or BV.

Don’t panic. Wait for your period to stop and take note of the color and consistency of the discharge. It should become gradually lighter and pinker until it will get completely whitish. The consistency will thicken as well. If you continue to experience brown discharge, have the issue investigated by a specialist. Also, don’t forget to tell your mother about it!

6. I was diagnosed with BV last week. I was having white cottage cheese discharge with a strong, fishy odor, itchy vagina, and painful urination. My gyn prescribed me Metronizadole gel and said that the symptoms should vanish in four or five days. It’s been more than one week and I still got the abnormal discharge. It’s itchy, and I can barely resist the urge to scratch. It makes me miserable – I’ve even taken a few days off work because I just can’t do anything. Should I try other medicine?

AllDischarge.com Expert Answers:

Most women taking BV treatment end up with a yeast infection. Metronizadole usually removes good bacteria from the vagina’s bacterial flora, leading to an overgrowth of Candida albicans (yeast) bodies. So what you may be experiencing now is cottage cheese discharge caused by yeast infection instead. It’s usually itchy, very thick, and can make you feel very uncomfortable. At this point, you will want to ask your doctor for yeast infection treatment in order to stave it off and restore balance in your bacterial flora. Make sure to ask for a probiotic supplement, as living cultures will supply your vagina with the good bacteria it needs to get healthy faster.

Be mindful about your hygiene – never use scented soaps or toilet paper to remove the discharge, and clean your genitals with plain tap water. Wear cotton underpants and avoid anything that’s too tight, as it may mess with the vagina’s pH even more. Wipe specifically from front to back to avoid getting any fecal matter close to or inside of the vagina. Don’t touch your genitals while on treatment, and most importantly – avoid sexual contact to prevent spreading the infection.