It is normal for women to have vaginal secretions. Nevertheless, some losses can be the sign of an infection. You have to know how to recognize and treat them.
Vaginal discharge: when to worry?
Vaginal secretions are normal when odorless, light-colored or milky, do not cause irritation or burning and do not stiffen the laundry. They are the means used by our body to clean the vagina, especially the dead cells on its wall, so that it remains clean. The amount and color of the secretions vary according to the moments of the menstrual cycle and during pregnancy.
But, if vaginal discharge become very abundant, purulent, malodorous or painful, they are usually the sign of an infection, sexually transmitted or may be something else.
It is estimated that most women suffer at least once in their life from a vaginal infection. In nine cases out of ten, the infection is due to a fungus, a yeast or a bacterium, and one in ten due to the trichomonas (a parasite).
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Vaginal mycosis station.
Mushroom vaginitis, commonly known as vaginal mycosis, is most commonly caused by a fungus called Candida Albicans. Naturally present in the vagina and under certain conditions it may develop abnormally large. Candidiasis is manifested in particular by odorless and thick vaginal discharge, which has the consistency and color of a white cheese or curd. They are accompanied by vaginal itching and sometimes burning during sexual intercourse.
Pregnancy, diabetes, taking antibiotics or steroids, wearing too tight clothes, heat, sports and swimming pool favors candidiasis. Contrary to popular belief, mycosis is not a sign of inadequate hygiene: too frequent (daily) use of vaginal douche or the use of vaginal deodorants or acid soaps promote their appearance!
An imbalance of the vaginal fauna.
Bacterial vaginosis is among the most common vaginal infections, also unrelated to poor hygiene. It is generally due to the excessive proliferation of one or more germs, such as Gardnerella vaginalis, responsible for most of these vaginoses. When the latter is too large, it modifies the balance between the different bacteria naturally present in the vagina. It acts mainly to the detriment of lactobacilli agents by maintaining a good vaginal acidity which avoid the proliferation of undesirable organisms.
The symptoms of the infection are very large vaginal discharge of variable color whose characteristic are like “odor of fish” is accentuated during sexual relations or after being washed with soap. These losses are accompanied by itching, burning sensation, slight redness and swelling of the vagina and vulva.
Another germ called Escherichia coli is responsible for vulvitis accompanied by leucorrhea in the little girls. Pinworms (worms) can also cause vaginal discharge
Let’s not forget the STDs!
Trichomonas vaginitis is an infection. It does not cause due to an imbalance of the vaginal flora or fauna but to a sexual transmission of the parasite by a contaminated partner, usually without his/her knowledge (men have very few signs of infection).
It causes vaginal discharge yellowish or greenish, foamy and feeling bad. It also causes itching and burning sensation and irritation of the vulva and around the cervix. It can also cause pain when urinating. The parasite Trichomanas vaginalis can also pass into the urinary tract and trigger an infection.
Two other sexually transmitted diseases – chlamydial infection and gonorrhea, caused due to the gonococcus and accompanied by vaginal discharge, but less systematically.
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In the little girl, vaginal discharge which is dirty, malodorous, streaked with blood must make suspicion the presence of a foreign body.
In women, a forgotten tampon can also cause dirty and then fetid losses.
A simple consultation but most often indispensable.
The treatments differ according to the infections whose origins depend on many factors: age, sexual activity, metabolism of estrogens. Therefore your doctor will ask you about your condition (description of the losses, other associated signs, duration) and your Lifestyle (habits, type of soap used, vaginal douches, sexuality, etc.).
He will then practice the necessary and relatively simple researches. The clinical examination of the vulvar and vaginal area with the help of a speculum and the appearance and odor of the losses will rapidly guide his diagnosis. He can confirm this by making a vaginal smear and measuring with the aid of strips and the degree of acidity of the secretions, which are less acidic than normal during a bacterial or trichomonas infection.
Finally, he will (perhaps) ask for a collection of vaginal secretions in order to carry out a cyto-parasitic-bacteriological examination in search of the infectious element implicated.
Unusual vaginal discharge is a reflection of an infection, usually associated with poor local conditions, unrelated to hygiene but rather with the acidity of the vagina or irritation of the area. Clinical examination and precise diagnosis are essential to treat them effectively, And also to avoid recurrences, complications (extension of tubal infection, chronic pain or even infertility) or contamination of the partner. Your doctor is there to treat you, advise you and reassure you. Do not hesitate to consult.
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