Watery discharge: a norm or an early sign of disease?
Though not scary like green discharge, a heavy watery discharge can cause a lot of trouble. With constant exposure of the skin to moisture, there are painful skin intertrigo and abrasion. Besides, in women with pathological processes, the transparent watery vaginal discharge may have a foul smell, which cannot be hidden with scented pads or strengthened genital hygiene.
The smell and the presence of impurities in the watery vaginal discharge is the most striking of all the possible signs of the disease. Aching pain in the abdomen or just heavy discharge can remain undetected for a long time, while the pathology progresses. Many women simply do not want to bother the doctor with such an issue they regard as minor. Therefore, it is necessary to distinguish between when a watery vaginal discharge can be considered normal and when it is a symptom of disease.
Watery discharge in teenage girls
On average, girls begin puberty at ages 10 or 11. It is during this period that the first vaginal discharge appears, which is often scarce and resemble the consistency of egg white. Significant release of estrogen in the blood of a teenage girl can cause heavy watery discharge. Because of the “dancing” and “swirling” nature of hormones in teenage age, watery vaginal discharge in girls of 10 to 12 years old can be considered a normal phenomenon.
Watery vaginal discharge during a cycle
Hormonal regulation of the female body is extremely complex. For 21 to 35 days, the body undergoes a kind of preparation for fertilization. Before ovulation occurs, there is intensified growth and development of the follicle from which the ovum will be released with a large supply of nutrients and readiness to merge with a sperm cell. Discharge during this period is usually scanty and viscous, and the cervix is sealed with a plug preventing infection from entering the cavity designed for the future baby.
Secretion of hormones changes with the release of the egg into the fallopian tube – the mucus plug is softened and tears away so that the sperm could freely pass through the cervical canal. Discharge during this period is always heavy and its watery nature may be normal.
After a few “rough” days of ovulation, the discharge again becomes mucous and thick. Before menstruation occurs, uterus actively prepares for conception – a new layer of cells permeated with tiny blood vessels appears in the uterine cavity, while a large amount of fluid accumulates in the uterine walls. But since there is no fertilization, the egg dies and the lining tears away. Swelling of the uterine walls may be the cause of the watery vaginal discharge occurring before the start of menstruation.
Diseases of which watery discharge can be a symptom
If the clear vaginal discharge remains watery regardless of the particular menstrual cycle phase, has a foul smell, admixture of blood or pus clots, then there is high possibility of the existence of pathological process. You urgently need to see a doctor for diagnosis and treatment.
Discharge due to vaginal dysbacteriosis (dysbiosis)
Vaginal dysbacteriosis (also called bacterial vaginosis or vaginal dysbiosis) is a disease associated with an imbalance of vaginal microflora. In such circumstances, there is rapid reproduction of Gardnerella bacteria, whose activity causes an unpleasant smell of a spoiled fish.
Clear discharge due to bacterial vaginosis often causes irritation of the mucous membranes – there is itching in the crotch and urination is accompanied by a burning sensation. When the immune processes are triggered, vaginal discharge becomes thicker and takes a yellow-green color.
Cervical erosion, ulceration and cancer
The walls of the vagina have no glands and are humidified by fluid secreted by cervical goblet cells. Therefore, any pathological process in the body is accompanied by heavy vaginal discharge – the cells secret fluid to fight against antigens. During cervical erosion, the discharge may not significantly differ from the usual discharge, but with an ulcer and cervicitis, the clear liquid discharge becomes extremely heavy.
Watery vaginal discharge is accompanied by such a terrible disease as cervical cancer, but with the destruction of the cervical vessels, the fluid acquires a reddish color.
Inflammation of the uterus is always accompanied by a partial opening of the cervical canal and termination of the muddy watery liquid. For acute endometritis, it will be impossible not to notice the pathology – the inguinal lymph nodes increase, the body temperature rises and aching and nagging pains in the abdomen appear. The symptoms are milder for chronic endometritis – only a heavy discharge and recurrent pain in the abdomen and lower back.
When there is endometritis, the uterine epithelium changes its structure making it impossible for the fetus to attach itself and for the placenta to form. This leads to abortion in early pregnancy, miscarriage and infertility. You need to therefore see a doctor immediately at the slightest suspicion of endometritis.
Salpingitis and adnexitis
Vaginal discharge caused by inflammatory diseases of the fallopian tubes provoked by viruses, trauma, and chlamydia can also be watery in nature. When it is bacterial infection, the inflammation quickly changes its nature and the discharge becomes yellowish or yellow-green in color.
Salpingitis and adnexitis becoming chronic can lead to the formation of growths in the fallopian tubes, thus obstructing the passage of the fallopian tubes and causing infertility. Only instrumental methods can be used to diagnose inflammatory diseases of the fallopian tubes. In order words, you need to see a doctor as soon as possible.
In most cases, the appearance of watery vaginal discharge regardless of the particular menstrual cycle phase is a sign there are inflammatory processes in the female reproductive system. A foul smell and discomfort are another sign of the need to see a gynecologist.