Everything you need to know about white milky vaginal discharge
Medical Internet portals are often abound with anxious comments by various women, who want to know the cause of their milky vaginal discharge. In women’s forums, one could easily come across hot debates on the nature of the origin of milky vaginal discharge. Portals where gynecologists offer pieces of advice online are also full of visitors arguing about whether white milky discharge is a sign of thrush or other diseases. In a word, this is a burning and pressing issue. It’s time to figure out all the facts.
White discharge – is it worth raising an alarm?
Contrary to popular belief, vaginal discharge is completely a natural state of intimate affairs for healthy women of reproductive age. A woman’s body secretes some certain amount of a special fluid as a way of preventing infections from entering the sexual organs. This fluid cleanses and moisturizes the vaginal mucosa, preventing possible dryness and feeling of tightness.
In most cases, the consistency of such vaginal discharge may be slightly viscous or smearing. It is normally odorless. In different women, the color of discharge may vary from transparent to white or light yellow in different menstrual phases. The amount of mucus secreted is usually low, except when a woman is pregnant or is in the secretory phase of her menstrual cycle – after ovulation and before menstruation.
This also applies to cases when a woman is sexually aroused or recently gave birth and is breastfeeding. Here, the vaginal discharge becomes more abundant than usual, and sometimes has a slight change in color (slightly white). The daily volume of discharge usually does not exceed 1 ml. The vaginal discharge does not cause any discomfort. When they come in contact with the panties, they can leave small faint spots that can easily be washed off.
When it is necessary to see a doctor and how he can help
If the vaginal discharge acquires an unusual pungent odor, suddenly changes color or consistency, or is accompanied by such symptoms as itching, burning, or pain, then you should certainly see a gynecologist. Such changes may indicate vaginal infection, inflammation or beginning of an infectious disease. Careful attention to your body and seeing a doctor on time would help you avoid the disease and stop the process at an early stage.
The gynecologist may carry out swab analysis or bacterial inoculation to help determine the true cause. Resorting to antibiotics, traditional remedies or other self-treatment measures at this stage is strictly forbidden. The problem with infectious diseases is that, despite their completely identical symptoms, one disease can quite successfully masquerade as another. The approach to treatment is radically different, and therefore using inappropriate methods can seriously aggravate the disease.
Do not panic if you experience a strange white vaginal discharge. Seeing a doctor would accelerate recovery since treatment of white discharge usually has good prognosis.
Potential causes of white milky discharge
Some common causes of milky white vaginal discharge are discussed below. It should be noted that this is only a fraction of the possible causes of white vaginal discharge. Therefore, it would be a blatant negligence to your body if you just hope that everything will go by itself without taking any measures. A woman should take care of her health with special diligence. After all, it is not only a pledge for a healthy offspring, but also a prolongation of her youth and beauty for years to come.
The following are cases where abundant milky vaginal discharge is normal
After sexual intercourse. It happens that after sex, a woman notices the presence of white milky discharge. This may be the remnants of natural fluid secreted by the body during sex. If it was an unprotected sex, the remnants of semen may be discharged from the sexual organs in the form of white or yellowish clots in the next few hours after sex. This is completely normal and should not cause any concern.
During pregnancy. If you are pregnant, your usual clear vaginal discharge could increase and become thick and viscous. This is due to the activity of progesterone and should not be a problem that requires a doctor’s attention.
The following are cases where milky discharge is a sign of disease
Candidiasis (thrush). The disease is accompanied by profuse white discharge resembling freshly made cheese flakes and often with sour smell. Candidiasis is caused by an overgrowth of Candida microorganisms or by the penetration of the pathogenic strains of this fungus into the body. The vaginal discharge contains dead epithelial tissue, vaginal mucus and fungus. This fungal infection destroys the normal mucosal microflora and causes secretion of milky vaginal discharge, accompanied by vaginal itching and burning. Women infected with the fungus may experience pain during urination and sex. Candida cannot be transmitted through sex or personal hygiene items because this fungus lives in almost every one of us, but begins to attack the body when there are favorable conditions for that.
Bacterial vaginosis (leucorrhoea). This disease is characterized by abundant greyish or creamy white vaginal discharge that has a repulsive odor. This order is most often characterized by the smell of a decaying fish. The vaginal discharge is a mixture of vaginal mucus, epithelial tissue and microbial mass. Bacterial vaginosis is a non-inflammatory process, which is accompanied by a decrease or absence of lactoflora. It is forced out by polymicrobial associations of anaerobes and gardnerellas. This disease can cause menstrual irregularities.
Trichomonas colpitis. Milky white discharge consists of vaginal epithelial cells, vaginal mucus and white blood cells. Trichomonas colpitis is an inflammation of the vagina. Inflammation can easily affect the uterus, cervix, or appendages thus causing serious problems such as infertility or cervical erosion. Trichomoniasis can be transmitted not only sexually, but also through personal hygiene items (sharing of sheets, towels, and underwear).
Maintain the rules of personal hygiene, do not ignore the changes taking place in your body, and do not resort to self-diagnosis. Following these rules would keep your health in order. Be healthy and happy!