Having vaginal secretions, called vaginal discharge, is very normal for a woman. Its purpose is to lubricate the vaginal wall, to hydrate it and to ensure its cleaning, these secretions are generally of milky color or clear and are odorless. However, the appearance of these losses can sometimes change according to different factors. In some cases, these changes may be signs of infections. How can we know if that is what we are talking about? Read our article.
Vaginal discharge, a normal mechanism:
Vaginal secretions are quite normal in a woman. They are produced by glands located at the level of the cervix. These losses are the means our body uses to clean the intimate parts and remove impurities as well as dead cells following the renewal of the vaginal wall. The vaginal secretions are composed of mineral salts, water and mucus. Like saliva, they serve to hydrate the genital walls, but also to facilitate the passage of spermatozoa according to the menstrual cycle.
There is also, another type of vaginal secretions, cyprin, which is produced in case of desires arousal. This transparent, highly liquid substance, produced by the Bartholin glands, plays an important role in the lubrication of the vaginal walls to facilitate penetration during intercourse.
Normally the vaginal secretions are white or clear and have no odor. However, the color and quantity of vaginal discharge differ according to the periods of the menstrual cycle as well as in case of pregnancy or lactation. During ovulation, the losses are fluid and transparent. After this period, they become more opaque and thick.
However, in some cases, vaginal discharge may change completely in texture and become very abundant and malodorous. They may even be accompanied by irritation or itching. These signs are not to be taken lightly because they may indicate an infection.
Abnormal losses: possible infection
As mentioned above, the color and texture of vaginal discharge can be influenced by the menstrual cycle, pregnancy, breastfeeding, but also by climate change, birth control pills, nervousness and infections.
Here are the changes you should not ignore:
- White and very abundant losses
- Losses of yellow-green color and malodorous
- Losses in the lumpy appearance
- The presence of itching and pain during intercourse
How to identify an infection?
It is estimated that the majority of women are prone to vaginal infections at least once in their lives. The most common infections are those caused by a fungus or bacterium.
Each type of infection can have distinct signs.
Vaginitis, known as vaginal mycosis, is often due to the fungus Candida albicans. This infection manifests itself in very thick losses with a texture similar to that of curd. It is often accompanied by burns during intercourse and itching.
This vaginal infection is caused by the development of one or more bacteria, including Gardenerella vaginalis. Its presence alters the balance of the vaginal flora, fighting against beneficial bacteria of lactobacillus type. The signs of bacterial vaginosis are as follows:
Large losses with a color that changes
- A fishy smell that becomes stronger after using a soap for intimate hygiene, or after intercourse
- A burning sensation
- Swelling of the vulva.
Venereal transmitted diseases:
STDs can also cause a change in vaginal secretions. Trichomonas vaginitis, in particular, which is caused by transmission of the parasite trichomonas vaginalis, is considered the most widespread in the world, affecting mainly women under the age of 40 years.
This infection is manifested by loss of color yellowish or greenish, very malodorous and of foamy texture. It is also responsible for itching and irritation of the vulva, which causes burning sensations during intercourse.
Treatments vary depending on the type of infections. After the clinical examination of the intimate zone and the loss, as well as the vaginal smear, the doctor gives his diagnosis and prescribes the necessary treatment.
Do not hesitate to consult a gynecologist if you notice a sudden change in your vaginal discharge.